Fundamentals

  • Nothing can be known objectively other than through empirical observation and deduction based on critical thinking, testing, verification, and peer review.
  • Conversely, intuition tells us nothing. Intuition gives us no way to discern basic assertions such as whether there is a trinity, a unity, a pantheon, or whether it is simply turtles all the way down.
  • Human intellect, being the product of evolution, is optimized to ensure its reproductive survival, not to know facts with total objective, empirical certainty. Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle states this fact scientifically. This cannot give the Post-Moderns legitimate comfort. The impossibility of complete objective, empirical knowledge does not justify completely abandoning it as a means of knowing the universe. When one abandons empiricism, the only alternatives are Post-Modern New Age self-indulgence or the cacophony of gods presented by the world's theistic religions. Post-modernism is as meaningless as the Sokol Affair's "Transgressing the Boundaries: Towards a Transformative HermeneuticsQuantum Gravity". As for religion, the last two hundred years of warfare is enough to prove that no religion has a monopoly on Truth.
  • We can extend our knowledge of the universe by empirical observation and critical thinking. Humans are the product of the universe. Thus, our critical thinking derives from and and is consistent with our experience of the universe. We naturally think in the language of a mathematics that can describe the universe. Finally, a thought problem of pure critical thinking can bear the fruit of the general theory of relativity because the mind can think in patterns consistent with the universe we experience.  These patterns can produce conclusions that can be verified by observation.
  • There are limits to what we can know empirically and rationally. As we try to understand phenomena that are remote from our direct experience, we need to fall increasingly on mathematics, modelling, and analogy to understand them. We describe observations remote from our experience ranging from the atom to the nova not as they really are but in the language of mathematics, modelling, and analogy. This is not a retreat into intuition or faith; it is the description of observed facts in a context that is consistent with our experience of the universe. The electron cloud around a nucleus is not a set of orbital paths or a three dimensional probability distribution of location of the negative charge. It is only correct to say that in some ways it resembles the cloud or the probability distribution.
  • Humans are the product of biological evolution. As such, we are physically and mentally optimized for reproductive success under the circumstances in which we evolved. These empirical facts suggest many hypothesis about how humans can live most healthily and, perhaps, happily. We can posit as a working hypothesis that living lives that are most consistent to the lives of our ancestors in the Paleolithic will produce the most beneficial physical and mental results. The idea is not new: for one and a half thousand years, philosophers and ethicists have been calling this "living in according with nature".