Scientific research

Speakpigeon said:
Mathematical scientific theories are formal conceptual models meant to explain our perception of nature, not nature itself.
Does that mean science is not an objective method of understanding the natural world?

Has anyone asked Peter Higgs that question? Where did the Higgs boson come from, thin air? Who then has a true perception of Nature? God?

We are able to artificially create new elements, even those which may not exist in nature at all due to their rapid decay rate.

IMO, our maths are able to symbolically describe natural phenomena in exquisite detail. Not all of course, there is much to learn still.
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So despite QM's undoubted practical successes, its physical basis remains very mysterious. It's been a century now, and nobody really seems to understand it (yet).
All scientific theories have to postulate "things" that are not observed as such. Mass, energy, space-time, electrons, quarks etc. What is observed is essentially the measures provided by various measuring devices that have to be read, observed, by some human being, pictures produced by various imaging devices that have to be visualised by some human being, etc. All of that necessarily comes down to the basic senses of perception of some human being, our belief in the material nature of the physical world, as well as our trust that there are other people with a mind similar to ours we can interact with.
Still, we're entitled to our beliefs. If we want to believe that scientific theories somehow describe nature, nobody will prove us wrong. Well, except once in a while when scientists have to admit their current theory doesn't fit current observations, like Newton and Mercury's orbit or like Einstein and whatever quantum effect doesn't fit into General Relativity.