Friday, September 16, 2011

What is the Difference Between Historical and Operational Science

Operational science is an explanation of a set of facts based on a broad set of repeatable and testable observations that is generally accepted within a group of scientists. This is the type of science that curses disease, discovers new sources of energy and leads in invention. On the other hand historical science is an explanation of past events based on the interpretation of evidence that is available in the present.

Because we live in the present we can only observe the present that is what we observe. Because of this the past can not be observed since we do not live in the past and so we do not observe the past. The past can only be studied by observing in the present. This the case even with distant star light which is only observed in the present even if we do see the stars as they looked in the past.

As a result studding the past requires making some assumptions about the past even studying distant stars requires making assumptions about the history and structure of the universe.  This makes studying the past more likely to be affected by philosophical assumptions.

The study of origins is by definition a historical science the study of origins is highly influenced by philosophical assumptions. If those philosophical assumptions are wrong then so are the conclusions.

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