Why do we still have big questions?

 Kevin Kelly is by far one of my top ten people alive right now. His ability to see and understand the complex world of evolving science and then express that understanding in simple terms is one of his many gifts. The following is a portion of an article about the big questions.

“Information is expanding 10 times faster than any product on this planet – manufactured or natural. According to Hal Varian, an economist at UC Berkeley and a consultant to Google, worldwide information is increasing at 66 percent per year – approaching the rate of Moore’s law – while the most prolific manufactured stuff – paper, let’s say, or steel – averages only as much as 7 percent annually. By this rough metric, knowledge is growing exponentially.

. A decade ago, author John Horgan interviewed prestigious scientists in many fields and concluded in his book The End of Science that all the big questions had been answered. The world of science has been roughly mapped and all that remains now is to color in the details.

So why do we still have so many unanswered questions? Take the current state of physics: We don’t know what 96 percent of the universe is made of. We call it “dark matter,” a euphemism for our ignorance.

Yet it is also clear that we know far more about the universe than we did a century ago, and we have put this understanding to practical use – in consumer goods like GPS receivers and iPods, in medical devices like MRI scanners, and in engineered materials like photovoltaic cells and carbon nanotubes. Our steady and beneficial progress in knowledge comes from steady and beneficial progress in tools and technology. Telescopes, microscopes, fluoroscopes, and oscilloscopes allow us to see in new ways and to know more about the universe.
The paradox of science is that every answer breeds at least two new questions. More answers mean even more questions, expanding not only what we know but also what we don’t know. Every new tool for looking farther or deeper or smaller allows us to spy into our ignorance. Future technologies such as artificial intelligence, controlled fusion, and quantum computing (to name a few on the near horizon) will change the world – that means the biggest questions have yet to be asked.
Kevin Kelly, author of Cool Tools

 When Kevin is talking about every question breeding two more, I think the application can be found in the church. If we are wiling to begin to ask questions (which some do not believe we can/should), the result is more and more questions, but also a more distilled and refined view of religious ideas long left unchallenged and untouched. Unless we embrace the undulation of the living Journey, we will be destined to be included with those who said automobiles, television, personal computers and the internet were a fad.

Ask. Search. Seek. Question. At the end of these actions is real life!

Explore posts in the same categories: Belief, Context, Creativity, Cultural Ideas, Influence, Life

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