- A particular branch of scientific knowledge
- Ability to produce solutions in some problem domain
- Research into questions posed by scientific theories and hypotheses
Science is fascinating, don’t you think? I never liked it much at school, but that was probably because (a) I couldn’t understand it and (b) I couldn’t see the point of all the experiments we were doing. But recently I have become more interested in it.
Thanks to the endeavours of thousands of scientists around the world, we have learnt so much about the world we live in, and we have even learnt to control some parts of nature through it.
Unfortunately, science doesn’t make many friends in the religious arena, especially where it attempts to explain how the world was created. Big bang theory vs. Creationist theory.
Right now, I am sure there are hundreds of arguments going on as to who created the universe, and as you can imagine, both parties seem to be upset at the others’ stance. On the one side you have the scientists who use laws and models to do their intricate investigation, attempting to unravel the mysteries of the universe; and on the other, the religions just “believe” or have “faith” in the books written about god creating the universe. But both have one thing in common, they both seek truth.
- A fact that has been verified
- Conformity to reality or actuality
- A true statement
- The quality of being near to the true value
So what is this mysterious thing that the religions and the scientists are seeking? Truth. Such an innocuous little word but, has so much power behind it. What I want to know is, can we ever find the truth of everything?
Will we know so much through scientific enquiry that we can finally say: “Yes sir! We’ve got it! We know everything.” Unfortunately, history has taught us “that it ain’t necessarily so!”
I do not have room for all the scientific theories that have been disproved over the years, and remember that science has been in existence in one shape or form for many thousands of years, so why do the scientists keep saying: “Yes, that’s definitely the truth, that’s definitely the way it works?”
Now don’t get me wrong, I think the scientists do a wonderful job, but as a friend recently told me “science can explain how things work, but not why, that’s not our domain.” So why do scientists keep telling us they have the answers, why do they pretend to be universal authorities on everything, when science is still in infanthood (maybe just out of nappies!)
“Oh, but we know so much more now, we have much more sophisticated instruments, we have supercomputers, a more complex modelling software, we’ll find out the truth soon enough,” say the world’s best authorities, and we believe them, because it all sounds so convincing. They have amazing experiments that “prove” things.
We don’t have to go back far in our history books to find sir isaac newton (1642-1727), one of the world’s most eminent scientists, whose theories were widely accepted until an unknown scientist disproved some of them nearly 200 years later! That scientist was albert einstein (1879-1955), whose theories on relativity are now widely accepted.
Tell me how many years (given we have plenty of “time”) will it take for einstein’s theories to be disproved?
“But we know that man came from the apes, we have evidence, we have traced him back millions of years. We have skeletons, we have fossils, we have evidence!”
And that, my friends, is what the religious crowd are missing at the moment, evidence. Sure they’ve got their texts (which are the word of god), they have some miracles, and erm, what else? Anyone?
Unfortunately, their theories don’t have hard facts behind them, just a lot of belief (vague idea in which some confidence is placed). So in this instance I feel slightly sorry for them. The wolves are closing in. The evolutionary biologists, the physicists, the chemists, the mathematicians, they are all working hard to disprove the creationist theory; but I can tell you one thing, given what we know about the nature of truth (not a lot), there is as much chance of there being an all powerful supernatural being who created the world, as there not being.
So we found a few bones, so we did a bit of geological research, but like the religious lot, I sometimes find it hard to believe we originated from the apes, and weren’t created just as we are. It just doesn’t make sense to me.
We are told by the scientists that we have been evolving for millions of years, so does that mean we will keep evolving? Will we not stay like this forever? And one more thing. If we evolved from the apes, why haven’t they evolved into humans?
To a “serious” scientist these might sound like stupid questions, but I want to know. Perhaps some scientist would be kind enough to fill me in? But although the scientists think they have evidence, perhaps they are just making the science fit the idea? (something that was done to prove that a certain race of people were in fact, not the same species as us, amongst other dubious scientific experiments done in the past.) How do we know the truth of it all, can someone else tell us this truth?
A science (or group of related sciences) dealing with the logic of quantity and shape and arrangement
The mathematicians think they can. And as a friend recently said to me: “alan, everything in life is mathematics.” And she went on to explain how developing a model (a hypothetical description of a complex entity or process) using specific language (mathematical notation), they could predict almost anything.
She explained that the egyptians had developed mathematics for practical use over 2000 years before the birth of christ, and that the ancient babylonians had invented a position system based on the number 60, which is still in use today (if you look at your watch or a clock you will know what I am talking about). She also explained the role of the chinese, the mayans and the indians in developing mathematics, and that it is used now in economics, politics, and the natural sciences. It was all a bit hard for me to take in, but I understood one important point and that was that it was all about relationships.
So I sat down to think about it, and suddenly I realised; of course; if we didn’t have numbers and a way to compare them, how would you add up your shopping? How would you know which product was the cheapest? How would you know what was later and what was earlier?
If I had no numbers (the property possessed by a sum or total or indefinite quantity of units or individuals, A concept of quantity involving zero and units) to use, how could I measure anything?
It seemed to me the invention of numbers and a method of comparing them was a crucial turning point in Man’s history. But they are something we take for granted today, aren’t they?
“Oh, I missed the 10.35 train, I’ll catch the 11.35.”
It seems so simple to say, but what is a number? Is it something real? Is it something inherent in the universe? Well, actually they are man-made, but all the religions in the world give some numbers greater significance than others; such as the number 3, also known as the trinity (the union of the father and son and holy ghost in one godhead) and 666, the number of the beast. We even have mysterious superstitions about the number 13 being unlucky, even though it is just the sum of twelve and one.
