On the uncertainity of explanations: Religion vs Science

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Once my friend, who is a believer of a set of religious rules, said “I don’t believe in science because it says something now and it says something else later. It’s so uncertain.”
I replied “Hold on a second. So you believe in statements which never change? Good… And do you even bother to think that your statements itself are correct? Well, I guess you follow them just because they never seem to be changed. Pathetic..”

Yes… The practice of humans is to make models and hypothesis to explain the unknown. Religion and Science follow this same practice as the first step. But for Religion, there are no more steps and ends its job at this point, and start to teach people this hypothesis as if it is the truth. (Hypothesis such as ‘earth is as young as 10,000 years’, ‘human beings are made from clay’ falls in this category) Science takes far more steps forward in terms of testing the hypothesis under various circumstances and see whether the hypothesis can survive all tests or not. A hypothesis will survive only if it is close to the truth. This is how we figure out what the reality is, through Science. Still, Science never claims it as the absolute truth, it only says this hypothesis works every time under certain conditions. That’s the kind of transparency you see only in Science. In this sense, it is comfortable for me to have uncertainties of different degrees about something, rather than to have a never-changing hypothesis. There are uncertainties in Science, but there is no room for fallacies; how beautiful and robust Science is…

Finally, quoting Feynman:
“I can live with doubt and uncertainty and not knowing. I think it is much more interesting to live, not knowing than to have answers that might be wrong. If we only allow that, as we progress, we remain unsure, we will leave opportunities for alternatives. We will not become enthusiastic for the fact, the knowledge, the absolute truth of the day, but always remain uncertain … To make progress, one must leave the door to the unknown ajar.”

 

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