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¿Cuál es la pregunta científica que nunca tendrá respuesta?

Introduction.

We propose a tripartite division of scientific questions: the known, the unknown, and
the unknowable.

The known is general science, presented in scientific books and taught in schools and
universities. The unknown and impossible answers today will probably be known
tomorrow. The unknowable are scientific questions, metaquestions, that could never be
answered.

Besides, there are questions that do not belong to science. And we refer to Karl Popper
and his principle: only those questions involving ideas that are potentially falsifiable are
scientific.

Development.

One of the most important developments in the history of science was the lost of truth.
This was the result of fundamental changes that had to be made by science, in its quest
to understand nature and the role of mathematics.

The wheels and gears of the Newtonian paradigm were changed to accommodate
mathematical mechanisms of quantum theory. Uncertainty, specifically, probability was
admitted. This was a major departure from Newtonian certainties.

The creation of non-Euclidean geometry, based on different assumptions, and the


introduction of new algebras, with stranger properties, in the 19th century, forced
mathematicians to realize that mathematics laws were not special truths.

Another struck came from Kurt Gödel, when he proved that mathematics contains
unprovable statements.
The Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle, of quantum mechanics, limited our ability to
know, due to the very nature of the subatomic particles themselves.

The history of mind delivered a pessimistic message: the process of natural selection
conformed our minds to aid survival and fecundity; making difficult to understand
scientific principles.

The search for the solutions of the impossible problems can not be avoided. We can not
end human curiosity.

There are limits to the speed and accuracy on how much information can be processed
in reasonable periods of time and space.

The great questions about the structure of the Universe are very difficult to tackle, since
we can not get outside to examine it, and the speed of light is limited.

All these developments, among others, led to a gap: scientific laws are not objective,
true representation of reality. What we do observe is not nature in itself, but nature
exposed to our method of questioning. There are flexible, tentative, changeable,
convenient readings with outside and inside components. Every scientific theory is, in a
way, subjective, in the sense of important apportions of the human mind. They are not
proved, they have just survived, escaped from a wreckage.

Conclusion.

Science is a social construction, but, in each step, is confronted and tested against an
external reality. Since that verification is done by imperfect lenses, distorted; this
confront will never be perfect, but it supports a rigorous and exigent scrutiny. “Science
is the correct, search for knowledge”; confirmed paradigms.

The lessons of history tell us that the impossible problems of today may have answers
mañana. Al limits to knowledge already in existence may be steadily pushed back in the
far future.
Science, however, can never answer the closed question: “Is it truth, yes or no?” A
scientist never knows how close a model is to reality; but the gap is there, anyway. To
give a positive or negative answer to this closed question would mean the end of
science: the dogmatization of science. The firmest convictions in science can not be
asserted dogmatically; they are always suspect. This is a conquest but also a limitation.

The informed skepticism of science about the possibility of truth can be a positive thing.
It should make us much more suspicious of other entities.

The ruthless pursuit of certainties through the ages has destroyed millions of humans
lives and can still do so, again. It was the price paid by the illusion of having captured
the real, the transcendental, the total. If we give up such certainties, we can work
towards less ambitious projects…like trying to figure out how to encourage harmonious
societies.

The modern Prometheus of science is condemned to search truth, without ever knowing
whether it has found it, or not.