3 readers online now  |  69 million page views

Science, facts, truth

Reader comment on item: Immanuel Kant vs. Israel
in response to reader comment: almost contentless

Submitted by Morry (United States), Aug 26, 2010 at 19:19

Reply to Myth:

What you say is true. It is also true that the sky is blue and that 2+2=4. But if I asked you what time it was and you said "the sky is blue," that would be a fact, but it would not be the correct or true answer. Scientists seek answers to questions, as do those in many other professions, and you need facts as well as a brain to understand the implications of various facts. Homicide detectives seek facts. This argument started when you said that scientists do not seek truth, they seek facts. That is what I completely disagree with. Sure they seek facts, as does anyone trying to find the truth. What scientists do is seek the truth -- all kinds of truth -- about the universe we occupy. "Truth" and "Fact" are not the same thing. "Fact" pertains to something in reality. "Truth" is a description of KNOWLEDGE -- ie, it is the word for knowledge which IN FACT does correspond correctly to reality. A fact is not "true." A fact just IS. It exists, it is a fact, it is a part of the real world. The sky is, in fact, blue, so a statement to that effect is TRUE. "The sky is polka dotted" would be FALSE. Why? Because it is NOT a fact. Facts exist whether we know about them or not. Truth is KNOWLEDGE about facts. To seek the truth is to seek KNOWLEDGE that corresponds to reality. That knowledge usually must include facts. BUT IT IS NOT RESTRICTED EXCLUSIVELY to what we normally regard as facts.

There are relationships, physical laws, that govern the way different entities in the universe react or relate to each other. Yes, relationships can exist and be loosely termed "facts" -- eg, it's a fact that the moon is about a quarter million miles from earth. But then of course there are POTENTIAL relationships, eg, effects that will result IF -- IF -- certain contingencies obtain. That's what the natural laws tell us, the ones scientists seek to discover. EG, we know that IF the moon were heavier than it actually is, and moving at a different speed in its orbit about earth, THEN the laws of gravity would make that possible ONLY if the moon were at a specific distance from earth DIFFERENT

Submitting....

Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

Comment on this item

Mark my comment as a response to Science, facts, truth by Morry

Email me if someone replies to my comment

Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

See recent outstanding comments.

Follow Daniel Pipes

Facebook   Twitter   RSS   Join Mailing List
eXTReMe Tracker

All materials by Daniel Pipes on this site: © 1968-2021 Daniel Pipes. daniel.pipes@gmail.com and @DanielPipes

Support Daniel Pipes' work with a tax-deductible donation to the Middle East Forum.Daniel J. Pipes

(The MEF is a publicly supported, nonprofit organization under section 501(c)3 of the Internal Revenue Code.

Contributions are tax deductible to the full extent allowed by law. Tax-ID 23-774-9796, approved Apr. 27, 1998.

For more information, view our IRS letter of determination.)