Quora – Does the fact that no alternative sense-making platform has yet proved itself to be the equal of science mean science is right or does it suggest an extreme lack of innovation and imagination on humanity’s part?

Does the fact that no alternative sense-making platform has yet proved itself to be the equal of science mean science is right or does it suggest an extreme lack of innovation and imagination on humanity’s part?

[ 17/3/20 ]

Science doesn’t do “right”.

Science does – “seems more probable than the alternatives based in the evidence sets I have examined”.

Science is based in the willingness to question, the willingness to accept and live with uncertainty.

Science is not simple. It will take you into as much complexity and uncertainty as you can handle if you are willing to keep on asking questions.

For me, it has been a half century journey into realms of uncertainty I never imagined possible when I started out looking for Truth. In respect of reality (as distinct from systems of mathematics and logic) capital “T” Truth now has a similar sort of existence as “Santa Claus”.

If there is a truth in reality, it seems to be something like: reality is, and we are, more complex than we can possibly imagine. And that seems to me to be a very interesting thing indeed.

Sometimes reality demands of us that we make decisions very quickly on very limited information. That demands that we use simple models in such situations. That doesn’t mean that the world is as simple as the model we used, it only means that the model that we used was good enough to be useful in that context. Most of what passes for culture seems to be structures of that general class, at various levels of complexity, that survived through biological and cultural time scales.

Science is no different in a sense, but the models we select are constantly tested by experiment, and are always open to falsification. Scientists accept that all models are probably wrong, and most are useful in some set of contexts.

In the case of science, reality is always the final arbiter of the degree of utility present in any particular model in any specific context.

About Ted Howard NZ

Seems like I might be a cancer survivor. Thinking about the systemic incentives within the world we find ourselves in, and how we might adjust them to provide an environment that supports everyone (no exceptions) - see www.tedhowardnz.com/money
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