Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Jigsaw Puzzle

“Any model that claims to explain everything, explains nothing.” Victor Stenger

Think of science as infinite jigsaw puzzle. The end result - what it is supposed to look like - is completely unknown. The pieces are scattered and many, if not most, are hard to fit together. Some seem as if they make no sense at all. Through deductive reasoning, testing, trial and error the pieces are slowly fit together over time as knowledge grows. The areas previously filled are very likely correct otherwise they wouldn't fit in such a seamless manner without gaps. As more and more of the puzzle is assembled the greater the ability to fit once confusing pieces together. Even some missing areas, while not known, get smaller and the shapes of these “unknowns pieces” comes into focus so it becomes easier to know what to look for. The puzzle may never be complete, but it is far from the random assortment that it once seemed. 

"I do not claim to know the answer to everything, to do so would require me to be religious." Isegoria

Using the same analogy for religion we can clearly see that they are two very different ways at looking at the universe. With religion the jigsaw puzzle is scattered on the table with some pieces together, but it just seems too big to contemplate. At the same time the end result is claimed to be known. The puzzle is put together with pieces arranged and even discarded depending on how they conform to the preconceived notions of what the solution is supposed to be. Some of the pieces are jammed together to make them fit the desired end result. Others that do fit are ignored. There may be some patterns perceivable, but there is no way to actually see the result or where it is going. It is just too fragmented. And that is OK. The puzzle is unknowable. There is no solution or at least not one that could be understood. Stop trying. To try is arrogance. Over time very specific justifications, excuses and rationalizations are invented to explain the gaps in the puzzle. When obvious conflicts arise - such as some pieces being put together by someone else - anger rises that they should dare try and solve the unsolvable puzzle. The puzzle is actually already solved. Just not by humans. End of discussion.

Nope. That isn’t a huge gap in the middle. If you think so then