Letter: Thrill of science is not enough

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The Independent Online
The article "The end of science? No, the beginning" (4 May) stirred the imagination. In science knowledge is gained from experiment and observation while imagination links unrelated situations. But it is required that every imaginative leap must provide predictions capable of being verified, or rejected, by appropriate measurements. And there must be more than one prediction if a theory is to be valid. Not all the matters developed in the article conform to these requirements. There would seem to be no possibility, for example, of peering into a black hole to see if it contains the seed of another Universe. Whether or not there are other Universes would seem also to be beyond verification. Let the skin tingle if it gives pleasure, but it remains speculation unless the consequences can be verified.

G H A Cole

Professor of Engineering Physics

University of Hull