Friday, November 19, 2010

Science: The Best Idea So Far?

Bill Nye, otherwise known as the science guy, recently received the 2010 Humanist of the Year Award. At the ceremony he gave a speech called The Best Idea We've Had So Far. Which is, unsurprisingly, about science.

Far be it from me to be at odds with the self titled science guy but I do have a quibble. He says:
It is, absolutely, to me, the best idea humans have had. Science. I’ll even say science is the best idea we’ve had so far. It could change, right? Got a better idea? Bring it on.
I agree with one caveat. To me science is not just the best idea we've had so far. I think the reason it's the best ideas is that science is based on the understanding that the current scientific view of the world is the best understanding we have so far.

Science is not about proving what we currently know. It's not about finding the missing details. It is the process of finding the best view we can come up with so far. Twenty years from now science will have brought us a different view of the world. One that's more refined, more detailed, and more elegant and wonderful than the view we have now. One hundred years from now people will look back and say "can you believe they thought that is how the universe works?". They'll scoff and make light of our ignorance. But the only reason they will have a clearer view is because science will have constantly corrected, updated, refined, replaced, and changed our current view.

If science continues correcting and refining then we'll always have the best idea we've had so far. It will just always be a different best idea so far.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Keep posting stuff like this i really like it