Scientific snobbery

12/23/2008 at 7:43 pm (thoughts)

In chapter 1 of Michael Brooks’ book, “13 Things that Don’t Make Sense,” he writes (emphasis his):

“We are privilidged to live in the golden age of cosmology; we know an enormous amount about how the cosmos came to be, how it evolved to its current state, and yet we don’t actually know what most of it is.”

I’m sorry, but am I the only person who sees something wrong with the idea that we can know how a thing began but not know what the thing is?

It was this very scientific insanity that was the topic of Wendell Berry’s book, “Life is a Miracle.” Which is a very good book.

I picked up the book which I quoted at the beginning of this post because of its title, “13 Things that Don’t Make Sense.” The author details several scientific phenomenon which don’t make sense according to our current rules. And yet he includes a statement such as the one I quoted.

We don’t “know” a single thing about how the cosmos was created or how it “evolved” to its current state. We cannot know. None of us were there.

We can make inferences based on observation, and make theories according to those inferences. But that’s just a fancy way of saying “guesswork.”

I am personally convinced that we humans don’t know squat about the world around us. And that most of what we think we know is just plain wrong.

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