In Starfleet Academy (University), cadets (students) are taught to approach problems in a very methodical manner. The world is presented as a puzzle that has mostly been solved by others. The main goal for cadets at the Academy is to memorize the material presented to them and for them to be proficient in applying that information in a specific field after enough training. Some cadets even go on to build on top of the information taught and become known as experts in their field. The main flaw in this approach happens because academics are too quick to discard anecdotal experiences in favor of empirical evidence.
Conversely, there’s individuals that err too far on the side of intuition and mysticism. Some people have had experiences that made intuitive sense but weren’t logical decisions but were the right thing to do nonetheless. Others have spiritual experiences that steer them so far from science that they try to squeeze everything into one religious (or paranormal) paradigm or another. As a result, they can’t think outside of their dogma. Christians create a Christian science that “proves” everything fits into their system, other belief systems do the same.
I can understand science’s disposition for ignoring anecdotal experiences and mysticism. They’re not reproducible. Self-reports can be unreliable. There are certain things that stretch plausibility. Though science is not without flaws.
One of the fundamental issues with science is that it is impossible to independently verify all results. On some level, you also have to have faith in what others report. A good example of this is trying to see what the best restaurant is based on reviews on Google. In general, online reviews are a pretty good barometer for where to find a good restaurant but your experience may vary. Other times, there could be instrumentation error that isn’t easily discerned.
The old fashioned mercury thermometers were prone to such calculation errors. If one of your children had a temperature of 101° (38c) and you laid down that thermometer and picked it up the next morning to calculate the temperature of your other child, it would also indicate that they too had a fever even if that wasn’t the case as the mercury wasn’t properly reset. Right now, within the scope of science there are literally millions of studies that rely on instruments and programming. Even if only 1% of those studies had instrumentation error that would mean that over 10,000 studies were invalid.
Another thing to take into consideration is the uncertainty principle within quantum mechanics. The Heisenberg uncertainty principle states that the position and the velocity of an object cannot both be measured exactly, at the same time, even in theory. Therefore, just because you think you’re measuring the same thing over and over again to produce a result doesn’t mean you actually are. Since we’re moving through time and space constantly, since there’s constant quantum variance within everything, one could never quite compare one moment or object to another and say they are exactly the same. Not to mention the fact that 1,000 people could be witnessing the same exact phenomena at the same exact time and come away with 1,000 unique experiences.
One thing I’ve learned as captain is to trust my instincts, be open to the possibility of being wrong and that objective truth isn’t so black and white nor is it all encompassing. I’m finally learning to truly value subjective experiences. I sometimes don’t even know what I’m driving at with this blog ….maybe all this is a retort to my past self…one that went from dogmatically religious to extremely atheist. Also, at some point I hope to share the details of what really happened to me to get me to this point and I feel like this almost illogical need to prove my sanity and lucidity. I’m almost scared to detail it…like I’m not supposed to…a part of me feels like I won’t get the chance to say it…
It’s almost funny to me because the evidence was staring me (and you) in the face the whole time. And if one day everyone will know everything about each other and why things are the way it is, I think it’d be hilarious…even as implausible as it may seem…this very blog is a deeply seeded nugget of a cause and effect paradox! And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. (runs off and laughs like a hysterical person!)