What is Truth?

From David Coppedge:

There is a view of science that doubts man’s ability to comprehend reality as it is.  The job of science, many have argued, is to organize experience to give us a degree of explanation, prediction and control – not to comprehend reality.  This is a pragmatic view.  If by using the equations of quantum mechanics we can make lasers and geiger counters and cell phones, and explain why a spectrum has broad emission lines, that’s all fine and good.  It may have nothing to do with reality.  Why?  Because there is no way we can get outside of our experience to compare our theories with reality and see if there is a good fit.  A corollary is that scientific knowledge is never universal, timeless, necessary and certain.  It is only tentative.  It is the best we can do for now.

Generally, real scientists can’t stop complaining about philosophers and their useless, non-empirical speculations. However, when it comes to some particularly satisfying “theories of everything,” philosophy is just too tempting.

And for uneducated, superstitious Science worshippers, a satisfyingly complex and esoteric “theory of everything” may be their only reason for living. Thus we have the modern “scientific” fields of inquiry such as evolutionary psychology, sociobiology, astrobiology, computational evolutionary biology, cosmology, and string theory.

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