Originally Posted by AdamWill
Just a general comment: someone said the real world is the domain of the concrete. Maybe, but it's also the domain of placebo, marketing, and headology...
Sorry to be anal but, Yeh I didn't agree with that either in fact I would have said things are the other way around if anything:
All scientific theories that are used to describe physical systems in nature are simple approximations of the way nature is in reality.
usually things happen like this:
1 - scientist has hypothesis (eg Ohm found V=IR) either by experiment or mathematically.
2- scientist will publish his/her findings.
3- if over time the hypothesis is found to hold true in tests by other scientists also...eventually the hypothesis will be accepted by the scientific community in general and the hypothesis will become a theory.
This is not to say when a hypothesis becomes a theory that it describes nature perfectly after all a theory may test accurate a billion times then on the billion+1 time it fails.
Science approximates nature. They may be highly accurate approximations...but they are approximations none the less.
Newton's laws of gravity are a great example....Einstein has given a far more accurate description of how gravity is linked with space and time but Newtons are not considered wrong as they still describe how gravitational systems behave very accurately.
Often as our scientific knowledge improves theories are ammended and improved also.
So I would say science is more concrete than the natural systems it is used to describe.
This applies to cables also. We know how a conductor works and behaves in general, but that's not to say that new ways of getting a complex signal signal down a cable without being attenuated or distorted aren't being developed all the time.