We are at a stage where a succinct definition of reality can’t be made but let me put it clear that the aim of this article is not to take an advantage of this irony and shed light on what we do not know nor to prophesize certain paradigms on how we could know better. This article is an observation of science in the retrospect so that its evolution form a tiny, common knuckle-dagger to the most aspirational endeavor of humanity can be judged and weighed into to see if it does what it is meant for.
The purpose of science is fundamentally geared to describe reality; the reality that we know very much by the name of nature. From formulating elegant equations based on ingenious understanding of the subject matter to making particular observations for the sake of drawing general principles, science exhibits a wider range of behavior. Given that science is a human endeavor, it is probable that it is compromised by certain margins of error and be infested by the ‘subjective’ that we as conscious creatures are known for. In order that didn’t happen with science and it attained that universality and objectivity unlike any other thing, it was realized that science needs to be constrained to a strictly physical universe. The question of the domain of the unheard, untouched, unseen, untold is hardly considered by science and the scientists since then.
But may be that happened all for a good reason. Anyone who considers that plethora of data and information, including our understanding of the place we live in, will appreciate that in no time. Often, it shouldn’t be a matter of what one thinks of science, especially since science has established itself as a coherent system of logic and reason, structured on the dynamics of models and supported by evidence. But to some disappointment, an evidence-based verdict being the only ground for science is quite frustrating for if evidence is not the ultimate razor, science is likely to fall miserably. In order to remain promised as much as its definition (description of the nature and the reality), either the domain of science should be made wider in its scope by expanding it beyond the physical or its definition should be scaled down to a limited domain of the experimental and hence physical, making a room for some other framework to look into the unexplored. May be it’s time for just another ‘paradigm shift’.
A harsh claim like this one upon something like science that has proven itself over the years, shouldn’t come without solid reason. But when we look at the history of science, it is also not that science had a solid past. The course of science in many cases has been that of a ‘trial and error’ and there are many cases where it has worked very rhetorically. A very compelling example would be that of the Copenhagen Interpretation of Quantum mechanics in the late 1920s. Science that is based on a logical, rational exploration of the reality quite blatantly adopted the framework that ‘reality exists independent of observation’, without any slightest evidence to conclude so. Nevertheless, given the complexity of the subject associated therein, we can always understand and appreciate the sudden scientific urge to do so.
Now, almost over a century later, such effrontery is costing science miserably. There are many elegant scientific theories that are otherwise better than mainstream theories when it comes to describing the reality, except that those are not experimental and hence not verifiable. For worse, many of these elegant theories contradict the conventional notion of ‘time’, ‘space’ and ‘causality’ upon which our understanding is based. Presuming our scientific saturation too early in the pursuit of rigorous claims is what went wrong with science, the price to which we are paying now. We are lost in a mayhem of logically inconsistent, irreconcilable but equally elegant theories at hand. What are we supposed to do with these? Change definition of ourselves in response to that and adapt to new understanding or keep on being callous and persistent no matter what?
Were it not for the consequence that the present science has frozen into limits and singularities, a total revamp of our conventional scientific wisdom wouldn’t have become absolutely necessary. Science seems to have been dumped into a loophole created by itself in a periphery of limitations everywhere.
Unlike philosophies of the West that more or less are geared towards science and objectivity, almost all major Eastern schools of thought like Hinduism, Taoism, Buddhism have never ceased to acknowledge the unknown. In fact, such unknown is the central touchstone of these philosophies. The Cartesian Dualism of the 17th century enunciated by René Descartes, though spirited the following Western science, terminated the ground for any aspiring philosophy of the unknown to prosper.
In the midst of heated discussion regarding the matter of whether a god exists or not or whether supernatural forces exist or not, a claim such as this is sure to look like being inspired from the divine deliberations of a lonely mind, longing for a dose of love and affection from its creator. But as a matter of fact, it follows directly from the very spirit of ‘scientific naturalism’ and is atypical of any conservative debates such as this.
Let me stand on scientific grounds and try to justify my arguments from Bayesian analysis.
Evidences suggest that the universe is much younger than we do realize. We stand at the speck of mere 14 billion years in a scale of universe that is likely to host stars and galaxies trillions years old. The all we know is less than 5% of all that’s possible and very regretfully, what we know so far is very confusing except the fact that ‘the Earth isn’t the center of the universe’. It wasn’t long ago that we lived in the forests as hunters and gatherers and things like whether Bush bombed America still deserve our tag of ‘conspiracy theory’. What are we here to claim for? Why are we robbing any prospect of better science for the future by being more parochial to making the same mistakes again?
It is very probable that the so called ‘unknown’ discussed throughout the article is nothing but an ‘illusion of complexity’ but to rely on that assumption and continue presuming, is sure to take us nowhere. It’s time that we refine our science and structure it to look more into ourselves, unlearn what went wrong and transform it to something more wider and purposeful, more elegant and resourceful. Let us not ignore problems when they are complicated and miss the track for all what is to come. Rather let’s be more enriched and learn to have patience to deal with problems that we do not know about and let us not be limited by the paradigms that we create for ourselves. Let us learn to dig into the deepest mysteries possible by acknowledging what we already have at our disposal and let’s never cease to go beyond what we have. Let’s fucking do science.