I am writing an essay and talked about a point of of the development in the force of gravity, I talked about Issac Newton’s findings and how they were later corrected by Albert Einstein. Was the finding by Albert Einstein scientifically proven using the scientific method or not? Sorry if my question might by easy but I do not want to put the wrong information in my essay.

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    This question is answered in this possible duplicate: philosophy.stackexchange.com/questions/51173/…
    – Philip Klöcking
    Jan 13, 2021 at 10:40
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    Yes it is. Have you tried with some book on Relativity theory? Jan 13, 2021 at 10:41
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    Many observations that can't be explained by Newtonian physics can be explained by general relativity with stunning precision, like the precession of Mercury's perihelion or the fact that we can see stars behind the sun because its mass bends light. Now, this question belongs on physics stack exchange where you will find more complete answers (or an injunction to at least browse Wikipedia before asking, seriously...)
    – armand
    Jan 13, 2021 at 10:51
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    It was. See Tests of special relativity and Tests of general relativity. Also, this is more of a question for Physics SE.
    – Conifold
    Jan 13, 2021 at 20:06
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    "Scientifically proven" is putting it too strongly. What was demonstrated experimentally is that relativity makes correct predictions in situations where Newtonian theory does not. This means relativity is better than Newton's theory, but it does not 'prove' it. There is always the possibility of an even better theory in future.
    – Bumble
    Jan 14, 2021 at 1:51

3 Answers 3


"Was the finding by Albert Einstein scientifically proven using the scientific method or not?"

This assumes there is a single method, and that science proves things. All science is tentative, proof belongs to the realm of mathematics. Science is about evidence, which following various protocols can generally be agreed on. Then it is about which accounts have the greatest explanatory power with minimum assumptions.

The first anomaly was that the speed of light is always the same however fast the observer moves, as predicted by Maxwell's equations (which showed light is an e-m wave), and confirmed by the Michaelson-Morley experiment.

Special relativity accounts for the invariance of the speed of light, with length contraction and time dilation. There's a great set of tools here for getting an intuition about it. It is 'special' in that it is restricted to the case of approximately flat spacetime.

General relativity accounts for what an observer sees in a gravitational field, that is an accelerated rest frame, or space that is not flat. It solved the anomalous orbit of Mercury (precession of the perihelion), which is close enough to the sun to be affected by the space-time distortion. And predicted that starlight will be bent by the sun, which initially could only be observed during an eclipse.

Almost all known phenomena support relativity. Calculations for GPS, predicted cosmic rays from the sun (specifically muons), gravitational lensing. And black holes and gravitational waves have quite recently been observed, to add to the tally of predictions successfully confirmed.

Two additional ideas, more like framing assumptions, were advanced with relativity. That time is a dimension in the way we think space is, and that there is a block universe with fixed past & future. So far these have been unverifiable, that is outside science as being untestable (this is the problem String Theory has). There is substantial ongoing dispute of these two ideas. Quantum gravity will be required for a definite answer. The inside of blackholes cannot be understood without this, along with the earliest stages of the big bang.

Science is defined best by being what scientists do, new methods & refinements are added all the time. And what is called in shorthand 'proof' is really widespread or near-universal acceptance by the scientific community & confirmed by evidence & novel predictions, which criteria relativity definitely meets. But, we know it fails at small scales. Newton's gravity can't account for any of the phenomena listed, so has been shown to fail in more circumstances.


As far a science "proves" things yes it has, but as the previous answer said: science never puts things beyond doubt, it can only provide a theory that works in all tested circumstances. For example for a long time the Newtonian theory of gravity was widely believed, and it allowed us to expand our knowledge of the Universe substansially, because as far as they could see, it worked.

Relativity has been incessently tested in accordance with scientific method, and has held throughout all experiments, so it still stands today as a "not-disproven" theory. So I think you could say it has so far survived scientific method, which is as far as anything gets.


Ill-formed question. Theories cannot be scientifically proven: only facts sustained by theories can be.

The scientific method allows validating a fact postulated by a theory. But there's no rule X to validate such theory itself. The scientific method proves facts predicted by theories, not theories as such.

In addition, there would be no deeper rule to validate such rule X. All our knowledge is essentially a tautology, a set of beliefs sustained by other beliefs in circles (as suggested by Kant).

This is why it is said that science deals with empirical truth, not final truth. Empirical truths are those which validate and give logic to perception, whilst perception might be ultimately false (false as an ultimate truth), or just incoherent, which strictly implies a falsehood.

Quantum mechanics is perhaps the best example of the fallacy of perception regarding the deep facts of nature. If you know the principle of explosion, you can apply it to the incoherence between QM and relativity [1]. The final truth is possibly that there's something essentially wrong, the principle of explossion suggesting that ultimately all scientific knowledge is void. But both theories, validating independent facts each one independently of the other, are empirically valid, and that's enough for us to survive, even within this clear ultimate falsehood. As once, knowing that earth was flat was enough to survive.

[1] http://cds.cern.ch/record/522187/files/0110046.pdf

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