Destroying mystery?

Sometimes I hear the opinion that science is a kill joy. That by discovering how reality work it destroys the “mystery” of things. I have always thought that shallow. After all, improving our understanding of the world produces a great and awe-inspiring narrative. On the other hand – if you love mystery and the unknown – well science should be very satisfying to you. Every time science discovers an answer it inevitably produces new questions.

I think Christopher Thomas Scott expressed this well in his book Stem Cell Now. He said:

“Some say that biomedical science moves too quickly; it intrudes too deeply into the natural world, and sooner or alter, there will be no mysteries to solve. On that day, we will lose our innocence, and perhaps our humanity. However, there has never been a shortage of awe-inspiring challenges. Every time we uncover a mystery, another awaits us. We pursue knowledge about biology and our relations to nature as naturally as we breath. We do so because our acts and efforts generate hope – hope for legions of parents, children, husbands, wives, and friends who need those cures. The optimism that we can improve life and relieve suffering is our humanity.”

A great sentiment. And a great book. It describes the current status of stem cell research and the problems faced by US scientists in this area. It also gives an outline of the politics involved and summarises the ethical and moral arguments used by both the proponents and opponents of this research.

Open mindedness

Meanwhile – here’s a great video about open mindedness.It looks at some of the flawed thinking that prompts people who believe in certain non-scientific concepts to advise others who don’t to be more open-minded. As such it really exposes the faulty logic of opponents of scientific knowledge like creationists.


Similar articles

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to Ma.gnoliaAdd to TechnoratiAdd to FurlAdd to Newsvine

6 responses to “Destroying mystery?

  1. Sometimes I hear the opinion that science is a kill joy. That by discovering how reality work it destroys the β€œmystery” of things.

    The best counter example I’ve heard for this is that of the person listening to an orchestra: Those who know nothing about the instruments or the skill required to play them or the art of conducting and composition might make a similar claim that knowing such things takes the ‘mystery’ out of music. But the opposite is true.

    I know from personal experience that the more I come to understand about how the world works the greater my sense of awe and wonder.


  2. And once again I’ll restate my envy at your retirement status and your ability to get through so many books. I’m still chugging my way through Ancestor’s Tale at about two pages per night.

    I’m letting my New Scientist subscription lapse in favour of Scientific American which publishes monthly instead of weekly in the hopes that that will free up more time.


  3. Good video, watched it twice already.

    Completely agree with your point “As such it really exposes the faulty logic of opponents of scientific knowledge”.

    Especially good about 8 min in when it talks about psudo-science, I assume they weren’t speaking about evolution even though it describes my experience of most evolutionists!


  4. Don’t know what you are getting at, Scrubone.

    Mind you, that word “evolutionist” is a bit of a give- away, isn’t it? What the hell does it mean?


  5. “evolutionists”


  6. At about 8:12, onwards it describes most creationists/apologists I’ve run into, to a tee. The description has an amazing concordance given it’s an over-arching generalisation. (Especially with the “Controlling. Arrogant. Presumptuous” at about 8:40.)

    Someone using a false label (e.g. ‘evolutionist’) would be on the wrong side of the fence, I’d think πŸ˜‰


Leave a Reply: please be polite to other commenters & no ad hominems.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s