Thursday, January 27, 2011
Why the Universe, Life and Man?
Nature Holds its Secrets Very Close!
I doubt the ability of modern man to reconstruct accurately the creation of ideas or memes regarding the fundamental questions of why the universe, why life, and why man. Then to follow accurately the causal chain of events and, more importantly, the sporadic evolution of these ideas down from ancient times to the present.
These chains and idea evolutions lead to one philosophy or another, one religious belief or another, one sect or another, or, as has also transpired, the nihilistic, atheistic state of non-belief in anything—except for, perhaps, the incremental and incomplete knowledge that science brings to the question.
There are attempts, of course, to chronicle all of this learning, and a long list of ancient scholars to peruse, but they all suffer from similar ills: bias, incomplete knowledge of the universe, and, ultimately, flawed views of why the universe, life, and man.
The best modern man can do is to trace the literature still in existence that treats the subject of “why everything”, and then to put their hope of greater clarity upon legions of philosophers, scientists and other scholars to pick up the trails that have been developed so far, and move our knowledge forward an incremental step or two.
But the scientists and scholars suffer from exactly the same deficiencies as the ancients did, except for degree: initial bias; lack of complete knowledge of their own mini-subject; and, in particular, knowledge of the entire universe of subjects that must be brought to bear; and more specifically, lack of sufficient training and firm grasp of the totality of philosophy, science, history and religion as they apply to the question of why the universe.
The fact is that every major philosophical system has been shown to have logical flaws that cannot be resolved, bringing each of them ultimately to an unbridgeable impasse. (This includes the following systems: Materialism; Positivism; Thomism; Critical Realism; Personalism; Phenomenology; and Existentialism among others.) Reference: Ideas of the Great Philosophers, Sahakian and Sahakian, Barnes and Noble, 1966. One cannot or should not use flawed philosophy in this quest.
Science, too, suffers from the same contretemps---the existing and frustrating ultimate limits to their knowledge of the universe, as opposed to their speculations on its origin, such as the Big Bang, the Multiverse Concept (invented to avoid the presumption of a First Cause) or the latest Self-Generation of the Universe a la Hawkins. These logical and physical constructs cannot be observed or proven. Thus, science, too, fails us at the limit, which is precisely where it ought to be our very best tool. Legions of scientists cannot break through the ultimate barriers of nature, such as: What was there before the Big Bang? Can we make something out of nothing? Did God have a hand in creation?
History is frustratingly incomplete on the subject also, or else it is riddled with superstition and myth if you go back far enough. One can incorporate a favorite myth or two or a large set of Gods into the answer, but that is hardly progress.
Thus, I doubt the ability of modern man to penetrate the final barriers of nature.