One Answer

  1. There have been several major approaches to understanding the world over the course of our known human history. At first, when very little knowledge and experience was accumulated, mythological images of the world developed that were close to metaphorical, artistic and sensory perception. Then, when they accumulated enough contradictions, religious-rational approaches were used – understanding of order and value, creating ontologies and classifications. When excessive rigidity, internal inconsistency and incompleteness became clear, the impossibility of explaining the entire diversity of the world in this way, the non-obviousness of the initial premises, experimental science took over. Which postulated verifiability as a criterion of truth. But it, despite all its productivity, could not become a universal methodology. The fact is that science is also based on concepts created by human thought, and no matter how hard it tried, it could not get rid of this fact. And the same “something” can be described in different ways without losing the reliability of the description. Simplified-science can say “how” something happens, sometimes “why” something happens, but the question “what is it” – can not answer.

    Here are some typical examples that show the limitations of scientific knowledge:

    • Changing scientific paradigms (according to T. Kuhn): over time, science radically changes the way we look at things. For example, at first it is assumed that the sun revolves around the earth, and suddenly it turns out that it is the earth that revolves around the sun. Or, for example, it is assumed that the world can be explained as a mechanism, but suddenly it turns out that it is much more coherent and multidimensional, and you have to consider it as an organism, etc. (change of methodology). At any given time, this knowledge is considered “scientific”, but there is no law according to which it is true and cannot change.

    • Moreover, falsifiability (according to K. Popper) – the potential to refute a scientific theory-is a criterion of its scientific character. Otherwise, verification is not possible, and we can only talk about opinions. Thus, it is strictly impossible to prove the truth of a scientific theory. Only its falsity can be proved. Just one counter-example is enough, and if it doesn't appear now, it can always appear in the future.

    • Godel's incompleteness theorems show that any consistent formal system (“science”) contains a formula that is not deducible and irrefutable within the framework of this system. And also that it is not possible to prove the consistency of a formal system within its own framework.

    • Problems of modern quantum physics. You look at something as a wave-it shows the properties of a wave, you look at something as a particle – it shows the properties of a particle. And then what is it? It is quite obvious that both models are “slices”, “simplifications”, “points of view”. Although very productive in their respective fields. And what is there “really” – the devil knows. And the idea of the existence of a “universally true point of view” – in itself, it seems, has failed.

    • By and large, it is not even possible to say unequivocally whether this “actually” exists. Radical movements of thought in this direction are called solipsism – when the existence of a world outside of thought is denied altogether. Which, of course, is also most likely a simplification.

    • Einstein's special and general theories of relativity combined previously separate concepts: space, time, and gravity. And we made a number of predictions from this, which are confirmed one by one experimentally. From gravitational lensing (distortion of the image that reaches us around large celestial bodies) and time distortions (GPS satellites use corrections to compensate for them), to gravitational waves experimentally discovered last year – ripples of space-time coming from two massive objects orbiting each other. Can you even imagine that?

    In my opinion, another step in the attempt to learn (the sequence is somewhat arbitrary, all the processes took place in parallel, but with different intensity and in different regions) was the humanitarian methodology. Which studies how and from what human thought is born, what are the patterns of its movement and diversity, what is language, what are worldviews, what are they and what are they caused by.

    Here is just one example that has become available to us thanks to this direction. In Polynesia, there is an isolated atoll where the Nukuria people live. The fauna there is very limited. In the ideas and structure of the language of this people, all animals are divided into only two large classes: fish – “animals flying below” and birds – “animals flying above”. The crocodile thus turns out to be a “fish that bites people”. And the dog is “a bird that bites people.” Then it takes your breath away. Polynesian philosophers are scratching their heads and spears trying to find the truth in the answer to the question: “Is a person a bird or a fish?” (OK, actually, different interpretations are accepted on different islands, but let me use a few metaphors, especially since this could very well happen). And the question is not idle at all! After all, if a person is a fish, then it should be eaten raw. And if the bird-then you need to fry it well before that. This somewhat comical example is not difficult to transfer to the battle for truth of Western intellectuals. (see the research of Albert Davletshin).

    By and large, with all the vast knowledge about the universe that we have accumulated, and which will certainly grow if we approach it completely rationally, we have no idea who we are or where we are. And we'll probably never know. There is no such law that would, for example, unequivocally deny the possibility of the existence of consciousness in every atom and phenomenon of the universe, as the ancients believed in their mythological systems.�

    And also, it is completely unknown what lies beyond the “movie” that we have jointly invented over the millennia, and what exactly this movie describes. And is the movie “scientific picture of the world” really more significant than the movie “Hindu”, in which the whole world is permeated with consciousness? (This emphasis has its own history and origins already in European culture.)

    All in all, the bad news is that no one knows anything, and that hasn't changed since ancient times. The good news is that the whole bright fountain and vortex of endless creativity, dialogue, and incredible possibilities continues! What will come next? Will the scientific picture of the world remain dominant, or is it approaching the limits of its applicability, just like the religious and mythological one before it? Maybe an ensemble and a well-coordinated orchestra from all the previous ones will be organized, or something completely new will appear? Welcome to the unknown!

    Oh, how many ambiguities and incomprehensions!
    And the unknown! And trouble!
    Oh, how difficult it is, but that's the beauty of it!

Leave a Reply