breakthrough in science: gravitational waves

In my last post, I was captivated by the immediate impact on Andrei Linde himself of the recent breakthrough in astronomy, as recorded while Chao-Lin Kuo announced the big news that his theory concerning the Big Bang and inflation of the universe had been significantly borne out with evidence.  I was most interested in the humanity of science, and the people behind a major breakthrough. But what does this breakthrough illustrate for TOK about the nature of science?  What does it show of scientific prediction —  prediction that is not a foretelling of the future, but prediction that if a theory is correct then certain other things, possibly observable, will be the case?  What does it show about  the role of theory in holding together research and communication within the scientific community, and about the collective nature of scientific knowledge?  For those of us who do not have the understanding of physics to grasp its significance with ease, Nature gives us a 3 minute video and a short article “All you need to know about gravitational waves”: enough for us “get it”.  In TOK we do not need to know all about the physics to see the characteristics of science in action.  

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