The important thing to remember is that science is a belief system, just as everything else is. There’s no such thing as facts, and anyone who tells you otherwise clearly doesn’t understand science.
Why does everything have to make sense?
Trevor Frese
21

This … eventually makes sense? Once you read the rest of the piece, and you understand the poetic sort of spirit in which it was written, and the true and useful point the author is pointing at.

But it’s dangerously wrong in isolation, along with a couple of other extremely bold assertions the author makes, all of which are likely to mislead two or three average readers for every perceptive one who gets valuable food for thought.

Science is not a belief system—it’s an algorithm for systematically *eliminating* beliefs that don’t match reality. Similarly, pointing at ancient knowledge eventually demonstrated to be false and putting the word facts in quotes is a cheap way to convince people that the world is full of impenetrable mystery and anyone claiming knowledge is pretentiously wrong.

Our map of the truth is often wrong—those are the “facts” the author is pointing at. But there are absolutely such things as facts, and truth, and as we knock out one false belief (e.g. Sun goes around the Earth) and replace it with another, our credence increases. The picture is getting clearer and clearer—the overthrow of special relativity by quantum mechanics was much smaller than the overthrow of Newtonian physics by special relativity, and the next overthrow will be smaller and more refined still.

As per the author’s claim that “humor, music, love, happiness, and all of the best things in life are irrational,” sure, if you buy into some ridiculous Spock-esque or Sheldon-esque strawman of what it means to be rational. But nobody who actually tries to look at the universe, see what’s true, and understand it would be so silly as to dismiss things that are so central to the human experience, and so important to all of us.

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