domingo, 24 de outubro de 2010


                                                                                               Fabio Coimbra

ABSTRACTThe present work aims to reflect the issue of truth in a universe where the only certainty about what she has is that she (in this universe) does not crystallize a linearity, but gradually changes and is therefore uncertain. This is the universe of science in its many peculiarities. The question that is being proposed here is to examine briefly the concept of truth in science from the analysis of some specific branches such as philosophy, physics and planetary sciences (or astronomy). Search will show that the so-called scientific truths only when they are - the progress of investigations by the scientific community - other knowledge (such as that setting is a truth) do not come to light as truth more consistently, while providing in itself the seeds of its own extinction, namely, to be supplanted by another.
Keywords: Truth - Science - Philosophy - Physics - Astronomy
O presente trabalho objetiva refletir a questão da verdade num universo em que a única certeza que sobre ela se tem é a de que ela (nesse universo) não cristaliza uma linearidade, mas, muda gradativamente, sendo, portanto, incerta. Esse universo é o da ciência em suas múltiplas particularidades. A questão que aqui se propõe é analisar sucintamente o conceito de verdade no âmbito da ciência a partir da análise de algumas ramificações específicas, tais como a filosofia, a física e as ciências planetárias (ou astronomia). Buscar-se-á demonstrar que as verdades ditas científicas só o são quando – da evolução das investigações, por parte da comunidade científica – outro conhecimento (que como tal se configure como uma verdade) não venha a lume como verdade mais consistente, embora traga em si mesmo o germe da sua própria extinção, a saber, que será suplantado por outro.
Palavras-chaves: Verdade – Ciência – Filosofia – Física – Astronomia


               Throughout history, the problem of truth is, without doubt, a major which focuses on the various areas of theoretical knowledge, especially in the case of the humanities. Thus, this research aims to analyze the truth in the sciences for the purpose of demonstrating that this (the science) are not fixed truths, as in the perspective of religion.
Regarding the structure, the work takes place in three stages: first, reflects on the truth in the context of philosophy, in the second sets out to demonstrate - using examples from astronomy - how new technologies contribute to the mutation of truth in realm of science and, in the third and final time when the objective is, in principle, demonstration of how some truths in physics became inconsistent after Einstein's relativity.

At this stage of humanity, talk about the objectivity of truth is not in any way something surprising in the sense of making something unique in their character. In the ancient world, eg the conflict - the level of ideas - in this respect that had been observed among the Greeks. As a reference, you can highlight the duel of Socrates against the Sophists. Thus, while he defended the objectivity of truth, they, in turn, judged it to be relative. Based on this principle, there is this duality that objectivity / relativity of truth that has pervaded the history already established, is still present today, keeping thus its linearity. This duality, however, although it started in philosophy among the ancient philosophers, as is known, it was not limited to this field, but entered as a science at all, thus making themselves present in diverse branches of knowledge , or knowledge itself.
                Although it is very observable in science in their specificity, the conflict about the truth becomes more capable of understanding when it contrasts the science with religion, for example. What you notice about it is an inevitable clash of ideas by parts of both arms in relation to their respective views about the truth. Although the debate is very broad and defense of both theories by parts of his followers (adepts of science on the one hand, and, secondly, the partisans of religion) is fierce, one must note that the basic difference that exists between both lies precisely in the fact that while one, religion, thinks he has found his ultimate truth and immutable one, the science still has not found a fixed and eternal truth, he launched himself towards this arduous task, though a conviction that never reached. Alias, it is this constant search for truth - which in more precise terms you understand yourself better when using the term pursuit of knowledge - which means that science is science and religion is distinct. While religion revealed truth became intransmutável in space-time becomes so eternal, in science there is no notion of revealing truth, the less the truth of eternity, on the contrary, what today is set to true, nothing guarantees that it will be so in the future.
            Science, with regard to knowledge, is precisely a dialectical game, or a becoming where everything changes and nothing remains, everything turns into its opposite and then be what it once was. This, however, is not by chance, but occurs mostly due to a process of self-criticism, criticism that science makes itself as such, as they say, then, Bachelard. And then it would come to the view that epistemology philosopher. In thinking of this author, sees that it is criticized that the spirit comes to the attainment of truth. It is understood, therefore, that the perspective of science, the truth makes no less than offer opinions in eternal multiple collision. In science it is necessary to review previous errors when the primary concern is the construction of scientific knowledge. Hence the postulate derived Bachelardean thought that "we must err on science, because scientific knowledge is built only by rectifying these errors," which leads to understand that in science the notion of error seems to precede the notion of truth. We must overcome the obstacles that stand in the pursuit of knowledge. It is with that overcoming such disabilities who can achieve the success of scientific analysis.
              The accurate on science lead us to realize that in the course of history, knowledge is born and develops in certain historical circumstances and necessarily. For example, it took that knowledge was in crisis in Descartes' time so he could use the method of doubt. In other words, it was precisely the moment that the truths upheld by tradition were being questioned Descartes proposes that the doubt as a method for reaching a truth or certain knowledge of which could not be doubted.

