Food for consideration, and others reading the thread:
Our world is always changing. Yesterday’s ideas are put aside for Today’s. This isn’t limited to the realm of the Sciences. This is something that’s been going on for as long as there have been people.
We can call it Progress but I don’t it’s necessarily that. Rather, it’s the constant turnover of Change.
Now, we are in 2015. Culturally, we have all sorts of competing systems, all with different ideas about the “nature of things”.
In 1515, we had a different set of competing systems, all with different ideas about the “nature of things”.
In 1015, we had a different set of competing systems, all with different ideas about the “nature of things”.
We will have a different set of competing systems, all with different ideas about the “nature of things” in 2515. In 3015.
Time marches forward and we’re still here.
Now, we look back at the past and often go, “Oh, they were backwards. Today, we’re getting it right. Soon, we’ll have it all figured out ‘once and for all'”.
But will we?
Did they in 1015? 1515? Why so in 2015? Or 2515?
What will be throw away in 500 years time that we currently state to be Fact?
How much Science will be laughable? A little of it? Some of it? Much of it? Most of it? All of it?
We don’t know.
But there are patterns.
One pattern that it’s hard to ignore once you see it is our use of Metaphor for understanding.
The Sciences are littered with Metaphors for understanding.
We use them so much we don’t even SEE them most of the time.
Metaphors are useful. They help us understand difficult things.
But then… metaphors can be straightjackets as well, LIMITING how far we can see if we forget we’re using metaphors.
It’s not always a problem. We can go very far on metaphors and numbers.
But then there are some realms where the metaphors cease to function well.
Numbers for example, are metaphors for example. Dig down deeper and no two things in the Universe are really alike at all. They’re in different parts in spacetime. They’re different shapes. Have their own starting and ending times and places. Usually different shapes an what not.
Numerosity of things is a necessary illusion. We can *do a lot* with them though.
But pragmaticism doesn’t necessarily equal truth. What’s useful for humans (pragmatic) isn’t necessarily the whole picture of things.
The Sciences will always be limited in certain areas as long as they keep their methodologies and that’s fine for their purposes.
Mathematics will always be limited because it will always remain a model and not “the thing itself”. Down to its core, the axiom/proof system necessarily limits mathematics.
Limitations don’t mean functionless in any way. It just means there will always be parts where it… stops.
So what do you do?
Other systems, other ways, other perspectives.
We’re a fluid species. One size doesn’t fit all. One answer doesn’t fit all, nor should it.
Our limitations must always be kept in mind. We have but one perspective: human perspective. There’s no aliens to compare notes with. No other animals are talking to us.
Our limitations are embedded in the very machines we create. Computers for example, are VERY human. They’re our product. We model them on ourselves and the way we think that we think.
These aren’t bad things, but we can’t get too cocky about our abilities.
yet we have to keep trying, striving, moving forward.
I dunno. I don’t have ultimate answers. I know to ‘watch out for the metaphors” because they both lead and mislead. That’s a “hard rule” I keep in mind with whatever I’m analyzing.
Another is keeping in mind where we are at this point in time and how the future might view our current ideas about things.
So I’m never really “here” even though I’m here. I try to imagine the perspective of someone in 2515, or 3015, looking back at our folly and what we get right as well.
It’s imagination. Marvelous tool. Sorry for the babble. I really need an editor tongue emoticon