Using an example, in this thread
, Cecil is explaining about the phenomenon of cockroaches dying on thier backs, when he says:
(1) Roach has heart attack while crawling on the wall. OK, so maybe roaches don't have heart attacks. Just suppose the roach croaks somehow and tumbles earthward. The aerodynamics of the roach corpse (smooth on the back, or wing side; irregular on the front, or leg side) are such that the critter will tend to land on its back. Or so goes the theory. Admittedly the study of bug airfoil characteristics is not as advanced as it might be.
Let's say that we have an event like this in which the components are unknown (or not thoroughly studied). How is it that we can determine (using the known principles of science) the event (in it's entirety) and still be 95% sure that it will
occur (in the way that we have mentioned)?
I guess what I'm trying to ask is, do we ever know that theory alone can account for an occurence? Or do things always have to be tested (via experimentation) in order to get an answer (like when trying to work out constants or distances from uncharted territories like space)?
***Note to Mods: I'm not entirely sure whether or not this should be in GD. If you think a move is necessary, please make it...***