Cities and suburbs, real and imaginary.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Miracles

The scientific method is a powerful tool for the unraveling of the universe's mysteries. Once developed it rocketed our species to the moon and back, through the void that none could pass in safety and freedom by nature alone.

But, what will come next, after the scientific method?

Science has limitations. In "Fragments of a Hologram Rose", William Gibson wrote about this scientist that could enter a laboratory and, for whatever reason, make this thing work that no one else could make work. This happens every day. Things work that are not supposed to work. Things don't work that are supposed to work. Uncontrollable factors are tossed about - human error, and mistakes in the machinery, and unknown breakdowns in the system. Yet, these unpublished results exist, whether we can read about them in journals or not. Science is no good at outliers. Scientific method says they are to be cut from the charts and graphs. Anomalous things have no place in science. Miracles are still relegated to the realm of faith.

Yet, statistically unlikely things happen all the time. On a large enough time scale, anything that is possible is likely to happen. On an infinite time scale, anything that could possibly happen will happen, eventually.

I ask you, then, what sort of tool could come after the scientific method? How will we be able to measure and harness the unpredictable and miraculous?

Just kind of what I happen to think about, late at night.

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