What is a theory? LO3680

Willard Jule (75272.3452@compuserve.com)
12 Nov 95 11:29:25 EST

Replying to LO3659 --

Sorry, I just am having trouble choosing to bite my tongue on this one.
John O'Neill's note says,

" These new theories are often constructed as a result of invalidating
assumptions in existing theories. For example, Einstein's theory of
relativity arose by firstly invalidating the assumption that the speed of
light was constant as assumed by Newtonian physics."

Einstein's brilliant insight is that in fact the speed of light is
constant independent of the frame of reference within which you measure
it. Your statement about challenging assumptions still stands. Because
Newtonian physics predicts that the speed of light will be different in
different frames of reference.

Also, if the reason you want to develop theories is to be able to achieve
different results than you are achieving today, maybe you don't need
"theories" at all. If you describe the desired results, backward plan,
i.e., backward chain to determine what assumptions would have to be
correct and what transformational process would have to be in place to
achieve the desried results, then you can go about creating the conditions
to make the assumptions correct and put the transformation in place.
Someone might be able to put a theory in place around your actions and
thoughts, but to what end?

Willard Jule