July 28, 2008


Over the past few days, I have been reading Bill Bryson's A Short History of Nearly Everything. In his typical travelogue humorous style, Bryson gives a whirlwind tour of science history and development. The book is an attempt to make some pretty deep and muddy science more understandable and accessible to the general public.

At the end of chapter 11 Bill Bryson states, "The upshot of all this is that we live in a universe whose age we can't quite compute, surrounded by stars whose distances we don't altogether know, filled with matter we can't identify, operating in conformance with physical laws whose properties we don't truly understand."

What I get from this statement is this...if we think that science holds all the answers and is the final authority for determining truth we are sadly ignorant.

I don't, by any stretch, believe we can disregard science, but I am amazed science's imprecision. The more that is known, the more scientist know they don't know and don't understand, and many theories and statements are made based on scant research and data. The very nature of scientific philosophy is one of development, growth, change, and correction.

We need more research. We need more experiments. We need more science. Science cannot be our only measure of truth...because scientific truth is always changing with each new discovery.

What do you think?

Here some other things I have written on science.
Evolution Sunday
Intelligent Design
Intelligent Design 2

1 comment:

  1. Hi Eric - I am also fascinated by the imprecision. From day to day we never know what to believe -- does cell phone usage contribute to brain cancer, are humans truly responsible for climate change and global warming, etc. We can't even come up with a method to track our produce to identify salmonella or ecoli outbreaks without having to resort to total destruction of the crop. Unfortunately better research takes money; something we're a little short of these days. Linda