New Cosmology Think Tank: What's the Point of Science Itself?
I thought some of my readers might be interested in this item about a new cosmology think tank headed by Paul Davies. After quoting the physicist Steven Weinberg ("The more the universe seems comprehensible, the more it seems pointless."), the article goes on:
But then, retorts Paul Davies, the scientist and author of more than 20 books on cosmology, what's the point of science itself?
Davies, who has spent his career asking variations on this question, will now be in a position to look for answers as the head of a new cosmology think tank, provisionally named Beyond, at Arizona State University. The outfit, part of an ambitious effort by ASU president Michael Crow to stake out new intellectual territory for his young institution, will ask no easy questions, only deep ones like "Why are the laws of nature mathematical?"—something that's been gnawing at scientists for about 2,500 years. Davies says he wants to look into "the origin of the universe, life, consciousness and the emergence of humanity." . . .
Regarding a priori presuppositions:
. . . "Scientists proceed on the assumption that there is a coherent scheme to the universe to be uncovered," he said last month at a conference on belief and reason at the Salk Institute that brought together many prominent atheists, including Richard Dawkins and Sam Harris. "That's also an act of faith." Davies then gave his own version of Weinberg's formula. "The more the universe seems pointless," he said, staring down his audience of hardened skeptics, "the more it is incomprehensible."
For other posts dealing with metaphysical presuppositions, see here and here.
Thanks to a comment, the link to a press release on the Davies think tank is here.