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February 4, 2017 / Congau

Secret Science

Science investigates reality, but reality is hidden.

Imagine there is a box before your eyes. You can see it, but you cannot see what is inside. No one knows what it contains and no one could open it and look. (Let’s say it would explode if anyone tried.) But you still want to know what is there.

Scientists also want to know and they employ all sorts of methods and form all kinds of theories of what might be inside that box. They strongly disagree among themselves and dispute it loudly. Sometimes one theory has many supporters, but then new research suggests that they are wrong, the theory will be discarded and another will emerge.

A skeptic might then conclude that no truth exists. “Today there is one thing inside the box,” he says, “but tomorrow there will be another. Clearly the whole exercise is meaningless because there is no right or wrong anyway.”

That person is of course a fool for whatever the box contains or does not contain, there is a definite answer to the question of its content. Something (or nothing) is inside, and whatever it is, it is objectively there. The fact that we can never know for sure what it is, is completely irrelevant to its content. The box does not care what we think; nature is indifferent to our knowledge about it; man is not the measure of anything.

Science is the search for whatever is inside those secret boxes; whatever is out there in the world or in the universe. Certain and definite knowledge cannot be reach about anything, but the right answer still exists even if we cannot find it and even if we cannot be sure when we have found it. The truth is objective.

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