Simplicity & The Science of Solace
Retreating back into the comforts of logic & scientific study can appear very similar to seeking the comforts & solace of religion or the supposed simplicity of an earlier era.
When approaching a subject of contention, of emotional high-stakes & even moral or ethical ambiguity, it is easy for me, a self-proclaimed scientist, to retreat into my scientific method or recent peer-reviewed study or even my big central knowledge base inside this large-foreheaded cranium.
It is easy for me to point to a disputable, yet consistently proven concept, backed by facts & repeatedly analyzed by expert after expert crawling over eachother to prove that very concept incorrect in a million different ways. What still stands when the dust settles, the firm ground upon which our scientific modern world stands, this is the rock of comfort toward which I crawl.
“The history of science shows that theories are perishable. With every new truth that is revealed we get a better understanding of Nature and our conceptions and views are modified.”
— Nikola Tesla
This is the light in which I bathe to wash away my sins & other things that can be washed by standing in lighted spaces.
But, as predicted by those giants that came before us, upon whose shoulders we stand to continue our technological voyage, science has outpaced our understanding of science.
“The saddest aspect of life right now is that science gathers knowledge faster than society gathers wisdom.” ― Isaac Asimov
& yet, when faced with the frailties of our human containers, the desperate ways that we all interact with our world to find our places, it seems easy to shrug off our scientific cloaks & retreat backwards.
Belief in the comforts that lie outside of our scientific world can draw a person into them, can embrace a person whose mind is overwhelmed. A person looking for answers. A person desperate for understanding & reprieve from the realities that surround him or her.
For a person who does not understand the intricacies of science to a level of comfort, it is difficult to look into that unknown & see wonder. & for that person, to see another look into the same unknown abyss & find solace, it must appear very similar. It must appear that belief is pretty much the same thing as looking at scientific unknowns.
When faced with my most trying moments, I look to the realities of the natural wonders around us, the true miracle of our existence, of life, amid an unintelligibly complex & vast universe.
& in this world, in this strange universe, I find comfort in both the settled spaces that science has carved into with understanding, & the unexplored spaces that remain unknown, awaiting to take shape in our understanding.