The fact that modern scientific theories are nothing more than linear models, human literary narratives based on conceptualized sense perceptions peculiarly interpreted as external experiences is rarely admitted by scientists themselves, often due to fear of loosing, their strangely perceived universal truth proclaiming, authority. While black-box models are pure constructs of our mind (tautologies of mathematics), they are being incorrectly promoted, by media and educational system, as descriptions of true reality of universe. Moreover, these are models of human perceptions only, organized by processes of abstract thinking, rather than theories addressing underlying objective reality in itself. We have (almost) no perceptual access into objective reality as I mentioned in my previous post (A Note on Objective Reality). What’s worse is that contemporary scientific method, completely abandoned requirement of intelligibility of scientific theory, which successfully guided founders of modern science, and lost emphasis on intelligible mechanisms to describe physical processes. Consequently, 21st century science provides us with mostly unintelligible stories of universe, selectively matched to internal perceptions via subjective interpretations (experiments/experiences) of very narrow scientific community of “experts”.
There are some undeniable successes of science in development of scientific engineering methods as well as categorizing, and perhaps even reasonably interpreting simple and common perceptions of reality (organized into experiences) within our close environment. However, desperate attempts of generalization and unification of sciences in order to reach beyond ordinary experience of every man, so far ended up with utter failure, despite attempts to put band-aids on gaping intelligibility holes in their proposed “ultimate realities”. Such realities supposedly, take form of sympathetic, occult forces such as unintelligible gravity and electromagnetic forces and fields, mysterious entities like dark matter/dark energy, not to count a zoo of philosophical “elementary particles” or stones, figment of stubborn mind, and a lot of salaried time, in pursuit of unquenched, monistic religion of self-preservation and self- aggrandizement.
What’s missed in all this noise is fact that fundamental concepts of force field itself and field invariants such as energy and momentum stem directly from mathematics, namely from general concepts of norm and metric of mathematical (functional) space of Lebesgue square integrable functions and not directly from experience (experiment) nor discovered as law of nature. D. Hume proved in XVIII century that laws of nature cannot be directly observed but are simply implied from experiences via mathematical methods. The modern scientific proof is a proof of logical consistency of our scientific concepts after numerous interpretative steps (data interpretation pyramid) based on memory of “established rules” and is just a logical test whether our self-instigated prophecy could be fulfilled. It is simply test of consistency between what we think happens and what we think the result, of what we think happens, is.
The results are thought out, pre-conceived prior to experiment via theoretical narratives and as such are being expected. The possible, but unpredicted results are never expected and never perceived (measured) due to specifics of the experiment, which excludes such a possibility. The failure of experiment i.e. obtaining results that are not compatible with predictions of “tested theory” is never examined. The theory however is, and appropriate changes are made to fit to pre-conceived, subjectively interpreted results. This well established, and widely accepted procedure of scientific research is nothing but circular chain of mind conceived arguments, which would always produce results consistent with theory if not for flaws of our binary logic used in our subjective interpretation of the experiment. The test is never against reality but solely against mind-conceived expectation of theory as it is subjectively interpreted.
More and more exotic experiments are conducted, more and more results will have to fit exactly to theories, whoever in scientific/technical charge, subscribes to not as much due to “power” talk but rather due to the pyramid of interpretive perceptions piled up in minds of those endowed with blessed expertise, unwilling or unable to shake it off. Periodically, coming and going eras of “End of History” in science, following choral repudiation of yesterdays’ absolute truths, misnamed as progress, left us, like our ancestors, really “knowing” nothing except for our immediate everyday experiences and unintelligible theories baked and fed to us daily. Following the same path of transcendental knowledge we share with Neanderthal man, will likely lead us to nowhere else, but where we have already been.
Since it is clear that theories of physics cannot relate in any way to “objective reality” but they are merely black box models which limited task and purpose is solely to match preconceived output with given input as defined by experiment settings. No insight into reality is possible applying such a kind of “scientific” method, which abandons search for reality, instead satisfying itself with often unintelligible, fantastic narratives. Therefore, it contributes less to advancement of knowledge and more toward advancement of authors career and popularity in social class of learned people.
Nobody reject efficacy of some scientific theories in some limited cases, especially in applied science and engineering fields, but efficacy does not make theory a reality. Due to this fact alone, we should considerably lower our expectations regarding possibility of any dramatic breakthrough in science in next 100 years, unless attitude of government and society changes. In view of critical but almost undebated, weakness of scientific methods and disturbing trend of deifying scientific theories to level of secular religions, substantial progress in science and scientific education is under serious threat. Fueled by scarce grant money, all too common sharp personality conflicts among academic professors and staff, often even stooped beyond low historic norms, sometimes lead to brutal attacks on opponent’s dignity, humanity as well as his/her scientific legacy.
