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Will science eventually explain everything?

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Old October 18th, 2013 (11:43 AM).
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Elysieum Elysieum is offline
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Depends on what everything means really, but I tend not to think that science will get there. 'Everything' is a term of absolutism, which seems to be against the inquisitive and always-seeking-improvement nature of science.
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Old October 18th, 2013 (12:42 PM).
Darkroman Darkroman is offline
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Originally Posted by Elysieum View Post
Depends on what everything means really, but I tend not to think that science will get there. 'Everything' is a term of absolutism, which seems to be against the inquisitive and always-seeking-improvement nature of science.
That brings up another question... Will science evolve into absolutism?
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Old October 18th, 2013 (2:22 PM).
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Science is rather anti-absolutist, at least that's how it's becoming lately. Modernism can tend to be absolutist, and as long as science is associated with a modernist viewpoint (inevitability, progression, the realization of truth) people are going to perceive science aas absolutist when that connection isn't really clear.
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Old October 20th, 2013 (2:44 PM).
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I think we can assume that science DOES explain everything; it is human limitation that prevents us from being able to understand or use those sciences.
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Old October 20th, 2013 (2:46 PM).
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Science- understood as the method of inquiry based on sensory perception (and its analogues and derivatives)- is simply not equipped to deal with some questions about reality, such as ethical or aesthetic truths. It needs to be supplemented with other branches of human knowledge to produce a coherent picture about reality. Some academics have used the term "sci-phi" to refer to the mode of inquiry characterized by the conjoined effort of science and philosophy to discover truths about this world. This latter approach seems much more viable to me.

Whether science (or any mode of human inquiry, for that matter) can explain everything isn't an interesting question, to my mind. After all, human knowledge-gathering processes by definition require some sort of grounding. Science is grounded in our trust in inductive and other sorts of reasoning, which in turn are based on truths of logic and an assumption about how the world is, which in turn are perhaps best explained as brute facts about reality. So either we end up grounding explanations in something, or with an infinite regress of explanations. A more interesting question I think is whether science can discover truths which are practically relevant to us. In some cases, for example, "I don't know/I can't explain X" is a perfectly relevant answer. Sure, demarcating what it means to say "practically relevant" is a difficult question, and I don't think any straightforward answer can be given to this- because it is, to an extent, subjective.

Sorry for such a wet noodle conclusion, lol.

Also, I don't see the point of whether scientific/mathematical truths are created/discovered debate. It's obvious that some core tenets of mathematics are discovered. Sure, we made a jargon to make sense of it, but that jargon has real properties and instances as referents.
"Perseverence in science needs to be tempered by flexibility."

-Haig Kazazian, in Mobile DNA: Finding Treasures in Junk
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