Friday, March 4, 2011

#63 / The Mystery Of Science

I really liked Jon Carroll's column in the March 1st edition of the San Francisco Chronicle.

In his column, Carroll is reflecting on the insight of James Gleick that "science is not a collection of truths. It is a continuing exploration of mysteries." The pull out quote in the print edition of Carroll's column is this: "It's nothing but turtles all the way down, unless, of course, I am wrong. I have not actually seen the turtles."

The "social sciences" and the "natural sciences" are different, in that when we explore the world of nature, and try to understand it, we find that we are exploring a "mystery." When we explore our own world, we are exploring something that we created ourselves, and we can "prove" our hypotheses, because the "realities" and "truths" of our social world are ones we construct ourselves.

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