The final episode of "Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey" ended with host Neil deGrasse Tyson, an astrophysicist, cogently describing how science is able to comprehend mysteries of the universe that other ways of knowing reality are unable to fathom.
Consider how Tyson's Five Simple Rules are almost diametrically opposed to the faith-based belief systems espoused by religions the world over.
They ask us to revere authority, not question theological dogma, have unshakable faith, remain within a single chosen religion, and accept that some saint, prophet, or other godly person was able to perfectly know divine truth.
Whereas this, according to Tyson, is how science operates. He said:
Only a few centuries ago, a mere second in cosmic time, we knew nothing of where or when we were. Oblivious to the rest of the cosmos, we inhabited a kind of prison, a tiny universe bounded by a nutshell.
How did we escape from the prison? It was the work of generations of searchers who took five simple rules to heart.
(1) Question authority. No idea is true just because someone says so, including me.
(2) Think for yourself. Question yourself. Don't believe anything just because you want to. Believing something doesn't make it so.
(3) Test ideas by the evidence gained from observation and experiment. If a favorite idea fails a well-designed test, it's wrong. Get over it.
(4) Follow the evidence wherever it leads. If you have no evidence, reserve judgment.
And perhaps the most important rule of all...
(5) Remember: you could be wrong. Even the best scientists have been wrong about some things. Newton, Einstein, and every other great scientist in history -- they all made mistakes. Of course they did. They were human.
Science is a way to keep from fooling ourselves, and each other.
Science is a way to keep from fooling ourselves, and each other.
Religion is the way we keep fooling ourselves, and each other.
Posted by: cc | June 29, 2014 at 05:09 PM
Posted by: ninjaben | September 01, 2015 at 11:29 AM
My Rules of Science:
Rules of Science
April 28, 2015
1. Science is the Art of discovering new Technology. Technology is the use of increasingly accurate, self-evident, and reproducible information to replace energy and matter.
2. Always assume that your assumptions are false. Our perception of the world is a metaphor map and not reality itself. To understand those metaphors you need to identify them, and assume that they are false, so that reality can validate that they are true.
3. If something doesn't work, try doing it backwards.
4. If something doesn’t work the first time, try doing it over and over because eventually you will get a different result, at which point you can then figure out what you did differently.
5. The difference between Stupidity and Science (Rule #4) is that when you do it over and over expecting a different result, Science will notice when the result is different. Stupidity thinks that the result is the same.
6. Knowing what doesn’t work is as valuable as knowing what does work, because when you properly define the variables, you know where the limits are.
7. The sum of the details is greater than the whole of the process, which is why you need to pay attention to the details, but still be able to see both the trees and the forest.
8. When Science is properly done it becomes an Art Form.
9. The goal of Science is not better technology, better people, or increased prosperity, but to better see the Face of God.
10. See Rule Number One.
Posted by: Allan Hytowitz | March 12, 2016 at 02:36 PM
There are spiritual paths that don't follow the rules of religion in fact they encourage the ideas of questioning ourselves and authority. Let me know if you would like more info on this.
When science says "you could be wrong" I like to turn that back upon itself. There are things that are observable but not recordable that science has not been able to explain. I feel in these instances science gives an explaination anyway, reducing the experience to something humans can comprehend. In these instances of paranormal or ET happenings I don't feel we have accurate scientific explanations and I'm ok with the lack of human's capacity to understand these things. Science dismissing or giving false explanations leaves me feeling that science is the discipline that "needs" to be correct.
Having said that, I love science and I follow NDT closely. But I believe there is also room for exploration of the self and the universe in a spiritual manner.
Posted by: Nicole | April 15, 2017 at 05:46 AM
Sometimes NDT said: The best of science is that it Is true weather you believe it or not. But I would say: The best of God is that He is true weather you believe in him or not.
I love science, I like to follow new articles and discovers, I like to see and know what new discovers of the world and cosmos are, because it´s perfect, beautiful, and mathematically explained.
but I also comprehend that, that is possible because it is made by God, because the bible says that he is the beginning and the end of everything.
And that is not the only reason for what God exists, God exists because he changed my life in a way that nothing of the world could, and because I know plenty of people with their lifes also changed.
Descartes says that someone has the truth, when his spirit understand the idea with all its evidence, in a simple way, clear and with peace, and when this happens, nothing can create again doubt in that person. And that is completely truth, but nobody can change and modifiy his spirit by himself, just Jesus Christ can do it. There is when God change dramatically your life.
Posted by: O Diaz | May 12, 2017 at 10:03 PM
Very wise and very true indeed, and quite logical too. I find the religious frustrating sometimes. Just because science hasn't explained it YET, some magic man in the sky or some ghost is behind it???? Or that if the laws of physics don't account for something, a book written 2,000 years ago, by early men who didn't even know there were laws of physics and hardly understood the world around them??? What will you say for yourself then, when science does explain it and your still following some rusty old book written by cavemen like sheep???
While there are somethings we don't get in the universe, that was the case many years ago, when we were cavemen, during the biblical eras, as colonists. What would the early man call our technology, and our knowledge??? Spiritual???? Magical???? Divine??? Sound familiar?
But we've evolved and we've learned. Ignorance is the state of mind of any researcher at the beginning of their search, but the point is that WE DON'T STAY THAT WAY. I consider religion to be the representative of our immaturity as a species. You don't need God to be happy. The cosmic perspective shows us satisfaction and appreciation, WITHOUT being special or needing objective morals, or with everything appealing to those morals. And so, using that analogy, I have 2 words for the religious: Grow. Up.
Posted by: Savior | October 24, 2018 at 04:25 PM
My rules of science:
1. Science is an art. Investigating something or making a theory, is like a painting. You try somethings out. Somethings don't work, somethings do. Somethings turn out great. Somethings, you scrap. You have to be precise about it, you have to picture things out well before you go and test it, and you have to be smart about it. Science is sometimes more like painting than it is the logical process of absolute correctness or mathematical elegance people expect it to be.
2. Accept that not everyone gets number 1, and persevere through the naysayers or over-expectants.
3. Despite 2, don't discount what they say. Listen to logical arguments, and remember: You're word is not absolute. You might be wrong, so maybe they have something smart to say.
4. Science is not about greater advancement. It's about enlightenment, asking the questions, listening for the universe's response, and applying what we've deciphered to making life better here. The advancements in tech or power is just a neat side effect.
5. Follow the scientific method through every test, but don't blindly believe anything.
6. Science is objective. It doesn't bend to moral rules. There may be times where, depending on what it is that you are testing, you might have to cross a line or 2. Whether you're willing to, will say more about you and you're dedication to the theory than it does about the experiment and it's ethics, because ultimately one only ever became relevant.
7. Don't linger on a theory just because you really hope it's true, or grow obsessed over it because it's implications have some moral appeal, lying to yourself or persevering pointlessly. The universe wasn't made for our morals(Too many don't get that), and has no obligation to either. It has no obligation to even make sense to you. If everything suggests that your theory is wrong AF, then it probably is, and maybe you should just let it go.
Posted by: Savior | October 24, 2018 at 04:44 PM
Ann Druyan writes Cosmos, not NDT. These are her rules and her writing. He’s just a show host.
Posted by: Jo | April 08, 2019 at 04:45 PM