Originally posted by PinkFloyd
…I mean, I think I could write a program that would show a bunch of rocks hitting each other…
What exactly is it about this theory that purports to explain the development of the planets of our solar system? The claim I heard is that "computer models" show the theory to be correct, "except for Uranus and Neptune, which refuse to follow the program". Does this sound fishy to anyone else? I mean, I think I could write a program that would show a b I'd get any believers. So what's the deal with computer models "proving" anything?
Yes, that is correct. Any idiot that has learned, say, java, can write a program that would show a bunch of rocks hitting each other. But can you do it by making the computer simulation be solely controlled by a single mathematical formula that represents the physical behaviour of mater? -that’s the tuff part!
…So what's the deal with computer models "proving" anything?…
I have noticed that is a common misconception that computer simulations can “prove" things in the sense that they can “prove” that something did occur or will occur or can occur in physical reality. Strictly speaking, they don’t, although they can add considerable weight to a theory. Strictly speaking, a computer simulation can only “prove" that a theory “makes sense” if what the computer simulation says closely fits with the known evidence.
Sadly, I have often read in various science journals of many scientists claiming that their computer simulation “proves their theory correct” and I think that is a mistake -they should be very careful of exactly what they claim they can “prove“. They should carefully say their computer simulation “proves their theory makes sense because it fits well with the known physical evidence” instead.