the one-eyed sister and the blind

If Science were a person, She would

  • be expert at pulling things apart, but less skilled at putting things together
  • be highly skilled at describing, but less skilled at explaining
  • know a lot of the "what", "when" and "where", and something of the "how", but very little of the "who", and almost nothing of the "why"
  • know a lot about the existence and nature of (some) things, but nothing about the purpose of anything.
But what about all the great stuff She's given us over the years?

The limitations of science would be greatly outweighed by the benefits She delivers were it not for the unfortunate, unexpected and unwanted side-effects She produces, such as the hole in Gaia's veil. If we accept Science at face value, if we accept Her --- unmodified and uncontextualised --- as She is, all we can realistically hope to get from Her are

  • piles of bits that once comprised wholes
  • a partial understanding of the nature of things
  • zero understanding of the meaning of things.
The limitations of science would not be a problem were it not for Her denial of those limitations. Not only is Science unable to provide all the answers, She stubbornly refuses to allow that anyone else can provide answers, even to those questions to which she herself has no answers. Finding no "why", Science blindly, spitefully and childishly insists there is none.

I sincerely hope She matures in time to curb the excesses of Her baby sister, Technology, and the crimes of Her elder brother, Organised Religion.

Confession: Of course, She's not quite as flawed as to the extent portrayed above. But She can't tell me where all the spiders have gone, which unfortunately for Her has pushed me to overreact somewhat. Meh. What you gonna do.

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Nessa said...

Science is another religion that steadfastly believes it has all of the answers and every other belief system is wrong.

masterymistery said...

Hi Nessa, Science is only 50% wrong measured against your comment: Science is incorrect to believe it has all the answers, but correct that every other belief system is wrong (at least in one respect or other)!

Thanks for stopping by.

MM

cordieb said...

And why, pray tell, does she have to be a she. LoL.... Sounds more like stubborn personality of those who are more infused with testosterone to me. Scientifically speaking...LoL.

Peace Light and Love, C.

Shubhajit said...

Science is based on mathematical calculation. Like a typical conservative woman she always need a support system to back her theories. Science doesn't believe in herself but need some reasons and logic to fortify that believe. So, science has her limits and where she stops religion starts.

I dare say, I disagree with Nessa because religion is cry of every soul. True religion is the believe in ourselves. Have faith in yourself! The intensest love that humanity has ever known has come from religion, and the most diabolical hatred that humanity has known has also come from religion. Out of the midst of this din and turmoil, this strife and struggle, this hatred and jealousy of religions and sects, there have arisen, from time to time, potent voices, drowning all this noise - making themselves heard from pole to pole, as it were-proclaiming peace and harmony. Will it ever come with science? No she is just a flirt..i guess..

masterymistery said...

cordieb, yes in hindsight some of Science's shortcomings are masculine in nature. And of course nature herself is female! Thanks for stopping by.

Shubhajit, I like to make the distinction between organised religion, which tends to suppress the numinous, and spirituality, which does not.

Actually, in hindsight this is one of those posts that I bashed out in a hurry without really thinking it through... I'm not nearly as fanatically rabidly anti-science as the post makes out.

Thanks for your comments.

budh.aaah said...

You write so beautifully, what would sound mundane to a layman..well you make it interesting.

masterymistery said...

well thank you, budh.aaah, I appreciate the compliment. Regards, MM

budh.aaah said...

Well as long Frank zappa didnt sing that song for me :) I am ok

mgeorge said...

As an anology to science, in one of his SF-fantasy novels, Fred Saberhagen describes a powerful spirit at the service of a warlock. It answers any question in the how, how-to, why etc. categories, provided it is asked precisely the right question.

The limitations of science include politics, corruption, dogma and outlook, the scientific method itself, maths (its limitations),
nature (limitations) of knowledge in general, and the overwhelming quantity of knowledge.

Again, let me indulge in a few quotes:
"The subtlety of nature is greater many times over than the subtlety of argument." - Francis Bacon, New Instrument, 1620
"True wisdom comes... when we realize how little we understand about life, ourselves, and the world around us." - Socrates
"When a finger points at the moon, the imbecile examines the finger." - Gauthama Buddha
"The theory determines what can be observed." - Albert Einstein, discussion, 1926

Antares said...

Best to get used to triangulating - or better still, tetrahedroning - our approach to reality. In this instance, Science represents the Left Brain, Art the Right Brain, and Spiritual Wisdom the Heart. A tetrahedral knowledge system requires linking our left and right brains with our heart - as well as the root of our physical being.

masterymistery said...

mgeorge and Antares, thanks for visiting and for your very insightful comments.

mgeorge, love the quotes; together they represent a complex, profound and interesting view in relation to Science and her idiosyncrasies.. I must admit I don't think my post is fair and well-balanced. Anything but. Especially as science is not around to defend herself in this forum. You probably know the Einstein quote about the notion that "God does not play dice with the universe": (re the stochastic nature of quantum physics.) Also, from Newton: "If I have seen far it is because I have stood on the shoulders of giants".

Antares,

Yes, absolutely. The bleeding edge of cosmology, particularly among the string theorists, these days has it that the universe consists either of 10, 11, or 31 dimensions, but we don't know they're there because they are rolled up very small ("compactified"). How bizarre is that.

Personally I think there are an infinite number of dimensions to reality.

The left- vs right- brain issue is also interesting from a linguistics point of view, with the english word "sinister" deriving originally from the word meaning "left" and the word "dexter" deriving from the word meaning "right", and hence the related word "dextrous" (as in ambidextrous).

Another piece of triva: for "worst case" epileptics, there is a therapy that involves severing the "corpus callosum" the bundle of nerve fibres connecting the right with the left brain,.

Pretty drastic...

mgeorge said...

masterymistery,
The acolytes of a certain religion have been misquoting Einstein for a while. You can get the details at the wikiquotes site.

masterymistery said...

mgeorge, interesting page -- it would seem Einstein was very receptive to pantheism, which pleases me...

But I don't get the "acolytes of a certain religion" reference... Could you be more specific? sorry but I'm feeling a bit stupid today, more like torpid I suppose but you know what I mean...

Alice Audrey said...

Science has one quality that rises above and beyond most other systems of thought - something long sought or actively denied by religions. It has the ability to predict. Yes, it is, as you said, within limits. But even those restraints put it far above what we worked with before. We may not know what the future holds, but we do know that when you do certain things, you will cause certain effects.

It's a matter of taking all the piles and building them into working hypotheses.

As to the spiders, look them up by type for their habits and chances are you'll find them. Science to the rescue again. It's not finding them where science lets you down. It's opening your heart to them and accepting your own oneness of being with them.

masterymistery said...

Hi Alice,

yes I do feel I was unduly harsh and spiteful... and yes I haven't made any effort to access science to help explain where the spiders have gone...

I do feel, though, that the ability to make successful predictions, while valuable, is not as valuable as the ability to explain the meaning of the subject of the prediction.

For example, the phenomenon of quantum entanglement whereby particles at opposite ends of the universe are entangled with each other such that information can pass from one to the other, simultaneously (what Einstein referred to as "spooky action at a distance). Science can tell us what is happening, but not what it means. But philosophy / metaphysics can at least make a stab at helping us understand the meaning of quantum entanglement--- that it highlights, for example, the deep interconnectedness of all things, and the fundamentally illusory nature of the phenomenon that we describe as "space" and "time"

Does that make any sense? I don't know.... ?!?!

Thanks for visiting, and for your comments.

Anonymous said...

Thanks you for a very interesting dialogue. It certainly makes one think. Keep up the great effort!