Lees meer opThe 'best' values are already the result of considerable selection. First, experimenters tend to reject unexpected data on the grounds that they must be errors. Second, after the most deviant measurements have been weeded out, variations within a given laboratory are smoothed out by averaging the values obtained at different times, and the final value is then subjected to a series of somewhat arbitrary corrections. Finally, the results from different laboratories around the world are selected, adjusted, and averaged to arrive at the latest official value.
Faith in eternal truths
In practice, then, the values of the constants change. But in theory they are supposed to be changeless. The conflict between theory and empirical reality is usually brushed aside without discussion, because all variations are assumed to be due to experimental errors, and the latest values are assumed to be the best.
But what if the constants really change? What if the underlying nature of nature changes? Before this subject can even be discussed, it is necessary to think about one of the most fundamental assumptions of science as we know it: faith in the uniformity of nature. For the committed believer, these questions are nonsensical. Constants must be constant.
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