miercuri, 6 mai 2015

Science can only reveal the HOW and theology can postulate the WHY

I'm trying to write in English this article because I had an argument with a friend from Dubai recently. I learned something from that discussion even if it continues to contradict his belief.

Unfortunately I did not receive from him any why Q&A but I think I know what is about I had this religious view too. Anyway, I do not intend to write about deeply philosophical questions and answers or spiritual views, neither complex scientific explanations.



Let's try to imagine our life period from childhood to old age and ask these two questions. I will start with the question how. If you ask me why, prehaps because the answer is more simple. In that entire life period you will be able to respond to almost all of the how questions with simple and understandable answers.

Q: How have you learnt to cycle? A: Exercising and trying not to fall down.
Q: How have you painted that? A: With brushes and watercolours.
Q: How have you built that boat? A: I've learnt how to do it and I used the following tools and materials. etc.

You can have difficult questions too such as how black hole works, the answer still remains simple, I don't know, science is still trying to figure out.

Let's look at this tricky question, why. You could wonder why tricky? It is because it is pretty difficult to have the same reply even from childhood.

If you ask a kid: Q: Why did you break that plate? Usually there will be no reply because of the accusation question and the kid will be ashamed. Same type of questions at the older children maybe you will get some answers like Because I wanted so! In case of grown-ups maybe you will get It was a mistake, sorry and so on. You can continue with questions like Why have you chosen to do football for example.

What will happen if the why question will be more difficult? I think you got my point, in my scenario the answer will be more vague. Q: Why does our heart beat in the morning? Is this a reasonable question? If it is, what will be the answer? You will get the same answer from everybody? If you get more answers, how do you know which one is the correct one? Does this response help you in any way? If yes, keep asking yourself.

Why questions can have different answers, and the most important thing, these may be meaningless. I don't mean to say that we should stop questioning ourselves, but we have to be more carefull of the meaning of the question. Questions like what is the colour of jealousy? should be avoided if you are  not Shakespeare :) Anyway you can have the most plausible answer to the why question only when you understand the how response. If you ask Why is the sky blue the best response you can give is only if you understand how it has become blue. You can have thousands of answers at the why question but only some of them can illustrate the truth or maybe none of them.

In conclusion philosophy or religion, I prefer to say philosophy, can postulate any why question as they want, without the scientific how explanation those are meaningless. Maybe science needs some of this philosophical postulation but is not necessarily because most of the science is based on prediction and they can create their own philosophy.

Anybody can postulate any question or theory but...

It doesn't matter how beautiful your theory is, it doesn't matter how smart you are. If it doesn't agree with experiment, it's wrong.
Richard Feynman


Do you have different opinion? Sound weird what I've said here? I should say something more? Please let me know in the comments below. Thank you.