Janice Boekhoff
 

Can You Prove a Theory?

E = m c 2

My son told me this morning that he has proved a theory. Want to hear it? Are you sure, because he’s only ten. Well, here goes, his theory is this: if you were born in the morning, then you will be a morning person, and if you were born in the afternoon or evening, then you will sleep in as long as you can every day. He bases his theory on the fact that it holds for myself, my two daughters (we were all born in the afternoon/evening) and himself (who was born in the morning). Dad wasn’t included because he doesn’t know what time he was born (we should probably call grandma and ask).

Not bad science thinking for a ten year old, but I had to point out that there isn’t a way to actually prove a theory. The nature of a theory is that it is falsifiable, but not provable. A theory can be confirmed, over and over again by many experiments, and if we don’t ever see any deviation from the theory, then it becomes a law. But even a law is not in itself provable. A law is just a theory for which we have never seen contradictory evidence.

My son didn’t believe me and quite frankly I didn’t believe him—you can’t base a theory on a sample size of four, but I love his little scientific mind. Basically, scientists spend all day trying to disprove their theories, so they can come close to believing in them. Hence there is no absolute proof in science. The goal of science is to question everything.

Does that mean there’s no absolute truth? Some would say there isn’t. I believe there is. Absolute truth is defined by God who made our universe, is outside our universe, and therefore is the only entity capable of a truly objective look at our universe. And He shared His view of the universe with us and put it in a book. It’s called the Bible.

What do you think? Does absolute truth exist? Is the Bible really the Creator’s book?

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