Classical mechanics and scientific developments especially in neuroscience have led a number of scientists to believe in materialism, that is everything is made of matter so all phenomena (including consciousness and mental events) are the result of material properties and material interactions. For the materialist, the material world is all there is and therefore science is all that is needed, including laws yet to be discovered; materialism is discussed in more detail in the next chapter.


Some irregularities were observed in the orbit of the planet Uranus, and Newton’s theory not only explained the irregularities being due to the presence of another planet, but also predicted exactly where this planet (Neptune) should be. Unfortunately Newton’s model was not sufficiently accurate to explain some slight perturbations in the behavior of the planet Mercury’s orbit that could not be explained by another planet being closer to the sun.


An important concept concerning the scientific method is the notion of falsify ability due to Karl Popper who was primarily a logician. There are of course some statements that cannot be tested to see if they are false. For example, if I claimed to have carried out a certain action with no witnesses present.