Gravity waves prove nothing

I’ve seen a lot of stories today about how gravitational waves have been observed, and this proves Einstein’s theory of relativity correct.

No, that is not how science works. Observing gravitational waves proves only that the observation is consistent with Einstein’s theory being correct, and inconsistent with theories that claim gravitational waves cannot exist. If the observation holds up as valid, theories that deny gravitational waves are possible must be set aside, possibly to be cannibalized for parts later.

I am not aware of any theories that insist gravitational waves aren’t a thing. Therefore, a correct headline for this story would read:

Observation of gravitational waves bolsters Einstein’s theory

Bolsters, perhaps, but does not prove. Failing to find gravitational waves, predicted by his theory, would not necessarily prove it wrong (because maybe they’re rare), and finding them does not prove it right.

When in doubt, always remember this helpful rule of thumb: Science reporters are morons.

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About Lummox JR

Aspiring to be a beloved supervillain
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