Each Step Towards Knowledge May Bring Greater Accuracy, But Science Also Advances By Going Back & Reexamining Things Once Assumed To Be True


Perfect science would begin with no assumptions; but that isn’t what we have.

We have incrementally developed knowledge of facts that are shaped and developed within a certain way of searching for knowledge.

There is the assumption that this way is the best, but the search for knowledge is not monolithic, and thus there isn’t just one way.

Take Albert Einstein, for example, who despaired of making headway by building up knowledge from underlying facts — the way of science as practiced today — and instead he did it differently, by reflecting upon everyday experience and deriving general principles from that. His theory has stood the test of time, while so many constructive theories built up from abstract facts have fallen away.

There is the assumption that each incremental step in the march towards knowledge may bring us greater accuracy, but science advances often by going backwards and reexamining things once assumed to be accurate, but which are found to not be so.

And jumping ahead, so as not to get bogged down in the myriad of assumptions at play within scientific practice, there is the foundational assumption that reality is structured a certain way and this forces the exclusion of conflicting evidence and reduces the range of possible knowledge.

Thus the practice of science limits itself and excludes anything that falls outside of those imposed limits. Technically, Einstein’s greatest work is only “scientific” simply because it isn’t “religious.” Those two being the walls of the narrow alleyway we allow ourselves to travel in our search for knowledge.

ཨེ་མ་ཧོ། ཕན་ནོ་ཕན་ནོ་སྭཱཧཱ།
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