So I basically agree with this post. However, I want to state what I believe is a TRULY important distinction.
You say, ‘There are many scientists that entertain and encourage these trains of thoughts, so one cannot simply blame the layman.’ This is very true, but what I was trying to assert in my post, ‘The Universe,’ is fairly different than what you are asserting.
Disclaimer: The definition of science I am about to state is rarely actually used even by scientists. When I used the term science, I simply speak of the method, which FUNDAMENTALLY has ABSOLUTELY NOTHING TO DO with humans. In its purest science, is independent of humanity. You don’t need a human to do it. The results have to bearing on humanity and most importantly there is no emotional value to it.
I called the universe, ’simply a closed system.’ What I meant was that from observations we assert the existence of a big bang. A face value there IS NO reason that this should have been a preferred conclusion or assertion. Science (tried to) ‘assign’ an initial probability to all solution and then pared down the possibilities into a group of most likely realities that matched observations. It just so happens that this led us to a ‘BIG BANG’ theory. THIS IS IMPORTANT!!! This means that scientist did NOT go looking for a ‘Genisis’ like description of the our cosmos (i.e. a beginning, middle, end etc.). It just so happened that when they did go looking we more or less ’stumbled upon’ this solution. We did not specifically want it or did we change our data to make it appear as such. In the purest sense The DATA say there was a big bang NOT humans.
What DID happen, however, is that the INTERPRETATION (not the result itself) is what emulates Genesis. This is is an important distinction that I think that even most scientists neglect to acknowledge.
Brian Greene did say, “for the first time in the history of physics we therefore have a framework with the capacity to explain every fundamental feature upon which the universe is constructed.”
By reading this statement, you can almost hear the excitement (emotion) in his voice. This somehow means that this result is exciting, because even though we didn’t anticipate it, there serendipitously exists a fundamental similarity between what the DATA tells us and what we wanted (but lied and said we were indifferent) to happen.
The reason that I posted this response is because, I think this statement is misleading “for the first time in the history of the physics we have tempted ourselves into sculpting a fixed definition of a fundamental feature of the universe and indulged in the notion that such a definition encapsulates reality, which is right in line with our mythmaking inclinations as humans.”
It may be true that scientists indulge and can tempt themselves. Data does not. Thus I think we need to be careful to separate scientists for data (science) when talking about claims of science like the big bang or evolution.
I see what you’re saying and like your points.
I feel like I am trying to submerge a rubber ball into a pool. Each time it bobs above the water again I am surprised.
Scientific method works – it is a breakthrough in the powers of observation. We collect rigorous data and from this test hypothesis and draw conclusions.
It is a testament to cooperation.
Science works like a language game – based in the moment. Cataloguing data as precisely as possible and then applying this data in various specified ways.
However, to theorize a “fundamental feature upon which the universe is constructed” is problematic no matter how one tries to tackle it. It is a description of data, but ventures into a whole new realm, storytelling, which is embedded in our culture. That is what I crudely tried to say with “mythmaking tendencies.”
Science is beyond words, except that we “know how to use it” – just as we know how to play music. We know how to function within reality without struggling to define it.
I agree that a good start is understanding data from claims of science. We talked about this earlier, to encourage people to examine the way that we value and perpetuate systems. I feel concerned about the way people obey our mythos (the “way-things-are”) and elevate it to deity-like status. It seems to enervate our powers as living things constantly making decisions. Maybe science has little to do with this and I am aiming at the wrong target.
Perhaps our goal is to examine closely how we arrive at the “way-things-are.” From this we can perhaps make educated observations to try and make sense of our lives. I feel like this is how the scientific method came about originally.
WE are essential to reality/existence/whatever. We create our reality, and not merely in our minds. Most importantly, the creation is based in action.
There is of course many more things to be said but I gotta run. Good discussion!
I guess I was playing a bit of defense for science, for the sole reason that people tend to completely oversimplify it and its results regularly. I felt as though some of the language you used, if not interpreted with context could obscure the what the actual practice of science actually is (which by the way is a wildly and widely misconstrued topic).
Science itself can’t really say much at all. That’s a plain truth. Any other interpretation requires faith or extrapolation to an ‘actual reality.’ Thus, when I say I want to play defense I really mean I want to demote (or keep) science from a ‘higher’ overarching principle of reality to what it is: a method that can be useful for describing and predicting what appear to be phenomena of our reality.
Much of the difference between what people interpret science to be and what science to be comes from exactly what you are saying: mythological tendencies, desires for a fundamental feature upon which the universe is constructed, and the USEFULNESS of accepting a paradigm as reality.
As you say, ‘interpretation of data… is problematic no matter how you tackle it.’ This is something that is very important as a scientist, because people (scientist being guilty as well) tend to add meaning, where none should be assigned. This is faith. Experiments will tell that a model matches data to XXX %, however it is commonplace to use faith to assume that if XXX % is low enough (who know what enough means) that I the model is ‘correct.’ However, science and data never actually tell you that it is right they best they can do is tell you that it is this close. The interpretation of which lends itself well to mythology and human desires and tendencies.
We can only offer a description of reality accurate to how well we can measure it, everything else MUST be taken on faith. Most people neglect to realize this ‘leap of faith’ it takes to go from a scientific result to the fundamental feature upon which the universe is constructed.
I guess it’s this leap of faith that needs to be defined so we really understand what science is and what its limitations are.
Peace out, I gotta go do some science.