Random dating facts
Thomas Kuhn points out that knowing what facts to measure, and how to measure them, requires the use of other theories.
For example, the age of fossils is based on radiometric dating, which is justified by reasoning that radioactive decay follows a Poisson process rather than a Bernoulli process.
In the most basic sense, a scientific fact is an objective and verifiable observation, in contrast with a hypothesis or theory, which is intended to explain or interpret facts.
Various scholars have offered significant refinements to this basic formulation.
For example, "If Alexander had lived, his empire would have been greater than Rome." This contrasts with an indicative conditional, which indicates what is (in fact) the case if its antecedent is (in fact) true—for example, "If you drink this, it will make you well." Such sentences are important to modal logic, especially since the development of possible world semantics.
In science, a fact is a repeatable careful observation or measurement (by experimentation or other means), also called empirical evidence. Various forms of observation and measurement lead to fundamental questions about the scientific method, and the scope and validity of scientific reasoning.
Historical truth and facts therefore change over time, and reflect only the present consensus (if that).
Similarly, Percy Williams Bridgman is credited with the methodological position known as operationalism, which asserts that all observations are not only influenced, but necessarily defined by the means and assumptions used to measure them.
Apart from the fundamental inquiry into the nature of scientific fact, there remain the practical and social considerations of how fact is investigated, established, and substantiated through the proper application of the scientific method. argues that the inherent biases from the gathering of facts makes the objective truth of any historical perspective idealistic and impossible.
For example, the fact described by the true statement "Paris is the capital city of France" implies that there is such a place as Paris, there is such a place as France, there are such things as capital cities, as well as that France has a government, that the government of France has the power to define its capital city, and that the French government has chosen Paris to be the capital, that there is such a thing as a place or a government, and so on.
The verifiable accuracy of all of these assertions, if facts themselves, may coincide to create the fact that Paris is the capital of France.