Wednesday, 7 May 2014

A few thoughts sparked by a discussion of the new Cosmos series:

What I find is, personally, nearly 3 decades after watching and loving the original, I just don't have the same conception of science's value anymore. I appreciate the aggregate gains in knowledge about how our world works, but science is no more than that endeavour: objective knowledge discovery. It is a tool and many other things set the context for how it is used. Rather than being our one great Rosetta stone, science is only one component in the range of mental disciplines we need to function and grow as individuals and a species; ethical engagement and something amounting to philosophy being two others (I know ethics is considered a subset of philosophy but I highlight it because science in itself does not prescribe an ethical dimension). Science cannot help us with social justice and it can only help with things like hunger and disease and sustainability in the right ethical and political climate. So for me the new Cosmos is an interesting look at one vital scientific endeavour, but not the single most important undertaking for us as a species. 

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