I wish to make a statement that will seem absurd to most of my wonderful and smart readers: most science is fiction.
This is not about fiction with science in it, which is called science-fiction.
I am saying that Newton's laws are fiction. For every action there is a reaction, equal and opposite is not a core truth of the universe. I am saying it is merely a satisfactory linguistic label to describe a wide range of experiments and actions.
Three things lead me to make this statement. First, the American Physical Society signed on to a statement supporting human caused climate change. Few things in my mind could be more absurd.' Climate change' is a non sequitur. Change is measured by deviation from the mean: standard deviation is a mathematical construct. Not a living person has ever shown that the standard deviation of any climate mean is greater or lesser in the past millennia.
Second, the interest and excitement surrounding faster than light neutrinos found in Italay in the OPERA experiment is much too negligible for me. It turns out that for 40 years there has been occasional experimental evidence that neutrinos have unusual attributes related to photons. What has happened is that one giant piece of technology,CERN, has brought quantum and Einsteinian theory into question. Another piece of giant technology at Fermilab will do the experiment in a different form, MINOS.
This takes me to my main hypothesis: technology deals with the empiric world around us. Engineers build bridges and learn from the bridges that fall down. Engineers always build their products to be three times the strength theoretically needed because engineers inherently understand the limits of their knowledge. Three cheers for engineers.
Physics is the sequence of technical constructions and the numeric information that these technical instruments generate. Newton's theories came from Galileo's sloped wooden board that he used to measure the acceleration of gravity.
The third source of my perspective comes from a class that Niels Bohr taught in first year physics at the University of Chicago. My university. Bohr said that all physics was the explanation that connected constants. He proceeded to put a series of constants on the board, starting with g, the gravitational constant that was ultimately part of Newton’s theories. He proceeded to list a dozen constants including Maxwell's and Hertz's. He argued that all physics theory was simply the connection between the constants. We call those connections 'science'.
I go farther and suggest that it was the technology that finds the constants that is the only meaningful connection between our world and the emperic world we live in. We create fictional stories to connect these brilliant engineering feats.
Some may say that a great deal of this fictional creation involves math and is therefore less fictional. I have always been comfortable understanding that the universe of math is so large that science can always pick and choose an equation to fit the fiction. If Euclid's geometry is inadequate we can use non-Euclidean geometry.
Science is really fiction in the many languages and metaphors of math.