The Other I

May 26, 2011

Scientific fact, truth and mystery

Filed under: Intriguing Science — theotheri @ 7:38 pm

The public has a distorted view of science, because children are taught in school that science is a collection of firmly established truths.

In fact, science is not a collection of truths.  It is a continuing exploration of mysteries.

Wherever we go exploring in the world around us, we find mysteries.

  • Our planet is covered by continents and oceans whose origin we cannot explain.
  • Our atmosphere is constantly stirred by poorly understood disturbances that we call weather and climate.
  • The visible matter in the universe is outweighed by a much larger quantity of dark invisible matter that we do not understand at all.
  • The origin of life is a total mystery.
  • And so is the existence of human consciousness.  We have no clear idea how the electrical discharges occurring in nerve cells in our brains are connected with our feelings and desires and actions.
  • Even physics, the most exact and most firmly established branch of science, is full of mysteries.

excerpt from The New York Review of Books March 10, 2011, How We Know Freeman Dyson, reviewing The Information:  A History, a Theory, a Flood by James Gleick

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