In school, students are taught the laws of science--the rules of how things work, if you will. Within this there is a perhaps minor issue that at times needs clarification: there are, even technically speaking, no pure laws in science. This is because scientific theory is not based on truth and cannot discern truth; just probability, based on experimentation. Science exists to prove things wrong, and to give us the most probable truths about life that it can give--but never any absolute truth. There is no way in science to prove something is absolutely true. Yes, if I toss my pen up into the air, I will bet a lot of money that it comes back down, and the law of gravity tells me it will. The theory of gravity explains why this is to me. However, it is only highly probable
that it will come back down with that theory's understanding; not absolutely true. This theory seems to be the most true right now, and until it is proven wrong, is the theory that we most like to work with. This does not mean that someday, somehow, the theory cannot be overturned. No where else is this oft-forgotten part of scientific pursuit being revealed this week than at CERN, the large laboratory in Europe whose experiments of late were cosmic enough to cause people to seek shutting them down
for fear that they would create a black hole with their Large Hadron Collider.
For a century, the scientific world has lived mostly under Einstein's theories of physics and relativity. Much of this theory is anchored in the idea that nothing is faster than the speed of light; that is the north pole for the compass of the theory currently accepted as law. It looks like CERN, however, seemed to consistently make
some particles go 60 billionths of a second faster than the speed of light. Naturally, this is now causing the entire scientific community to scratch its head. The physicists at CERN quickly published the results of their experiment so that other scientists around the world could critique it and do their own studies. I am sure right now there are many-a-physicist crossing their fingers and hoping that someone finds a flaw in their experiment, rather than upending a century's worth of scientific theory. Apparently this kid, Jacob Barnett, who I referenced some months ago
really was onto something when he said that parts of Einstein's theory of relativity don't compute. I'd be happy to see what he makes of the data!
Good luck to them in their pursuit of knowledge. If the current theory regarding time and space is proven wrong, all-the-better for us and our continued efforts to figure out how things work. Science should be ever-changing and ever-learning to try and understand the physical things of life. But perhaps this can serve as a lesson to people to remember that science presents only theories and probabilities--useful, yes, but theories nonetheless. If you want truth, go read some Aristotle.