“Best Possible So Far” and Other Provisional Explanations

I’m into a small series of scientific blogs…

Science and art have this in common: they both need an imagination to work. Without imagination science wouldn’t have any new hypotheses or theories to measure, so contrary to popular opinion scientists do have an imagination. Where the artists’ imagination embellishes and transforms reality the scientists’ imagination creates abstract models which they then measure against reality thus testing whether their ideas conform to reality. Next, someone else replicates their methods to double check whether the results are replicable or not. In a way scientists actually look to have their dreams dashed to the ground! They seem to enjoy it…

Now they call this “objective”, but all it does is measure up various people’s subjective imaginary theories to nature, making it an “intersubjective” reflection of objective reality. And it’s just a way to accurately describe and explain nature, not to tell us what is true or not. So also contrary to popular opinion, what science says isn’t true; it’s just the best explanation so far! It’s provisional and subject to change and refinement. It’s falsifiable (i.e. all scientific statements leave room to be disproven). All scientific theories carry the implicit warning: “This is the best way we’ve found of explaining reality until further notice.” That “until further notice” is very important.

Anyway, what that means is we’re under no obligation to take science seriously because it’s as subject to subjective fantasy as art or religions are (although a bit more rigorous in testing its ideas).


2 thoughts on ““Best Possible So Far” and Other Provisional Explanations

  1. coming from AODA forum link in 2016!!… scientific models as our best explanations and tools for understanding and working with the unknowable reality (quantum this and that, strings, black hole singularities, cats) as compared to religions being models of our best explanations and tools for understanding and working with the unknowable mystery… I am fascinated by both and view science and religion from very similar viewpoints and approaches… P. S. on Science and Art… ever read “Proust was a Neuroscientist” by Jonah Lehrer? fun read, one of the books I tend to keep around.

    • I think there’s a real place for science and religion, I’m consider myself a physicalist (all things have their basis in physical existence), but with the caveat that the human mind doesn’t function like this, so there are aspects of art and religion that are essential to human existence.
      Sounds like a good book, I may have to look it up. Thanks!

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