Friday, April 24, 2009

Science limits

Limits / © I.A. Daglis

Science itself, as it advances, keeps imposing limits on its own power. Einstein’s theory of special relativity prohibits the transmission of matter or even information at speeds faster than that of light; quantum mechanics dictates that our knowledge of the microrealm will always be uncertain; chaos theory confirms that even without quantum indeterminacy many phenomena would be impossible to predict; Kurt Gödel’s incompleteness theorem denies us the possibility of constructing a complete, consistent mathematical description of reality. And evolutionary biology keeps reminding us that we are animals, designed by natural selection not for discovering deep truths of nature, but for breeding.

John Horgan [The End of Science, 1996]

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