Proof Without Certainty
My last article, “What Do you Think You Know?” produced a firestorm of controversy on all sides. That’s the way it should be. My point, that many people missed however, is that what we think that we know can only best be described as proof without certainty (thank you Ashley Montague). That’s because the search for who and what we are is based on scientific inquiry that by definition is unsettled. That’s the very nature of science.
Everybody says that they know this or they know that. They’re so positive that they’re almost convincing. Certainly, they are convincing to themselves. Then, one day, they become just as convinced about the new theory du jour. Take Richard Dawkins for example. He told the TED conference that now he has proof that evolutionary theory is correct. The implication from his statement is that he must not have been positive in the past even though he said that he was. How can you take anyone like that seriously?
As science ventures further and further into the unobservable, its theories become less and less reliable. As scientist Robert Lanza said, “We have failed to protect science against speculative extensions of nature, continuing to assign physical and mathematical properties to hypothetical entities beyond what is observable in nature.” So theories concerning, say, evolution, gravity and black holes are just that – theories. Evolution, for example, has not been able to demonstrate the core tenet of its theory – the existence of transitional fossils. Then there’s gravity. We see the effect, but with apologies to my friend Albert E., we don’t have a clue how it works – which means that we really don’t know what it is. As for black holes, they only exist, so far, on the chalkboards of theoretical physicists. At least, physicist Andrew Strominger understands the dilemma as he admitted that, “A singularity is when we don’t know what to do. What’s so embarrassing about singularities is that we can’t predict what’s going to come out of it.” However, I would ask a different question and that question is this: Does a singularity even exist?
Generally, people’s thought processes work like this. They ask themselves what they believe in? That’s not so much a question I suppose as it is a belief system that’s already been implanted in their mind (perhaps even subconsciously). We’re in love with our beliefs, even in the absence of emperical evidence and despite the fact that we don’t have the experience to form our own opinions on most questions. Even great minds have developed many important ideas from other people, rather than through a scientific process. For example, Copernicus was heavily influenced by Pythagoras and hermetic writings. We should be looking for information to help us form an opinion but instead we look for data to support a preconceived notion. Is it any wonder, then, that in the end we come to the conclusion that our “evidence” constitutes incontrovertible proof. How convenient.
So what then constitutes reality? Well for starters, perception is reality. What seems real to you or what you convince yourself is real is in fact a real experience, since the mind cannot tell the difference between what is real and what is vividly imagined. But what does science say is real? Max Planck, the father of quantum physics, believed that behind the forces of the universe is “The existence of a conscious and intelligent mind. This mind is the matrix of all matter.” Albert Einstein referred to Planck’s mind as “a spirit… manifest in the laws of the universe. Famous theoretical physicist David Bohm developed a theory of what he called the implicate and explicate order to explain what reality is. Michael Talbot, in his book “The Holographic Universe”, described Bohm’s theory this way, “Our brains mathematically construct objective reality by interpreting frequencies that are ultimately projections from another dimension, a deeper order of existence that is beyond both space and time: The brain is a hologram folded in a holographic universe!” In other words, what we perceive as our world is merely a projection from a different reality, the Unseen or the Source if you will, which is located beyond space and time.
Just because you can observe life and have thoughts about what it all means doesn’t mean that you understand reality. We are simply processing our sensory experiences according to what I call Morpheus’ Law. As Morpheus said in the movie The Matrix, “If real is what you can feel, smell, taste and see, then ‘real’ is simply electrical signals interpreted by your brain.” That’s all that our perception of reality is then – an interpretation of electrical signals. As for what we call reality, Einstein himself referred to it as an illusion.
Leading theoretical physicist Jim Gates disclosed that scientific equations which describe the fundamental nature of the universe and reality contain embedded computer codes (the same type of binary codes which your computer utilizes), with the implication being that we live in a virtual reality matrix. Even our DNA is encoded. Nobel Award-winning physicist Francis Crick developed his famous “sequence hypothesis” which states that the chemical constituents in DNA function like symbols in a computer code. This sentiment was echoed by, of all people, Bill Gates who noted that, “DNA is like a computer program, but far, far more advanced than any software we’ve ever created.” So how then can you know beyond a shadow a doubt that your thoughts are even your own?
Imagine. Your body has trillions of cells and each one of these cells is as complicated as a city. As scientist David Eagleman stated about the brain, “Trillions of synaptic conversations hum in parallel, that this vast egglike fabric of micron-thin circuitry runs algorithms undreamt of in modern science, and that these neural programs give rise to our decision making.” Yet, people’s beliefs imply that they understand the very nature of these algorithms that apparently are so far beyond human comprehension. So how can we be so sure of our opinions when science hasn’t even scratched the surface in understanding the basic fundamentals of life? How are we sure about the brains interpretation of the electrical signals it receives (within this virtual reality matrix) when we can’t even fully explain how the brain works?
Amongst all of the uncertainty, ideologues rule the day since they by definition are always certain. However, as David Bohm put it, “A great many people think they are thinking when they are merely rearranging their prejudices.” And so it goes…as a species, man has seemingly proven everything and yet is certain of nothing – that is, until the next new theory comes along.
“What a life in science really teaches you is the vastness of our ignorance.”