Monday, 12 September 2011

Noisy trees?

Reading this week's New Scientist, I came across the phrase "an objective reality that exists independently of our beliefs" in relation to the stupidity of the idea that the world was ever flat (Feedback, New Scientist. 211(2829), 64). It got me thinking. My world used to be flat when I was quite young. That "model" became useless when I learned a bit more, and better explanations made sense as my childish observations and experience grew. It struck me that there may be scientists, particularly in the Natural Sciences, who may claim to believe in an objective reality, even though they themselves contribute to emergent explanations that help to make sense of increasingly contradictory or complex observations. Social scientists seem more ready to acknowledge that there are no objective facts; merely a provisional, negotiated consensus. This reminded me of that old philosophical chestnut, "if a tree falls in the forest, and there is no one there to hear it, does it make a noise?" The article made me realize that I now have a view on that. It doesn't; because noise is an experience and a perception. Those who think it does, perhaps, believe in objective reality that exists independently of beliefs.

No comments:

Search This Blog

Blog Archive

About Me

My photo
Reading, Berkshire, United Kingdom

Total Pageviews