This is a guest post from Wrench, who I'm working with along with a few others to develop the Inexact Sciences. The point of science and theory is to sculpt out useful idealized machinery to make thinking about very complex systems tractable. People always point to physics for this because they’ve gotten the best ratio of reduction to insight of everyone else. Idealized conditions, though very expensive to approach, reveal fundamental laws that are largely unchangeable. “Largely” because, of course, things like relativity come to mess up the system every once in a while.