TED Conversations

Graihagh Jackson

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Will science ever tell us everything there is to know?

Every day on the news, you read of break throughs, discoveries and new findings in science. But I wonder whether one day mankind will ever be able to know everything there is to know - why the universe (or indeed multiverse) exists; why laws themselves exist; and so forth.

As science moves onwards and upwards, are there any barriers that could stop us in having a theory of everything?


Closing Statement from Graihagh Jackson

I think some of the really central points made here is that to be able to know everything, means we have to be able to measure everything. Will we ever be able to measure everything? It seems unlikely. Besides, how would we ever know we knew everything? Absolute truth is unattainable and at any rate, the nature of human curiousity will inevitably mean we will continue to search for 'truths.' It seems that the majority post and comments on this debate was no - science won't tell us everything we need to know.

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    Jan 22 2014: very nice point to raise; but let's look at what science has done for us over the past 200 years.
    Sure it has been so enlightening, yet its blinding role is undeniable. So, I believe the same is still true and will continue in the future.
    At the same time, I believe we human beings are so so tiny in comparison with the whole universe- an endless existence and endlessly growing. So, what is the whole or the end to be discovered or uncovered?!
    I think enjoying the whole journey is much more fun the reaching and end, if there's one
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      Jan 22 2014: I agree - enjoying the journey is definately an interesting component. However, I don't think you could justify science on this basis. Science needs to be seen to make progress - to have an ultimate goal. Of course, there have been benefits of the journey (medicine, the internet, to name a couple) but I'm sure a curiousity and enjoyment of knowing more ever could justify spending the billions of taxpayers on research. What do you think?

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