Silver hammer

For the “English” sort of physicist (descending from Francis Bacon and Isaac Newton), Representation and Explanation are the same thing. This, anyway, was Pierre Duhem’s view, and Duhem (1861–1916, author of a splendidly full history of cosmological doctrines from Plato to Copernicus in ten volumes, in addition to his many scientific discoveries in thermodynamics, &c) was not only neglected by English universities, but banned from the academy in Paris, by secular liberals at the beginning of the last century, uncomfortable with the man’s Catholic views. Duhem, whom alas I cannot honour with complete understanding, but am inclined to worship, was in particular berating the Scottish physicist James Clerk Maxwell (1831–1879), whom he accused of an addiction to models. (Scottish and English are of course interchangeable in the French model.)

Now, these models were not attractive females on fashion runways, of the kind that decouple the heads of perceptually challenged males. It was scientific modelling that distressed Duhem, which abstracts and generalizes from information that can never be complete. The “English” sort of physicist in fact does not advance a theory at all, but composes a model, which he uses to satisfy his aesthetic requirements. Popular science loves models of the most reckless, oversimplified kind; “official” science inserts complications.

The official, “climate change” fraud has graduated to models of models of the weather, and models of these. This is inevitable in an age when computers are available, to process numbers at which one formerly had to sniff. For instance, we were told the other day that we had experienced the hottest day ever on our planet since records were first kept (i.e. approximately yesterday), on the basis of averaging unreliable readings of surface temperatures at numerous arbitrary points. … The coldest day in history will follow, the day after tomorrow.

You have to be an “English” physicist (i.e. an atheist) to believe this sort of thing. In other words, you must have faith in what is demonstrably untrue.

Maxwell used the verbs “to explain” and “to represent” interchangeably; but the physics he practiced deals with representation, only. It is the modern science, par excellence. For as Duhem explains, a theory that is explanatory must carry physics into the realm of metaphysics, in which real things are considered. It must give an account of what is really true.

“Science,” by comparison, doesn’t even try to do this. A mathematical model, or a mechanical model for that matter, cannot be real.