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tuppennyprofet - at - aol - dot - com
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I Do Believe in Science.
Not, necessarily, in what Science defines as "truth" in any given moment, because that is as changeable as the rest of the Universe.
I believe in the Process; the search, according to the best-formulated rules for avoiding error (currently represented by scientific method).
It is no accident that the practice of Science is largely indistinguishable from the practice of aesthetics; a lot of hard, self-disciplined, often drearily repetitive work in the quest for something new and significant. Only the specific techniques differ.
Both of these best of human endeavors make use of the best -- and least manageable -- elements of human "nature;" our curiosity and our drive for new experience --novelty. Creativity is the final element and it is frustratingly deficient in most of us.
Why do so many intelligent people engage in "extreme" sports or voluntarily undertake life-threatening challenges? I believe they are as driven toward novelty as Picasso or Proust or Pasteur, but they don't have any particular aesthetic (or scientific) talent.
Is it revealing that when Hemingway, at only about 60, realized that he couldn't do it any more (or imagined he couldn't, which is the same thing), he checked out with a shotgun?