sometimes you learn more from the comments than the article

I was reading the article “Solving the Mystery of Black Holes” on CNN by Meg Urry. The subject is satellites and x-rays and black holes and stuff: Or as her subject paragraph states much better than I can:

Many years in the making,  NuSTAR  carries an important scientific instrument designed to look for energetic X-rays from cosmic sources like black holes and exploded stars.

Most of us know about X-rays used for diagnostic imaging of broken limbs or for security scans at the airport. They are a high-energy form of light, energetic enough to penetrate clothing or flesh.

I barely understand the concept of black holes and if they want to emit X-rays then, from what I have seen on Star Trek, they can pretty well do whatever they want because even Captain Kirk avoided them. So you gotta figure black holes are the bad-asses of terrestrial objects. (Or are they anti-objects? Makes my brain hurt.) Anyway, I get lost about half way through the article so I scan down.

At the bottom I scan the comments quickly and see the usual trolls who somehow mistook CNN for youTube. But then I read one of the best summaries of what the concept of “science” is about. That it is iterative. It isn’t absolute until proven and replicated. But that forming a model is a necessary part of the process. Here is a section of the comments from Glorifundel:

That is how science works, we take what we currently know and create models that describe that reality.  We then vigorously test those models, and adjust them to fit those reproducible results as needed.  We can then use those models to make new hypothesis about the world around us, and test those new scenarios to get an even more robust picture of our world.  The end goal being to know as much as we can about this place we all live in.

I’m not qualified to jump in on their debate about the mystery of black holes. But I recognize exactness of speech and Glorifundel nailed it. Observe, create a model, make a prediction, test it, adjust, repeat, learn.

Not that different from software development if you think about it. It sounds very agile to me.