Quote Originally Posted by Amaril View Post
But that's not necessarily what science is in a story; it might be any number of other things.
We're not talking about "science" as misdefined by a work, we're talking about real science. Don't move the goalposts.

But those explanations by the characters don't exist. You can't judge a text based on things that aren't part of it; if you make up explanations for things in a setting that don't appear to make sense, that's no indication that characters in the text have done the same. The only thing that can indicate that is if the text says so. The worlds fiction takes place in are not, by definition, complete worlds, and the logic on which they function isn't complete either; they exist only as much as they need to for the story to be told. If they were complete worlds, they'd be real.
So? Just because science hasn't been done doesn't mean science can't be done (citation: Earth pre-Bacon*).

*The scientist, not the food.