03 June 2021, The Tablet

Faith, science and backwards thinking

Across the Universe

Faith, science and backwards thinking


AS A CHILD, I was taught “the scientific method” – see a problem, devise a hypothesis, test it with experiment. But in my 50 years of science, I’ve never actually done that. Instead, we get some new tool, bang it on whatever is handy, and look through the resulting pile of data until we see a pattern. Then we look for a problem that maybe that pattern can resolve.

Last month, I mentioned here the experiments we’ve done on water-rich meteorites, the ones made of the same material that we think the Japanese and American space probes collected from asteroids Ryugu and Bennu. Since we already had the equipment set up to do such measurements, we also took the same kind of data on a bunch of lunar meteorites – meteorites whose chemistry ties them to the Apollo Moon rocks.

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