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Re: [ontolog-forum] intangibles (was RE: Why most classifications are fu

To: "[ontolog-forum]" <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: sowa@xxxxxxxxxxx
Date: Wed, 27 Jul 2011 11:04:31 -0400 (EDT)
Message-id: <e76faa6812ab386c8f0eb89a29ed427d.squirrel@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>


That is true of all theories:

> The medical theories from 100 years ago look pretty silly and I am
> pretty sure that a lot of the medical theories of today will not survive
> the next hundred years.

There is not a single theory of science from 1911 that is completely true today without many qualifications.

But with suitable qualification, we can use most of them even today.

George Box, a professor of engineering, stated the principle very clearly:

"All models are wrong, but some are useful."

That statement with 'model' replaced by 'theory' is also true of every branch of empirical science.

The only science for which theories can remain true forever is mathematics -- and that is only because mathematics does not make any empirical claims.


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