> The Search for Truth

The Search for Truth

If a scientist, philosopher, or anyone else tells you something is true, and in fact it is not true, it is not true. To say something is true does not make it true. Even though you are told something is true, if it is not true it is simply not true. On the other hand, if something is true it is true, even if you are told or believe that it is not.

Science is based on observation, formulation of theories, and more observation. To observe necessarily requires the ability to perceive, to sense, feel, smell, touch, taste, see, hear. Early humans used all their senses to explore the world around them. When human senses proved inadequate, they devised better and better tools and instruments to extend their range. Microscopes and telescopes to expand vision, stethoscopes and amplifiers to increase hearing, along with thousands of other devices.

The catalog of devices used to expand our human senses is enormous and growing by the minute, yet all the instruments of humankind can do no more than extend the reach of humans into the universe of which they and their instruments are a part. We know of three spatial dimensions, height, width, depth, and a fourth dimension, time. Physicists suggest that there are many more unseen dimensions. How many dimensions are there? No one knows, for there may be any number of dimensions which are separate and beyond human ability to sense, measure, and thus scientifically prove.

Does that mean that additional dimensions do not exist, the answer is no. If a dimension exists, it exists. If a dimension does not exist, it does not exist. This is true regardless of whether we can, or never can, observe that dimension. No matter how many dimensions are eventually observed, one or more additional dimensions may or may not exist beyond human ability to observe.

Many of you are saying to yourselves, it is one thing to say that a dimension beyond human ability to observe may exist but an entirely different thing to say that one probably does. You are right. Most of you will go on to say it is highly improbable, maybe less than one chance in a trillion, that even one more dimension exists beyond the observable number of dimensions, however many that may eventually prove to be. If you think that, you are wrong.

To be able to statistically predict the likelihood of an event happening we must first observe to see how often the event occurs during a given period of time. If we cannot observe the event when it occurs, we cannot determine how often it happens (or does not happen) and we cannot calculate the likelihood of the event (mathematical models may predict the existence of that which cannot be observed, but they cannot contribute to statistical proof).

The problem with recognizing the limitations of statistical analysis and science is understanding the difference between not observing an event where the event watched for can be observed, and not observing an event where the event cannot be observed because it is beyond human ability to sense. The first, not observing an event which could be seen, leads to the valid conclusion that the event is unlikely to occur. The second, not observing an event which is beyond human ability to perceive, beyond experimental observation, cannot lead to any conclusion at all about the reality of that event. Yet it appears to be human nature to assume that things which have never been observed do not exist, or at best are highly unlikely to exist.

If something exists beyond human perception it will never be observed during our physical lifetimes. If you cannot measure something because it is beyond human perception you cannot prove it exists, on the other hand you cannot prove that it does not exist. More importantly, you cannot say that it is likely or unlikely that it exists! You simply cannot say anything objective at all about that which is beyond human ability to observe.

It is very, very important to realize that it is absolutely impossible to say that it is either likely or unlikely something exists beyond human observation. We simply cannot determine in any way the probability that something exists, or does not exist, beyond our observable universe. To understand the significance of this often overlooked statement is to understand that we have absolutely no idea what, if anything, lies beyond our human boundaries.

Because we cannot know what lies beyond our perception or how it might affect our physical reality, we can never prove that anything is absolutely “true”, or absolutely “false”. A moment’s thought should bring the realization that this absolute limit of statistics and science renders all “scientific proof”, as well as subjective feelings, that nothing exists beyond our perception into “philosophic arguments”.

Despite what science might claim to have “proven”, and despite what we might “feel”, about what lies beyond our ability to observe, we cannot say anything objective about that which is beyond human perception. No one, not you nor I nor the smartest person on earth can say that it is likely, or not likely, that a “world” or “worlds” exist beyond the physical world in which we live. From an objective standpoint anything, or nothing, may exist beyond human cognition.

NEXT: The Mystery of Existence          

HOME: First Page