Thursday, January 19, 2012

"There are more things..."

A small example of the largely vain public debates about "proper" science today is provided at, focusing upon one individual who rants about climate change, against the "deniers", in the media. The scientific skeptics of the climate "consensus" are outraged that they should be wrongly linked with "creationists" by that individual, and others. Here is my view on the matter:

It doesn't matter what subject you exclude from "proper scientific discussion", the mere fact that you do so means you need to first learn one thing above all else, if you even hope to become a true scientist, someday:

"There are more things in heaven and earth than are dreamt of in your philosophy, Horatio."

There are even objective and compelling reasons behind the ancient belief that the world was flat (no, it is not literally, physically true, but as a cogent metaphor, for an anciently-organized and literally overwhelming system, of physical facts (!), hidden for all of recorded history behind the misdirected concreteness of ancient myth and other earliest religious dogma, there is a world -- even a universe -- of understanding behind it).

Until you learn Shakespeare's immortal warning, above, once and for all, you are only a child, playing childish games in the nursery. As Isaac Newton famously said of himself:

"I do not know what I may appear to the world, but to myself I seem to have been only like a boy playing on the sea-shore, and diverting myself in now and then finding a smoother pebble or a prettier shell than ordinary, whilst the great ocean of truth lay all undiscovered before me."

I have learned enough to actually swim in that (literally) great ocean -- where no one, scientist or not, has ever swum before. And you can too, if you forsake petty squabbling about what is "proper" to investigate scientifically, and determinedly seek the truth -- physical, mental, or spiritual -- wherever it leads.

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