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The Boundaries of Science - are we close?

Discussion in 'The Members Lounge' started by Man, Feb 13, 2007.

  1. Man

    Man New Member

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    After reading Christian Ankerstjerne's post regarding Theory/Facts in science, I started pondering, and came across this thought. Is science as we know it coming to an end? Are there any more groundbreaking discoveries to be made? I do not mean that all research will stop, but rather that we won't see something like the mapping og the genome, which I think is reaching the outer boundaries of biology? How many years do we have left untill we will understand and grasp the most important concepts of science?

    I'll try to make an analogy, like the mapping of Earth. We know all the continents, all the seas, all the mountains, all the forests. It is all accurately mapped down and can be easily studied. We have catalogued most of the important species - perhaps we will find a new deep water fish or bacterium somewhere, but that is not as groundbreaking as the mapping of the Antarctic or the realization that the Earth was round.

    Also, consider this: The more we know, the better becomes are ability to learn. Thus, we will be learning the fastest when we reach the point of having assimilated all knowledge. Are we in the middle of that "upward curve" now?

    What do you think? Present arguments! A non political discussion for a change :)
     
  2. Siberian Black

    Siberian Black New Member

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    And yet with all that tech, the most mapped planet in the solar system isn't Earth, it's Venus.

    I think any advancements we make from now on will either have little impact or profoundly change out world as we know it.
     
  3. Grieg

    Grieg New Member

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    There is so much that we don't know I'm unsure where to start.

    We don't know why light behaves with an apparent dual nature.
    We don't know what gravity is.
    We don't know the extent (if it's finite) of the universe.
    We don't know what the most basic subatomic structure is.
    We don't know how to create life.
    We don't know precisely how the human brain functions.
    We don't know if the universe was created or has always existed.
    We don't know, if the universe was created, how it was created.
    We don't know anything about the fundamental nature of time.


    these are just a few areas that come to mind that we need to know much more about before we can even begin to think that we understand the nature of the universe.
     
  4. Man

    Man New Member

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    Yes, and there is still the biggest mystery of all.

    "Why is there something, rather than nothing?"

    -- Stephen Hawking

    Some of these mysteries are probably unsolvable, some of the attempts at solving them reach into speculation that is more akin to literature or philosophy.

    How much more is there still left to know? We are approaching the limit in things like biology (mapping of the genomes) simulation (supercomputers are able to create models showing viruses and such as components built of the smallest physical detail, the atom) and astronomy.

    I am not saying that we are at the end, but I am raising the question that we might be approaching that within a few generations..

    The more we know, the faster we learn.. the Curve of Knowledge is an exponential one :grin:
     
  5. Jens Knudsen

    Jens Knudsen New Member

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  6. lynn1212

    lynn1212 New Member

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    reminds me

    there was a british science type about 100 years ago that made the statement that everything worth discovering had been discovered. if we limit our forecasting to just things we know about we must always be wrong. 100 years ago who would or could have predicted the internet or in vitro babies or any number of things we take for granted. what's still left? who knows, maybe time travel, anti gravity boots, transporter beams, immortally, cold fusion. and that's just the stuff writers have come up with for fiction. the best is yet to come
     
  7. Canadian_Super_Patriot

    Canadian_Super_Patriot recruit

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    I believe science will continue to advance as long as time exists. people always feel like thier pooped with technological achievements but theres is ALWAYS something around the next corner. Sometimes there is just large gaps between big breakthrus's
     
  8. Stix

    Stix New Member

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    I'd say there is still more that we don't know then what we do know.
    The big difference may be that we don't know what we don't know.
    With this I mean that things like the details of gravity, the dual nature of photons and electrons are unknown, but we know do know it exists.
    Yet things as time travel, the edge of space or psychic powers have as much evidence to support their none existence as their existence.

    Years ago nobody would have considered the existence of other continents, but now they are in essence mapped.
    More recently atoms and other planets would have been considered bullocks, but were making great progress of mapping them.
    Most likely we'll simply have to wait for the next discovery that will show us new parts of the world we live in.

    As for the parts we are already looking into we're hardly at the end there either.
    Sure the natural elements are known down to atomic level, but where's the limit? plenty of top heavy elements have already been created.
    Our cars move increasingly fast but can we ever make anything travel at the speed of light.. or faster?
    Is 0 Kelvin truly the lowest temperature possible or is there such a thing as a negative of movement?

    The more we think to know about something the less we look into it.
    Yes we know the most "important" species, yet a simple trawler can pick up 60 new species in an hour if it catches a nice current and though that may seem trivial you have no idea what they might be.
    For example I'm quite certain the first deep sea fish raised a few eyebrows.

    As for the "learning curve", in the optimistic theory, the amount of educated people rises and so does the level at which they are educated, leading to (amongst others) improved education up to the point where a 15year old might get basic photon manipulation classes.
    As of yet the top of this is determined by our genetic build/breeding and we don't know the top of that let alone that have reached it.
    With the possibility of intelligent computers being far from fictional I'd say the top is far from reached, whether we shall climb towards it exponentially fast or slow only time can tell.

    In short; the end of science as we know it; quite possibly; most likely the remaining corners of geology, the mapping of genomes etc could be filled out in a century or so.
    The end of scientific discoveries; I'd say that could be a long wait even for an immortal.
     
  9. majorwoody10

    majorwoody10 New Member

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    she blinded me with science.....btw dolbeys grandad was lost in a british submarine ,,an accident iirc btween wars...i remember as a kid in the late sixties i thought they couldnt write any more songs because they had used up all the melodies already....
     
  10. Panzerkampfwagen

    Panzerkampfwagen New Member

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    Yes i do! Its that real fun science lesson where you chuck stuff out of windows/ :grin:[/quote]
     

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