Taking science seriously

Science in the modern sense began with Galileo's conception of a law of nature: a universal statement about reality, expressed in unambiguous symbols and tested by what he aptly called 'ordeals' (we would call them crucial experiments). Ever since then, a recurrent theme in the history of science has been the tension between two great purposes that are implicit in Galileo's conception: science as a means of making predictions and giving us control of the world; and science as a means of understanding what the world is really like.
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