Tag Archives: questions

Certainty is useless – a scientific concept

Each year John Brockman, the founder EDGE poses a question to a large number of public thinkers. He collects and publishes the answers – firstly on The Edge World Question Center website and then usually in book form. This year the question is:

“The term ‘scientific”is to be understood in a broad sense as the most reliable way of gaining knowledge about anything, whether it be the human spirit, the role of great people in history, or the structure of DNA. A “scientific concept” may come from philosophy, logic, economics, jurisprudence, or other analytic enterprises, as long as it is a rigorous conceptual tool that may be summed up succinctly (or “in a phrase”) but has broad application to understanding the world.”

It’s a great question – originally posed by Steven Pinker. And the answers from over 150 participants are included. You can read them at your leisure at the question center. Alternatively, download this pdf file, Scientific toolkit, I created (226 pages) to read on your eBook reader.

As an example – here’s a short answer contributed by CARLO ROVELLI, a theoretical physicist and author of The First Scientist: Anaximander and His Legacy“. It’s very relevant to some of the discussions that go on around here:

Continue reading