The involuntary office furniture or blackboard removal in order to prevent teaching competing theories, denouncing colleagues to academic authorities, IRS or security agencies for sometime minor criticism of scientific work or challenging of autocratic rules within scientific community, retaliation against doctoral students, often destroying their carriers, for their sole crime of pursuing theories that may put in doubt prior “extraordinary” achievements of their distinguished dissertation advisers, sometimes with tragic personal consequences, represent just few acute cases of what’s wrong in scientific community. Such behavior’s extremely disturbing especially, in circumstances of economically driven, collapse of student enrollment in most hard-core scientific fields amid skyrocketed tuition costs, and disturbing corporate takeover of prime US universities with all devastating consequences for objective scientific research.
Collapse of government funding of basic sciences over last 30 years and as an alternative, forcing system of direct financial incentives onto purely theoretical fields spells death to ethical scientific inquiry and promotes enormous rise of harmful pseudo-scientific propaganda instead. There would be insanity to expect any breakthroughs from anybody chained to scientific institution not by desire to know but by drive to subsistence or career. One cannot ignore the fact that true creativity is not for sale nor it appears on demand from management. The science is clearly in retreat in the US, exactly when is very much-needed to stem rising, lightly disguised, pseudo-scientific, secular religions trying to deceive populations into funding of their material foundations.
If this continues, true scientific “spirit” will have to survive somewhere else, perhaps outside academic settings, like in medieval times possibly in basements of small group of people dedicated to preservation of fundamental idea of intelligibility of science in contrast to recently very popular and politically convenient, idea of believability of science. I am sure that people will continue to search for objective reality against all odds as was done without much of systemic support throughout centuries.
The task is made however more difficult since built-in transcendental knowledge limitation will likely prevent us from accessing objective reality if it belongs to class of NMaE realities (see “A Note on Objective Reality”) unless we rebuild our mind, rejecting our dear concepts of time, space, truth, falsehood, existence, nothingness, identity, countability, causality, complementarity and other categories of thought and adopt concept of complete uncertainty as all-embracing idea of our brave new world of objective reality. Impossible?
Can human race evolve new “reality” conceptually and perceptually? And for what purpose?
Or are we going to be comfortable with, what learned people as well Wall Street brokers push on us, namely that perception of reality is the only reality we should care about, even against our own experience that our perceptions could be easily fooled (illusion, propaganda, misinterpretation, misconceptions, etc.) or we should accept without questioning that simple everyday problems mysteriously defy exact, all-powerful scientific solutions. Are we at the end of the road before we even started our journey?
Certainly not, I think, we are at the beginning of the road to understanding of objective reality in intelligible way, the only human way to knowledge. So let’s then examine, nature of intelligibility, core component of knowledge, in philosophical and historic context. Stay tuned.
Here is an interesting discussion of postmodernist philosophical foundations about Science v.s. Materialist Philosophy conducted from Socialist/Trotsky’s perspective. It is important to note confusion in terminology when it comes to (wrongly called materialistic) theoretical/empirical science of Newton and later versus Materialistic Philosophy of Descartes or Marx as expanded into scientific field. The core of this discussion revolves about argument of idealism (mysticism) and materialism as a metaphysical foundation of science.
The problem is that all those who are worrying of Idealism, mysticism and subjective dogmatism as unscientific and insisting that objective reality exists regardless of existence of knowing subject or human conscientiousness taking note of it, are themselves peddling a dogma, not a scientific argument that can ever be verified since verification of that requires presence of knowing subject.
On the other hand, if a material world existed regardless of our perception of it, science tells us things exists like dualism, localism, undetermined state, Gravity,E/M nuclear etc., fields, forces, future, curvature of space, entanglement, potential or probability of existence or elementary particles that transform and decay changing their identity that cannot be verified but by indirect inferring from certain fundamental assertions (invariants of mathematical model) like conservation of energy and momentum, spin and other zoo of derivative exotic characteristics.
All those concepts however are coming from our Kantian transcendental knowledge, knowledge that transcends any experience and hence experience is not required to acquire it but if it was it would have been beyond our immediate experience and true comprehension, all of that beyond human ability to sense it and that’s mysticism, idealism, not materialism, not a reality, something you may feel touch etc., but construct of our minds used for introduction of narratives explaining (deterministic) mechanism, a black box theory that fits the empirical data collected within specific to the theory interpretative framework and nothing else, makes no pretense to describing any objective material reality.
Many of those who are accused of being nostalgic idealists are those very supporters of hard science as many contemporary scientific theories can no longer be supported by materialistic Philosophy. When we understand that theory has been divorced from reality since Newton times after decades of agonizing about that, we will accept that our theories could be idealistic even mystic while objective reality may be material as in fact idealists postulate by calling it noumenon a reality directly inaccessible to our mind or some other call it equivalent of all permeating energy.