“Science doesn’t have all the answers.”
Science can’t explain the nuances of love, or why we find kittens adorable. It can’t explain why a sunset is beautiful or how a melody can move us to tears—yeah no, I’m kidding of course. I’m not talking about softball questions like these. I’m more interested in what people mean when they say ‘science doesn’t have all the answers’ and what the actual questions are.
Do they mean science hasn’t discovered the answers yet? Or that science can never discover them because the necessary data is impossible to collect in practice even though an answer surely exists ‘out there’? (The exact number of atoms in the Sun is around 1057 for example, but out there exists a specific accurate number, though we could never actually measure it.) Or do they mean that science cannot solve something because of the nature of the problem? (Proving the non-existence of something that is claimed to exist but never observed.) Or do they mean science shouldn’t probe into things that they do not want answers to because solving a mystery in their mind takes away the beauty of the subject matter or invalidates a cherished non-scientific answer? (insert your favorite philosophical or spiritual musing here) My favorite:
‘What is the meaning of life?’ to which I’d say: read on at your own peril.
‘Meaning’ is not a concept that is attributable to something like ‘life’ if you actually apply the mechanics of evolution to your understanding (which is not to say life does not have meaning, just that it is not endowed with it.) And as such I find it to be a coherent sentence but an incoherent question. And though I admit to it being anticlimactic I do find the answer to be satisfying closure to a question I wondered greatly about as a child.
Surely science doesn’t have all the answers, but I’d be more interested in hearing what the actual questions are rather than the same phrase, which can be taken to mean different things. Sometimes the questions being asked have already been answered, and sometimes the questions themselves aren’t properly thought out. And perhaps there are questions that I haven’t heard before that are worth contemplating.
But forget all that. Going back to the comic I’d like science to tackle the critical amount of time that has to pass before I cannot re-wear the same socks. A Chandrasekhar limit of socks if you will. I need to know this, because doing laundry has been scientifically proven to be massively boring. Insights welcome.
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