Science explains everything except what science can’t explain

“The most incomprehensible thing about the world is that it is comprehensible”    — Einstein

A frequent refrain among scientists is how marvelous it is that the Universe obeys mathematical laws.  No exceptions.  Isn’t it a remarkable property of nature that she is so consistent and perfectly predictable?

Science always works!

Could it be that this is an illusion?

The rules of scientific reporting specify that we publish what is reproducible.  If it happens in your laboratory once, and you try again and again, and it doesn’t happen, then you conclude that the first time must have been a mistake, and you don’t tell anyone about it.

If you publish a result from your lab and I do the same experiment in my lab but get a different result, I’ll publish an article that suggests you must have been mistaken.

scientismSo maybe it’s not that anomalies don’t exist.  Maybe we discredit them as part of our standard scientific methodology.  Yes, it’s remarkable how much of the world can be explained by rules that (statistically) seem to hold everywhere and always.  But to say that every natural phenomenon is governed by the same laws is to go too far.  This is a dogma.  It is scientism, the elevation of scientific principles to an object of faith.  It is the suspension of skepticism.

If science aspires to be a full account of the world, then the rules of science must be expanded to allow for anomalies.  Science would do well to admit the possibility that some of the irreproducible occurrences in science are not mistakes.  There may be unique observations that are accurately reported and yet are not reproducible—one-off events that are in a class by themselves.

What is your experience?  Have you ever experienced something odd and unexplainable and written it off as a coincidence or a hallucination?  Was it a turning point in your life or an isolated incident?  Did you tell everyone you know, or did you quietly bury the experience in your memory?

Call them miracles if you must.  I call them events that science has yet to explain because science has yet to acknowledge them.  


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