But why use numbers to describe these things? After all, numbers are just man-made ways to compare things in a relationship. I couldn’t believe that there was anything more intrinsic (belonging to a thing by its very nature) in them. Numbers were man-made concepts.
But I started to wonder about whether a natural form of mathematics existed in the brain, something that was inherent, not created by thought. I wondered why we found some faces more attractive or ugly, or why we liked certain body shapes better than others.
The scientists would tell you we like these shapes because of the way we respond to them sexually. So we like a woman with large eyes, small nose, full lips, large breasts, flat stomach, rounded bottom and long legs, because these shapes are what arouse us sexually. But that couldn’t be the truth of it, after all, in some countries the men dislike skinny women, and instead opt for more plump figures, so perhaps it is just cultural?
Perhaps it’s to do with the relationship between the dimensions of each of the individual body parts, and there is much evidence to support that. One part being half the length of another, or double, or equal to another. I wasn’t sure at all. Was there some secret numbering system going on in everyone’s mind that could tell them everything they needed to know without having to think about it?
The problem was, I couldn’t be sure what was going on!
We used comparison on a daily basis. “I’m richer than you;” “you’re more powerful than I am;” but what could mathematics really tell us about the nature of everything? After all, it seemed to deal more in probabilities and possibilities than truth. My friend explained.
“My grandfather had a car accident the other day. With mathematics we could develop a model to predict, not only how probable it was that he was going to have an accident, but also why it happened. To find out why the accident happened, we would need to measure the speed he was going at (the other car was stationary), then we would need to measure the tyres and the depth of the tread, the surface of the road, the camber of the road, and the weather.”
“But how do you account for the fact that he may have looked away for a second, or his friend distracted him, or he thought of something which took his mind off the road, or a song came on the radio he liked, in fact there could be a myriad of possibilities!”
She looked at me and smiled.
“That, alan,” is the human error we factor in to all calculations.”
“What?” I said. “Then we are no nearer reaching the truth than we were when we started! But tell me how you can measure how probable it was that he was going to have an accident?”
“Well,” she said, “He doesn’t normally go out in the car, so the probability that he was going to have an accident would be very, very low, but that day, my aunt phoned him, to invite him to his granddaughter’s birthday party, so the probability went up. The weather conditions made the road icy, so again the probability went up, and the time he was driving meant that there were more cars on the road. But,” she explained, “if the other driver had had an argument with his boss, and had left work angry, and was driving carelessly, then the probability would go up. Also, you had to factor in his tyres, and whether he was distracted. And you could factor in that if my grandfather had been driving a little quicker, then he would never had met the car because the car would not yet have arrived at the roundabout, but then there could have been another car who was in a hurry and the accident could have happened anyway….”
I think I had heard enough. All this science could do was predict possibilities, but it was pure chance, or as some of the more superstitious among you might say, luck (or bad luck in grandfathers case!).
- An unknown and unpredictable phenomenon that causes an event to result one way rather than another
- A possibility due to a favourable combination of circumstances
- A measure of how likely it is that some event will occur; a number expressing the ratio of favourable cases to the whole number of cases possible
So how are we doing? Are we starting to understand truth or, thanks to “human error,” can we never possibly predict everything?
You see, human is what we are, and we make the rules that govern science; and we also make the mathematical models.
Is there a chance, even a small chance, we may make a mistake? After all, we always have to factor in human error. I’m sure if there are any scientists reading this, they will be livid by now, saying that’s not how they work, and they test everything against all possibilities. But they can never know the truth of it all, because science is developed by thought, and thought is limited, due to the constraints on it by memory, knowledge, conditioning and experience. Do you understand?
So here we are, back to square one, where the creationists have as much chance of being right as the scientists; but I am not going to start another argument about who has the most evidence, this whole topic of conversation has become, shall we say, a little tedious!
I don’t think it matters whether or not the world was created by chance, due to favourable conditions existing in the universe, or by a supernatural being, do you? Why would it? We are here. The end.
But of course, due to Man’s inquisitive nature, he just can’t help asking the questions why and how! And don’t get me wrong, scientific discovery has done a lot of good for the human race, but it has also done a lot of harm in the development of weapons and poisons, to name just two. So, in order to find out truth, we must not discount both theories, but merely pay no attention to them; they are, after all, just theories.
“But we seek truth” say all of you, “where will we find it?”
But let me ask you a question: What is truth, is it really something solid? Is it something that can be told to everyone and they just say: “Oh yes, of course, how silly of me?” Of course not, it’s like me telling you the answer is E=mc2.
What would that mean to you?
It would probably mean as much to you as it does to me – nothing. We are told it is an important equation, but can you see what it is just by looking at it? It is the same with all scientific books and religious texts. They present an answer.
“And man was created in god’s, image…”
But that’s the equivalent of writing the answer to all life’s problems is L= C+E2 x sum(S2 – 3.023). Does that mean anything to you?
Well, believe it or not, that is the formula I have created to explain everything. From now on you don’t need to understand yourself, you don’t need to be compassionate and loving, you don’t need to explore everything you are and everything you think, you don’t need to deconstruct yourself and break free from society’s rules and regulations. This formula is the truth. I have been working on it for many years and I promise you it is the answer. I WOULD NOT LIE TO YOU. This is the truth. Believe it.
L= C+E2 x sum(S2 – 3.023)
This is the answer to all of your problems
This is absolute truth
Blah, blah, blah
Funnily enough, as I found out, truth is a kind of personal thing, it’s not something you can share with others, it may not even be absolute truth, it is just your truth and in fact the answer is irrelevant, it’s how you get there that matters (as any science teacher will tell you!)
by alan macmillan orr
‘the natural mind – waking up’