Jigsaw Puzzle

Science is like a gigantic set of jigsaw puzzles. Doing science is like finding pieces for various of those puzzles — involving physics, economics, chemistry, sociology, psychology, biology, etc. — and trying to fit them into place. The best (and/or luckiest) scientists find lots of pieces, big pieces, maybe edge or even corner pieces, that hook well with other pieces and add major elements to the jigsaw puzzle picture that's taking shape. Often pieces don't quite fit and need to be replaced with other pieces, years or centuries later. Sometimes the picture that's emerging turns out to be completely different than what it once appeared to be. Mathematicians and philosophers study the forms of the puzzle pieces, the characteristics of the image fragments on the pieces, and the big-picture possibilities that they contribute to. It's all a huge shared game that people have been working on together for millennia. Kinda amazing!

(cf On Somethingness (2000-01-17), Science and Pseudoscience (2001-10-06), Coincidental Taxonomy (2001-10-19), Webs of Evidence (2000-02-15), No Concepts At All (2001-02-22), Altered Native (2002-01-24), Coincidental Taxonomy 2 (2002-05-14), Big Picture Fallacy (2003-01-22), Seeing Nature (2005-07-19), Music of the Primes (2011-08-11), ...) - ^z - 2019-12-08