Dark rooms

Posted by I'm the penguin | Posted in | Posted on Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Again, thinking about science and knowledge, and the philosophy behind it.

I'll be honest: I'm no philosopher. You caught me, clever fox. If I were maybe I could precise my thoughts about it, and maybe I'd know the book where all these ideas converge and I'd just tell you what to read.

But that's too hypothetical.
So, instead this:

Science, as the method of questioning and creating knowledge based on evidence, has been like finding strange objects in a dark room. Except many people would think that once you know an answer the whole room lights up, it doesn't. When you find an answer, and form a convincing theory of what is in that room, you only have that, a theory.

Then others will proceed to test such knowledge. If nobody finds an inconsistency, then the knowledge stays. But it doesn't mean that it is actually describing the whole phenomenon, or in this case object in the dark room; it only means nobody has yet found a different or more complete explanation.

Something like being blindfolded in an already dark room, and touching around stuff. There are some fluffy things, viscously rough walls, a vibrating wave of air and an tangible feeling you are going to fall any second. There, then you find the technique of semiotics and the resolution that everything is just a network of common thoughts, that or just the string theory. Who knows?
Actually it would be more like making some first assumptions, making inferences and making up the rest to explain you are in a cheap restaurant.

And here comes the importance of making a difference between covering a "map" of the whole room and all the findings and just turning on the lights. The maps may be accurate, but there's always something you probably missed. Now, I'm using light because we are a society based on visual references, but it is rather a silly metaphor for being able to look at the answers of everything with certainty.

It's not just for science, (although the way I see it is all science), in general we're all just feeling unknown entities in a dark room, trying to make sense of it.

Until someone finds an inconsistency.

Comments (0)