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g comments on No One Knows What Science Doesn't Know - Less Wrong

38 Post author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 25 October 2007 11:47PM

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Comment author: g 26 October 2007 03:08:47PM 6 points [-]

Longer version of PdB's answer: "because of the curvature of space" isn't "just a curiosity stopper" if you can actually say what that means, do the mathematics, and see how that leads to the phenomenon of gravitation. Of course when you do this you encounter other more fundamental things that you haven't explained yet. (See Eliezer's "Explain/Worship/Ignore" piece here some time back.) This is only curiosity-stopping if you then say "no point ever trying to go any deeper than this".

If the fact that there are not-yet-explained things underlying the curvature of space and how it produces gravity makes it improper to say "we do know how gravity works", then I think similar facts make it improper to say "we know how a windmill works" or "we know how a seesaw works", quod est absurdum.

Scientific explanations replace mysteries with smaller mysteries. You can call that "taking mystery out of the world" if you want to, but regarding that as a *criticism* is just preferring ignorance and stupidity over knowledge and understanding. If science took the *wonder* or the *curiosity* out of the world, that would be a criticism worth making, but oddly enough it's a criticism only ever made by people who don't know much science.

All of which seems to me to be merely repeating things Eliezer said -- and that were common knowledge before Eliezer said them, too -- so, bjk and/or Constant, maybe I'm misunderstanding you?