Thursday, September 27, 2012

Science mythology

I am a trained scientist and science teacher.  I have done real science (only a very small amount, but I counted prairie dog burrows for 3 weeks for the BLM) I say this to preface what I am about to say.

Science is a myth. It is almost a religion. It has it's own orthodoxy, it's own priesthood and even it's own robes. Now don't get me wrong, because I love science. I actually even agree with the orthodoxy, but it's important for us to come to terms with some things.

Early mythology, legend and belief systems were fundamentally and basically established on a couple of principles.  People observed phenomena and needed explanations.  With limited powers of observations they generated the best explanations possible.  This often involved invoking supernatural beings, beings that existed beyond the visible world. Forces outside of their ability to actually observe but real.

Is science any different.  we have dozens of forces, particles, strings and even dark matter that can't be observed only predicted and hypothesized.  Our Scientific explanations aren't fundamentally better than any other explanations.  They are based on more observations but still require, like the early explanations a certain amount of trust, acceptance of certain premises, faith if you will.  But viewed from inside science gets that.  Really good scientists know that they are seeing as through a glass darkly, the truths they want to someday fully bring to light.  So do all seekers of truth, they understand that the truth is absolute, but our understanding of it is relative to our own position.

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