Science can’t find a single truth about what the world is

We (humans) classify the world using differences and similarities. The answer to the ancient (and fundamental) question whether there is a single “true” classification of it or not depends on whether “difference” or “similarity” is fundamental – if difference is fundamental then there isn’t any single “true” classification of it, whereas if similarity is fundamental then there is one.

So, what’s the answer? Is there a single “true” classification of the world or not? Well, the fact that we can see differences without seeing similarities, but can’t see similarities without seeing differences, tells us that the answer is that there isn’t any single “true” classification of the world.

And, if there isn’t any single “true” classification of the world, then there is neither any single consistent “truth” about what the world is. This fact thus tells us that science can’t find a single consistent “truth” about what the world is, because it can’t find a single “true” classification of the world. The world thus avoids a single truth about what it is by avoiding to be classified consistently.

It means that science is limited to be a craft to manipulate the world. Never will it find a single “truth” about what the world is (like “the standard model” of particle physics), because every such “truth” is fundamentally (paradoxically) contradictory.


4 responses to “Science can’t find a single truth about what the world is

  1. I agree. The map can never be the territory, not even once. Even the objective tools of science are part of human metaphysics and therefore subjective to our species. Language then creates another map of symbols understood in common. Science is a map, but in it’s defense, it is built to be self-correcting and has proven quite useful in advancing knowledge and technology. Science sort of is the question, “what is true? or at least, truer? more accurate?” Are questions better than answers because questions find new answers? Does that make sense?

    Thanks for a great post. As you point out, the elusive single truth is a contradiction. “Do you know the truth?” *scratches head* “Maybe some of it…No, let’s find out together. We’ll both be surprised.”

    • Yes, science is “quite useful”, but like all religions, it’s God is paradoxically contradictory. If one’s looking for something to believe in, then neither science is thus the answer. Cladists’ and particle physicists’ assertions and claims are thus wrong. Never will anyone find neither “the true tree of life” nor “Higgs particle”, because these things are nothing but the Gods for the believers of these two approaches.

      • dimvisionary

        Can’t argue much with that. Science does have some redeeming qualities in that it is a method of questioning and testing and also that it can be self-correcting. However useful Science is, it should not be put on a pedestal and worshiped, I agree.

      • The quality of science in a strict sense (ie, empirical falsification as in traditional empirical science) is that it helps us manipulate reality by modeling it and consistently replacing worse models with better ones. The fundamental problem with it is that there ultimately is more than one (at least two) just as good models of everything, because it means that it can’t find “the true model”, since this hypothetical model thus is ambiguous.

        The problem with science in a looser sense, that is, verification, or theories about what things “really are”, like cladistics and particle physics, is that it ends in paradox, ie, Russell’s paradox.

        Together these two facts thus means that science “should not be put on a pedestal and worshiped”, as you so correctly put it, because its God is either ambiguous or paradoxically contradictory (actually an orthogonal interface). Science thus has nothing to win, but instead everything to lose in entering the playing field of belief. Scientists thus ought to admit that there isn’t any “true tree of life” nor any “Higgs particle”, although there rationally ought to be. They ought to admit that neither science (ie, rationality) can explain reality, but can just make better and better models of it.

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