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The Relativity of Wrong

  • Andrew May
Chapter
Part of the Science and Fiction book series (SCIFICT)

Abstract

Science proceeds by making a series of testable hypotheses that are progressively more accurate approximations to reality. The best science fiction is simply an extrapolation of this process, and this chapter examines a number of particularly convincing science-fictional hypotheses, from James Blish’s theory of antigravity to the wormholes in Carl Sagan’s novel Contact. Some hypotheses, such as the idea that the world around us is merely a computer simulation, can never be falsified—what the theoretical physicist Wolfgang Pauli called “not even wrong”. Pauli himself was jokingly alleged to possess a psychic talent—the “Pauli Effect”—which destroyed experiments before they could disprove his theories.

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Andrew May
    • 1
  1. 1.CrewkerneUK

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