In Defense of “Unscientific” Thinking and In Challenge of a Probabilistic Universe


Reality has surprises in store for Democrats, Republicans, Greens and Independents.  It will baffle and astound atheists, agnostics, and devout fundamentalists of all faiths.  Strangenesses of particular existence will lead males, females, blacks, whites, Asians, Latinos, Creole Haitian mulattoes, and even Irishmen to take what they thought they knew and cry in despair because they can no longer live with it in happy certainty.  Philosophers and steam pipe fitters alike will go “Huh.”  Only Nebraskan mothers of four will remain unperturbed.  They’ve got enough on their plate as it is.

And there may even be ways in which the Universe eventually proves the previous paragraph wrong, before it goes pfft.  Or bang.  Or just comes ’round again the next time Brahma opens his big stupid yap.

There is an extent to which individuality flies in the face of entropy.  This decreases the certainty with which we can posit, for example, that there will be something like a “heat death” of the Universe.  There is much unknown information about the particuars of the universe we inhabit, about any portion thereof quantified by any moment and method of observation.  Those unknown bits of information do not necessarily fall within bounds set by any model of the universe we can assemble from collected observational data points.  Surprise can (and, I believe, will) occur at arbitrarily grand macroscopic scales as well as arbitrarily small microscopic ones.  Scientific paradigms will, I think, turn out to have strengths and weaknesses that themselves are surprising to their adherents, and that will bear similarities, over the centuries, to those of other modes of thought and inquiry — of satisfying the desire “to know” or “to describe what is true” — that have demonstrated their constructive worth in various ways for the benefit of human individuals and communities.

2 responses to “In Defense of “Unscientific” Thinking and In Challenge of a Probabilistic Universe”

  1. Okay, I may have just discovered this now, but…this is wisdom.

  2. I thank you humbly. Hope it is a help in some way. It was a distillation of a long-wrestled (internally) bone of contention.

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