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Re: Cladistics (was Sci. Am. - present)



Dinogeorge@aol.com wrote:
> 
> In a message dated 98-02-24 04:08:35 EST, th81@umail.umd.edu writes:
> 
> << Then perhaps I might suggest a field other than science?  We don't get
>  "right" answers in science, any field of science.  We get the best
>  approximations we can with current data and methodology, subject to
>  falsification with new data and methods.  I know some people are
>  uncomfortable with this, but that's how science works. >>
> 
> Yes, we do get "right" answers, even in science. It all depends on what you
> mean by "right." If you really, really believe that truth is an undiscoverable
> ideal, then its pursuit is pointless, and you might as well become a mystic.
> It is irrational to continue pursuing an unreachable goal.

I disagree.  If it's possible to keep getting closer to that goal, even if you 
can never 
reach it, it may end up being more worthwhile than an achievable goal, because 
there is 
no end to your benifit from it.  I don't think this is a "mystical" viewpoint; 
seems 
extremely concrete and practical to me.  I believe it's probably impossible to 
absolutely prove anything; I also believe that pursuit of real knowledge is the 
most 
worthwhile activity.  I see no contradiction in this.  To a certain extent, 
it's the 
search that's important, and ultimately what one is looking for is the most 
likely 
"truth" about something, rather than some absolute "truth".  If you can't 
understand 
this point of view, that doesn't mean there's anything wrong with either it or 
your own 
point of view.  It just means diferent people see things diferently.