Stephen Hawking stated in A Brief History of Time (1988) that “a good theory is characterized by the fact that it makes a number of predictions that could in principle be disproved or falsified by observation.” In other words, a good theory needs to predict things that can be tested. As we already discussed in this learning block, the results of those tests will in turn lead to more questions and more tests.
Based on the video with Stephen Hawking you just watched, answer the following questions.
- Comment on what you think drives a scientist like Stephen Hawking to ask, “Why?”
- How has Hawking’s research contributed to the field of natural science?
- When you consider the work of natural scientists in general, how do you think developments in scientific thinking end up influencing how scientific study is carried out? Provide an example.