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Writer's Block: Proven by Science

Do you believe everything has a scientific explanation?

Given the fact that "science" means "knowing", then, "yes". For every reality, there is a causation. In the same sense that one can posit moving the earth with a sufficiently large enough lever, one can also posit being far enough outside of any system to observe it with a critical eye and determine its causation. Being able to do so, however, may be outside the realm of practicality. Everything we know about what goes on in the heart of a star is based on external observation, terrestrial experimentation, interpolation and extrapolation. No one has ever been able to take measurements at a stellar core - yet someday it may be possible. When that happens, if new data is available, science will have to adjust its theories.

The current state of our understanding of quantum physics limits us. We are limited by Heisenberg, by Schroedinger, and by the speed of light. According to these and other presently-accepted limits, there are things about the nature of observation that cannot be transcended. But that's just today. One of my favorite quotes about science comes from "Men in Black," as Kay sums up his invitation to the future "Agent J": "Fifteen hundred years ago, everybody knew the Earth was the center of the universe. Five hundred years ago, everybody knew the Earth was flat. And fifteen minutes ago, you knew that people were alone on this planet. Imagine what you'll know... tomorrow."

Metaphysics, by definition, is beyond the realm of the physical. These are things which cannot be observed, measured, or documented. But then, so are the fourth, fifth and 23rd dimensions, p-branes, superstrings and naked singularities. Get down to this level, and creatio ex nihilo is just as plausible as the big bang theory. To take Archimedes to the next order of magnitude, give me a place to stand and a big enough microscope, and I'll prove the existence of God.

My own personal theory, documented nowhere and unprovable by any means, is that all things are part of the same system, and that what we understand as metaphysical is merely an extension of the universe that we can see. I believe that what people call "spirit" is just another form of matter which we have not yet been able to observe. I believe that all of it is subject to laws which, if we only had a place to observe them from, could be codified.

What troubles me the most about the science/religion dust-up is the heart-stopping closed-mindedness of people on both sides, and an unwillingness to accept things that are outside the realms of the observable. It offends me mightily that so many in the scientific community declare, with sober pontifications and heavily signed and sealed documents and certificates, that God cannot possibly exist. My own experience, like that of Dr. Arroway in Sagan's "Contact", tells me differently. Equally offensive are the protestations of those in the community of faith that evolution is a heretical abomination, or that dinosaurs could never have existed because they're not mentioned in the Bible - all those bones are just Satan's practical joke. The mental gymnastics that fundamentalist Christians would have to go through when they take their kids to a natural history museum must be exhausting.

Minds, like parachutes, work best when open, and vulnerability means being open to surprises. So I say to the universe at large, "Surprise me." I'm ready for whatever comes.

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Aug. 12th, 2009 06:20 pm (UTC)
The problem with an open mind is, like an open door, people see it a an invitation to walk in, dump their trash, deface the walls, plug your toilet, and leave.

I stopped having an open mind when I realized it meant giving credence to bulls*** artists who are looking for your money. Now, it's "Trust, but verify."
Aug. 12th, 2009 08:37 pm (UTC)
Funny, I'm usually more worried about what people will take from a room left open....
Aug. 12th, 2009 08:44 pm (UTC)
I kind of like the MIB quote, but I'd like it better if the numbers were more accurate. I accept only so much in the way of rounding.

Recently, in a debate thread, someone posited that atheism necessitates determinism. The immediate reply was that quantum mechanics had disproved determinism. Now, my knowledge of QM comes from a gut course I took eight years ago, but I really think that that person is reading too much into QM. The fact that we don't know of any force taking the particle on one path versus another doesn't mean that there is no such force.


The Old Wolf

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