科学是一种信仰吗?

December 4, 2007 11:12 am UTC | In Study

推荐 Paul Davies 的文章:Taking Science on Faith

科学和信仰

另引用一下我 1997 年一片土鳖文章的土鳖观点:

……人们还认为“逻辑上唯一可行的理论即是自然的终极理论” 。这难道不是反映了人的高傲本性么?“逻辑上唯一”?是否有唯一?逻辑已经是完备的了?逻辑是万能的吗?人总是有这样一种高姿态,想从纯粹的思维上去把握实在,这的确是一种美的追求(简单性、和谐性),Einstein 也这样说过。但是这是一个长期的发展过程,逻辑与自然理论都尚需作进一步发展,至少在现在,纯粹的思维是难以把握实在的。

另引用霍金《时间简史》 第一章末的观点:

Now, if you believe that the universe is not arbitrary, but is governed by definite laws, you ultimately have to combine the partial theories into a complete unified theory that will describe everything in the universe. But there is a fundamental paradox in the search for such a complete unified theory. The ideas about scientific theories outlined above assume we are rational beings who are free to observe the universe as we want and to draw logical deductions from what we see. In such a scheme it is reasonable to suppose that we might progress ever closer toward the laws that govern our universe. Yet if there really is a complete unified theory, it would also presumably determine our actions. And so the theory itself would determine the outcome of our search for it! And why should it determine that we come to the right conclusions from the evidence? Might it not equally well determine that we draw the wrong conclusion? Or no conclusion at all?

The only answer that I can give to this problem is based on Darwin’s principle of natural selection. The idea is that in any population of self-reproducing organisms, there will be variations in the genetic material and upbringing that different individuals have. These differences will mean that some individuals are better able than others to draw the right conclusions about the world around them and to act accordingly. These individuals will be more likely to survive and reproduce and so their pattern of behavior and thought will come to dominate. It has certainly been true in the past that what we call intelligence and scientific discovery have conveyed a survival advantage. It is not so clear that this is still the case: our scientific discoveries may well destroy us all, and even if they don’t, a complete unified theory may not make much difference to our chances of survival. However, provided the universe has evolved in a regular way, we might expect that the reasoning abilities that natural selection has given us would be valid also in our search for a complete unified theory, and so would not lead us to the wrong conclusions.

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