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To make any sort of scientific progress, you have to accept some things as given.

Actaully, to make real scientific progress, according to Popper, you have to challenge the things that are accepted as given.


While it is true that you sometimes have to challenge the accepted givens, there is always something that you have to accept as a given. For example, if you are trying to conduct a measurement, you must take as a given that your eyes are actually seeing what is in front of them. You may challenge this if you like, but it will get you no closer to completing your measurement.

Similarly, if you are doing research on fusion, if you spend all your time trying to explain why the He mass is .7% lower than component parts, you will not get very far. Once you have determined that it is always .7% lower, you accept it as a given and go on. Continuing to question why it is .7% will not lead to progress.

Note that I am not saying that questioning the .7% figure is not something that should be done, just that you can't get bogged down there if you are trying to get further.

David
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