The empirical method doesn't allow for proof. It's hypothesis, test, fail to disprove 'more than once', theory. Even if you observed every occurrence of a given event throughout time and the universe, it's not enough. Cause itself is an hypothesis. Actually everything does what it does because it wants to. Actually, an unknown consistent mind is influencing it. We live in a special corner of the universe where such things happen, and it doesn't anywhere else. I bet you want to argue with me on that one. Most scientists are at best dubious that life exists anywhere except on 'Earth' even though we have apparently found traces of extraterrestrial bacteria and viruses.
A popular factoid among today's scientists is that sufficient mathematical manipulation will produce facts. A factoid is a piece of knowledge which is specious (false) and is so popular among the media (remember, media is plural of medium; you're a medium--of communication--as much as a newspaper is) that it exercises many of the same effects that a ...fact...would. [Marshal McLuhan; The Medium is the Massage & c] At that point it becomes an entity all on its own, with its own lifetime. In many ways viewpoints tend to be infectious because of value infrastructures and the emotions surrounding them. I don't mean invasive. Generally there is a structure of 'knowledge' which is built from this. Think of splinter groups, generally centered around feelings of anger. Modernly there tends also to be a need to be noticed, to make a mark, to have that fifteen seconds of fame, especially because of the lack of economic security--wondering if you'll be found valuable enough to be kept alive when you get older.
Nearly any statement that can be made about Real Life has to be made so carefully that it ends in concentrating on exceptions. That's because Real Life is...but more later.