IF I SEEK US
The Human Condition
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"Certain matters are banished from the field of scientific research and
refused the right of making themselves known. Important facts may be
completely ignored. Our mind has a natural tendency to reject the
things that do not fit into the frame of the scientific or philosophical
beliefs of our time. After all, scientists are only men. They
are saturated with the prejudices of their environment and of their epoch.
They willingly believe that facts that cannot be explained by current theory
do not exist."
- Alexis Carrel, Man, the Unknown (Harper 1935). Quoted by I.
Velikovsky at Brown University, March 15, 1965.
or the lack thereof
It is estimated that there are over 100,000 different identifiable religions in our world today, and what is blatantly obvious is that almost no one, if anyone, is in a majority on any serious or significant matter or issue.
Some would shrug that off as being somewhat understandable and largely irrelevant as long as the religions are not too extreme and troublesome, and as long as the participants don't try to force others into their religious beliefs.
Isaac Asimov said in "CP", Analog, October 1974, p. 41, "The religious orthodoxy had, at its disposal, the stake, the rack, and the thumbscrew....But scientific orthodoxy - why, it is the weakest and most powerless orthodoxy ever invented." Asimov is profoundly wrong in his sentiment. The most powerful factors for orthodoxy are psychological and political pressure, not "the stake, the rack, and the thumbscrew." If these were so powerful we would all be Roman Catholics. Asimov may have been a good storyteller, but was sometimes blind and wrong.
What very few see is the bigger picture wherein there are deep raging controversies in literally every scientific discipline and important line of thinking. The intellectual and academic world is fragmented and fractured in the fields of:
Legitimate research requires relentless
skepticism, a humility about conclusions, and a willingness to examine
preconceived assumptions. Science isn't a scroll of revealed knowledge, or a
discrete body of approved facts. It's a process by which we can gradually,
incrementally understand how the world works.
Is there anything of importance or that matters that is not included above? Hardly! We largely live in our own cocoon in our own culture ignoring this predicament, and try to ameliorate the absurdity of this situation by celebrating our diversity where and when we can.