by Milton Dawes
Re. That which today calls itself science gives us more and more information, an indigestible glut of information, and less and less understanding. -Edward Abbey-
Although science has so far provided us with the most reliable information about certain aspects of our physical world, if we think of science as only or mainly “a source of information”, we miss the more important features of science. Science can be seen as an approach, a general problem solving method; a valuable way of gaining information about anything, a guide to expanding our understanding through ongoing refinement of our unconscious ‘theories’ our (ideas, opinions, feelings about things, our beliefs, understanding (which is usually not complete), and so on.
Any one of us can apply a science approach to our thinking about and understanding things. Science starts with noticing things…moves to wondering what’s going on…from noticing things…then to “hypothesis” (Could so and so be the case?)…then to experimenting (or adopting-taking an “experimental mind” set… a “let’s see what happens approach”…then dependent on result of ‘experiment’, creating a theory and making a prediction: If the prediction is not validated, we don’t say “something is wrong with the world, but “something is wrong with our theory”…and we refine our “theory” (opinion, idea, belief, expectation, etc.) and go back to observing: we might discover some little thing we thought not important…and repeat the process. By the way: with an experimental approach, there is no failure: Whatever the result we now know something more about how things work. We discover that the world does not follow our theories; it’s up to us to fit our theories to correspond as closely as possible to the world…not the other way around. So to emphasize we gain higher levels of understanding of things through a scientific approach.
For more on “understanding” visit miltondawes.com and read “Expanding Our Horizons A Structural Approach
About Milton Dawes: Musician, creative thinker, writer, seminar-workshop leader, Trustee and Ambassador at Large of the Institute of General Semantics, Dawes takes an innovative approach to the teaching of general semantics. He often uses music and draws on a wide range of skills and experiences from his diverse interests to enliven his work.