Rational Religion

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The End of Science?


Every so often somebody who ought to know better says that all the Great Discoveries have now been made and the future of Science is a flatline wasteland.   This is in the same wing of the asylum as the End-of-the-World crazies who can't imagine that the Last Days would fall outside their own lifespan.


Sure, we've got no empirical proof that the end of Innovation is not already upon us.  But the full weight of human history argues otherwise.   No less an intellect than Steven Hawking has pronounced such a notion, "Garbage."


We are, collectively, of puny intellect and What We Know is such a tiny fraction of What There IS To Know that we likely never have to worry about running out of Quests.


History teaches us that at any given moment about 85 percent of what we "know" is going to turn out to be wrong somewhere down the line.  Unwarranted leaps to untenable conclusions are a basic feature of the human mental process.


It's important, here, to make the distinction between What There Is to Know, which is physics, and What It Is Possible to Make Up, which is metaphysics.


Metaphysical speculation is truly infinite, as long as human beings are alive to speculate.  Physical discovery may be finite, but on the scale of the human lifespan and current human cognitive abilities it appears equally endless. 


The question is; do you want to spend your life making up the answers - or buying someone else's made-up ones?  Or do you want to spend it in search of objective reality?


I warn you in advance; the former course is the easier.