Science is self correcting.
It sometimes takes a while, but so far its our best method of keeping back the darkness.
Religion is based on divine revelation; how is one to verify that? And what if my revelation tells me something different from your's? And if our two revelations differ, how is a third person going to differentiate between the two. It really comes down to belief, with facts being discarded when necessary.
At least science has data and facts to fall back on. As new facts are discovered, the theory and explanation can gradually improve. That's the self correcting part of it.
They cannot explain something so they marginalize it. But if this were the case, nothing would have any meaning whatsoever.
Science cannot explain something so you marginalize science?
Perhaps next year, or the year after that an explanation will come along. Look at the huge list of things formerly unexplained which science has explained. Lightning and germs come to mind. Both were satisfactorily explained by science, and removed from the "unexplained/maybe supernatural" category.
Science is doing pretty good, and a lot better than most other realms. Give it a chance.
I understand what you are trying to say, you hold a romantic notion of what science is supposed to be. But today the facts are data are hostage to the political agendas and quasi-religious fanatics.
You know, I think Einstein said something about time being a persistent illusion and if this is so, and I believe it to be, then reality is less then an illusion.
I came across an interesting quote by Max Planck when looking up something on the nature of reality, and I think one must concede that science can only ever hope to be a subset of reality but I digress...While trying to find this quote again I came across two other quotes by Planck, well, actually the man was a profound genius and I’ve found many, many quotes by him now looking for the original but this one...
Anybody who has been seriously engaged is scientific work of any kind realizes that over the entrance to the gates of the temple of science are written the words: ‘Ye must have faith.’ It is a quality which the scientist cannot dispense with.
And then this one!
“There is no matter as such! All matter originates and exists only by virtue of a force which brings the particles of an atom to vibration and holds this most minute solar system of the atom together. We must assume behind this force the existence of a conscious and intelligent mind. The mind is the matrix of all matter.”
And this is a very good one too but I’m afraid it will pierce the heart of your romanticism:
“A new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing opponents and making them see the light, but rather because its opponents eventually die, and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it.”
Sadly, I cannot find the one I was looking for and now even forgot the tiniest bit of it because these are so exciting! The second one says that matter is an epiphenomena of mind, which makes infinite sense. In fact, it says there really is no matter except for the illusion of matter created by the mind.
The final one shows why science is more of a religion, the old priesthood has to die off before new, innovative ideas are accepted and by the time they are accepted they are already old and cliché, as a McLuhanite might point out.
Don’t you find this terribly exciting? Oh my, it is much, much more exciting then the dull old arguments of the Darwinists.
To me it suggests the Big Bang as it is conceived, never actually happened. The Universe just woke up from a long nap one day, discovered it was sentient, and started building things out of itself. One day, it wondered what the experience of not believing in itself would be like and created a scientist to disprove it’s existence. Eventually, in order to deny the existence of the Universe, the scientist had to invent the Whack-a-Mole game.
Of course the scientist is also the Universe so he has to whack himself quite a few times, thus inducing brain trauma and not soon thereafter we get the dogma that consciousness is an epiphenomena of matter, as inanely ludicrous as that is.
Maybe it’s not exactly what happened but it seems close enough to form a cultish belief system out of. And once one is capable of doing that, well then what more do facts and data matter?
Etremely interesting discussion. And I am glad to see that there are still men in the scientific community who are willing to look at the metaphysics of science.
What can it tell us? What are it’s limitations? Is it time-invariant?
It is interesting that there is somewhat of an agreement on the circular reasoning aspect of it. Science is a procedure based on a set of givens.
And it will not allow anything into it’s domain that doesn’t agree with the givens.
The givens being that there is a “causative conclusion” that can be derived by repeatable demonstrations.
If there is any failure of science (rather I should say shortcoming) it is that causative IS NOT the same as repeatability.
Here’s an example, since Independence day just passed.
I unstring a bunch of firecrackers and put them in a box.
I light a match and throw it in the box.
The match simply burns out.
I light another match and throw it in.
A huge bunch of explosions occur!
Now, there is no doubt the match was causative. There is also no doubt that it DID NOT repeat. I know some of the scientific oriented will give me a thousand reasons why this is not really “science” or whatever, but I maintain my position.
A person prays for a relative, and the relative gets well.
Another person prays for their relative, and the relative passes.
Now, JUST BECAUSE this does not seem to be repeatable, that DOES NOT imply that the first persons prayer was not “causative”.
Now, even if everything that is “Knowable” was somehow recorded, we are told that there are things we can never know. Godel said that. Heisenberg said that.
A. S. Eddington addressed the issues in a brilliant essay called “The Domain of Physical Science”. He admits the limitations of science, and explains that it is not sciences fault. Science MUST because of it’s boundaries and methodologies, EXCLUDE AND NOT ACKNOWLEDGE things that cannot be tested or modeled with its methods. Eddington calls it the difference between the emperical and the mystical.
There is no question that the set of (knowable&unknowable) things is larger than the set of (knowable) things. In my opinion, spectacularly larger. For instance, a little math will tell you that the number of states (velocity, momentum, position, angular momentum) in 18 grams of water is a fantastically huge number, 10^^200 or so. And 18 grams of water is a mole, you could hold it in your mouth!
It’s almost as if science needs to be triadic, instead of binary. Maybe (True False) needs to be replaced with (True False Maybe).
But then it would not be science. It would be something else.
Which, by itself, DOES NOT mean that it would be wrong, or would not work.
A. S. Eddington, The Domain of Physical Science from the collection Science, Religion, and Reality ed. Joseph Needham, The Macmillan Company Press, 1928