Re: virus: Axioms versus falsification of theories

Paul Prestopnik (
Fri, 19 Sep 1997 13:43:59 -0400

>axioms, and building machines from what they tell us. Since I canít do
>everything, I have to trust the body of knowledge coming in from
>"authority": my Profs. Sure, our classes have "labs", but we donít get
>the chance to *verify* everything we learn, let alone try to falsify
>it. I have to believe; I have to stand on othersí shoulders, who
>themselves stood on othersí shoulders, ad nausium. "Faith" may be a
>cardinal Virus sin, but itís necessary. I have to accept "The
>Fundamentals of Physics" as "The Word of <Science>" -- and science, like

even though you may believe what you have been taught, simply due to
necessity (lack of time for complete verification) you do not have to
accept it dogmatically. If you discover evidence which indicates what you
have been taught may be incorrect it is your responsibility (after
verification) to denounce the previous teachings, or at least raise the
possibility that another model may be more correct. Faith (at least in my
opinion, and I believe the way the CoV uses it) constitutes a belief
without justification (we are justified in that if we are able to verify
some percentage of what we are taught, and have no reason to believe we are
being misled we can place qualified trust in previous *facts*) or
unwavering belief even when faced with contradictory or inconsistent
evidence. And according to this definition scientists of QUALITY do not
accept things on faith alone.