Is cosmology a science, religion or philosophy?
Question asked by: knowitall
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Cosmology is often said to be more of a religion or philosopical pursuit than it is a scientific practice.
The motivation for this is that, many things posited by some cosmologists, could never be verified or proved true or false by empirical pursuits.
Therefore they ultimately come down to faith or belief rather than knowledge; and hence many say that they are the stuff of philosophy where we look to see what facts mean and about facts, rather than trying to discover facts in the world itself.
Of course, a lot of cosmology is indeed empirically verifiable, and some that we do not think is may well be too.
However some theories held such as string theory look set to remain like a religion that you either have faith in it or not, and nothing seems to be able to prove through empirical science whether string theory is true or false - the entities it posits, strings, are so tiny that there seems no chance they could ever be viewed or isolated.
Similarly some bizarre forms of energy and matter, if they never interact with normal matter, would also seem to render themselves out of being observed and hence these theories may fall to the same charge.
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