For a long time, the tradition upheld the truth that the earth was the center of the universe with the sun and all the planets revolving around it. That truth that pervaded several centuries of human history was to be changed and thus reconfigured and thus gain a new dimension. The starting point of this reversal took place, especially when - for the first time in history, or (say, by the way) in the history of planetary science - in 1609, Galileo pointed his telescope, or your small telescope to the sky, and conducting research on it "finds the mountains of the moon and the formation of the Milky Way." From there, the knowledge and truth prevailing in the field of science in that it concerns, would never be the same. Only with the progress of knowledge, (which allowed to generate technology) is that more was possible, later changing the idea that the earth was the center of the universe with the sun and other planets revolving around it. Therefore, there was a reversal in the order of knowledge, where, from then on, the sun became the center of the solar system with all the planets that make up this system orbiting it.
Another example, even planetary sciences, which enable better look like truth in science is not eternal, but changeable, concerns the controversial downgrading of Pluto from the planet category. For many years, since its discovery in 1930 by Klaiber tombola, the Loa Observatory, Pluto was a truth which was a planet. However, this has to change, mainly because of modern technology, which favored a larger collection of data about that planet. Some of these technologies is the case of satellite space Rambol (explorer of the evolution of the galaxy), that despite the vast distance, provided some images of plutonium, enough to determine its composition. However, this truth that lasted for nearly 75 years began to deteriorate around 2005 when the astronomer Mike Brown began to search for stars that had the same size of Pluto in remote areas of the solar system.

               Another twist that no doubt has shaken some of these scientific truths in physics was when Ainstien postulated the theory of relativity. Prior to this genius of science, the assumptions of Newtonian physics were regarded as absolute truths, such as the concepts of space and time within which fits a number of details. With all the truths that Einstein had long been crystallized is called into question and ultimately become its opposite. While Newton to the above concepts were absolute for not relying on an observed, Einstein, in turn, polemic against Newton, Newton denies this truth by saying that these concepts depend rather an observer and thereafter propose the theory of relativity that basically focuses on the study of light.
               That theory is now the one for physicists has an undoubtedly important, say in passing. Mainly by the fact that much of what she expected, or predicted, had already been verified by experiment. As an example, we have experiments with particle accelerators, where one can see the impossibility of objects traveling faster than the speed of light, the maximum reach is a considerable approximation. Another phenomenon that is observed, with regard to the fact that, depending on the speed at which an object moves, it can change its mass can be short and it Mayan time passing slower. In this sense, refers to Hamburger 

 An object moving with nearly the speed of light becomes shorter and the time it moves more slowly. If speed is half the speed of light, the shortening is 15% and 15% more time it takes to pass. For 1999, 9% of the speed of light, the length is divided by twenty and twenty times more clock runs slow.

Therefore, the closer the speed of light, the greater the mass and the slower time. Thus, Einstein runs a real revolution in physics in such a way to reverse unquestionable truths before then.
To show how the spacetime proposed by Einstein is relative, Hamburger gives the following example:

The Cathedral Square, in downtown Sao Paulo, is for us a well defined in space, since [...] live on earth, we take the earth as a reference, and indicate the places with reference to it. We would not say that a fret that flies the cathedral square to the valley Anhangabaú you are in a definite place, as it moves relative to the ground. Now imagine an observer who is in a distant star outside our galaxy. For him the square of the Cathedral moves like a bird, it suffers the movement of earth's rotation around its axis, the more movement around the sun, besides the movement of the sun itself within the galaxy, the planets follow and the movement of the galaxy relative to other galaxies. For this same extraterrestrial observer and extragalactic, the Cathedral Square is not in a well defined, because it will be shifting over time.

                What Hamburger wants to show that Einstein is that space-time depends rather an observer and, therefore, was not actually advocating the candidacy Newtonian space and time as something independent of the subject.
Coupled with the design of space-time by Einstein, also appears on the prolly like. In this case the dependence of the matter is basically about the speed. To corroborate what was said, Hamburger, with emphasis on Einstein states that "[...] the mass of a body depends on the speed and therefore energy. The greater the energy, the greater the mass. "
                Therefore, with Einstein, many truths in physics that were already crystallized with the theoretical thinking of Newton by being placed in question have been modified and even abolished. This has as a demonstration of moral science that truth is not eternal, but gradually turns to the extent that space-time and the very circumstances that it will succeed if competing for it. The science remain science can not therefore find a true and set it as eternal.

                Although it has made brief reflections on astronomy and physics, this research could not claim to develop a deep reflection on these specific sources of knowledge, but only to reflect and show from them, how is the mutation process in the context of truth Sciences.
                The culmination of this investigation, say by the way, was precisely to demonstrate that in science there is no eternal truth, but a constant movement by which what is now conceived as truth, has no guarantee that will continue in the future.
In short, we attempted to demonstrate the unsustainability of truth as something immutable in the grounds of science, which clearly defines the character of science over other forms of knowledge, for example, religion.

FILIPPO, Garozzo. Galileo Galilei. 2. Ed São Paulo: Editora Três: Brazil 21, 2004.
(The thinkers who changed humanity).
HAMBURGER, Ernst W. What is physical.
São Paulo: brasilense, 1984.
Accessed October 23, 2010
STERN, Alan. New Horizons. Astronomy magazine Brazil. Volume 1, Number 12, p. 20-25.
April, 2007.
Video "The Universe: Outer Planets"


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