To have an accurate measure of the knowledge of science, or to be more precise the relative knowledge in relation to the truth of reality, I sometimes like to take myself outside the box, and look at what intelligent people and natural philosophy (science by another name) thought in the past, and see how things have developed.
It is fascinating to discover that throughout history scientists discovered patterns and deduced theories which were believed as fact only for them to be changed over time. Would a scientist of the enlightened age have come up with something different if he were to live during those days and only have the knowledge and tools available to people then, without the incremental advancement of experimental tools? I have to say they would and we would think of them as ignorant as we do with others during that time.
“Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic” Arthur C Clark. It is only logical to postulate that people of the future would think scientists of this age are ignorant. I sometimes wonder how contemporary science is convinced they are close to explaining reality to the point of dismissing anything not scientific as non-existing.
To give a simple example. Scientist, although admitting they know very little about the brain, proclaim that the mind and brain are one. This may be true, but not scientific, since it cannot be shown with any accuracy either way. We still know very little about consciousness or Qualia to state they don’t exist separately and are only emergent properties of brain stuff. Lacking sufficient evidence scientists would be following on the same footsteps as their ignorant predecessors.
To take use a simple analogy, let’s pretend someone took a radio controlled toy car and used a hypothetical time machine to go back in time only 150 years ago, and hidden from view, used the radio control to move the toy car in front of the most imminent scientists of that age, what would they think. It would not be far-fetched to think they would say the toy car was alive, autonomous, and had a brain. They would also most likely believe the brain of the car which it uses are all within the car, and would dismiss anyone who would suggest this car to have any influence from outside or from any phenomena which cannot be observed, such as Radio Waves.
Of course now a days, we know about Radio Waves and that they are invisible to our eyes, but not to our censors, but does this mean we know there is no other invisible natural phenomena transmitting information which eludes our most advanced censors. Not only would it be absurd think so, but actually quantum entanglement does just that, but ask any scientist what method these entangled particle are able to pass information, and they wouldn’t.
To put out there a statement declaring as fact that all our consciousness, thoughts, and spiritual experiences are induced by the brain, without anything being invisible or invisibly transmitted from outside because science can’t detect anything except the brain is analogous to a radio controlled car being looked at the same way 150 years ago, except that we know much less about the brain, than scientists would know about the toy car, if they analyzed it then.
You know at first I was unsettled from realizing we have no idea what consciousness is, but I think the best way I can find myself to look at it is by knowing we are all searching within and around us for any semblance of truth we can get.
Of course I mean the absolute stuff. But as you were pointing out in this post it’s incredibly hard for us in our circumstances to know everything. Even the degree of certainty are blurred by error and history.
You keep writing these great posts. I would like to nominate you for a sunshine award. What do ya say?
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I’m glad you like the blog Comfy. Just remember, without interactions, and the help of other people and books, as well as our interactions, I wouldn’t have much to say, so I consider this an output from our collective system. You’d be surprised the influence that you have. For starters you as well as another blogger made me understand that diversity (different and even opposing point of views) if applied correctly is a strength.
I am a scientist at heart and because of this I feel it is sometimes important to play “Devils Advocate” by undertstanding the limitations of science. Science to me is not about facts, because there are no absuolutes, it’s about convincing people. If enough people experience the same thing, then that is just as good as any scientific so called fact and cannot be discounted because it cannot be measured.
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