Tuesday, September 13, 2016

A Theory of Everything

Science is about observation of physical phenomena and provide an logical explanation to it. By Physical phenomena we mean whatever that can be observed. Observation is defined as the ability to sense the presence or absence, and a quantitative measure. These phenomena are entirely available to us through the five senses only. The five senses can be enhanced with apparatus such as microscope, telescope, and more sophisticated devices, but eventually sensed by our five senses.

We observe a multitude of phenomena in the world. from the vastness of outer space and its various objects such as stars and galaxies and black holes etc, which are observed through the eyes, telescopes, radio telescopes and other sensors, to the microscopic and sub atomic realm of particles which are announced by sophisticated devices such as the particle accelerators and particle detectors.

The phenomena that we observe has been steadily increasing over time, and the more we observe the more we discover. The discoveries of new phenomena constantly revises our understanding and results in newer explanations. This has been the history of science. Science has been striving to provide accurate explanation of all such observable phenomenon. There is always enough unexplained phenomena at any given point in time. Such observations results in multiple hypothesis. A hypothesis is an explanation for something but not proved and accepted.

The more sophisticated our ability to observe, the more we observe. This results in newer and newer concepts that needs explanation. science catches up and keeps providing explanations. Science also tries to bring all observable phenomenon into a single unified theory.

The unexplained phenomenon, as well as the elusive unified theory leads to a multitude of hypothesis. 

Can this never ending cycle of discovery and hypothesis and successful explanations ever have an end? Can all phenomenon can be explained and done with once and for all? Science thinks it is possible. Every scientific community thinks it will be eventually possible. It has been the case in all of humanity. When it comes to science, there is no difference in the approaches in the different peoples of the world. East or west, it is always a rational, objective approach. different civilizations have provided different explanations for the as yet unexplained phenomenon, but once it is explained by science the matter is considered settled. some civilizations are poetic and provide very romantic explanations yet scientific, some provide it simply and directly. But the litmus test is that the explanation should be rational, objective and observable.

At any given epoch there will always be phenomenon that is fully explained, some partially explained and some without an explanation. this is not due to any inability or limitation of any kind. It is the design of the universe. If you observe the multitude of phenomenon, it begs a question..'Why?'. Why a million different species ? why so many types of birds, animals, plants? the vastness of things and space exists to provide an almost infinite playground to have a exciting experience that we call life.

Imagine a world where there was only one kind of animal, say the humans, and one kind of plant, say the mango tree. and one kind of matter say iron and so on.. will that be an exciting world to live? It is the variety of things, and variety within things that causes experiences of interest. Similarly a completely known universe will fail to provide any excitement. It is the unknown element in everything that sustains interest in life. The moment we know exactly everything, it will become a dull world. So the Universe keeps generating newer and newer things.

Imagine a Cinema hall. The screen is blank to begin with. We go to a movie. we go there for the experience. and it is exciting based on the surprises and the unknown and the newness of what we see. and as time goes by we see hundreds of movies on the very same screen in the cinema hall. If someone begins to think, that they can figure out all the movies that will ever be screened in the hall, it may be an interesting thought, but if he eventually does, then he would have killed cinema. 

Same is the pursuit of the unified theory in Science. While it results in wonderful knowledge that eventually gets utilized for increasing our comforts, a pursuit towards understanding and explaining all phenomenon will always be eluding. 

When we understand that it is not a limitation but a design for entertainment, we experience a joyful existence.

No comments:

Post a Comment