BigPictureFallacy

The Grand Design --- it's such a tantalizing ideal, especially for scientists who like to speculate. If only we could look a little farther out into the universe, a little deeper into the nucleus, a little harder into the mathematics. One more discovery, and we'll understand it all. Maybe we've already got the key element of The Grand Design, but haven't realized it yet. Maybe this paper that I've recently written is It, but nobody (else) appreciates the fact (yet).

Hmmm ... stated so bald-facedly that sounds pretty megalomaniac, eh?! Yet that's the recurring theme of so many (erstwhile) popular science books.

But perhaps there is no Grand Design --- just an infinite wealth of jigsaw-puzzle pieces that fit together in countless ways without ever making a larger picture. Perhaps the most important things don't simplify down to a few elegant principles.

And perhaps an open-ended world like that wouldn't be a bad place to live.

(see also EdgeOfTheUniverse (8 Jun 1999), OnSomethingness (17 Jan 2000), No Concepts At All (22 Feb 2001), ...)


TopicPhilosophy - TopicScience - TopicLife - Datetag20030122



Actually, you know, we collectively make it up as we go... the universe, that is. More interesting that way. -- Bo Leuf


(correlates: NewYearResolution, InfiniteInAllDirections, NothingnessShowsThrough, ...)