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Discussion 7 to Talk Back 59
Re: Truth Evolves

by Maarten van den Driest

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Thomas J.,

Thank you for your kind words in the preceding post.

It is sometimes hard to understand each other when you come from different backgrounds and sometimes mean different things, using the same words. (As an aside: the problem with saying 'God is love,' is that you have to explain the exact meaning of all three words..)

What you acknowledged is exactly what I tried to prove: that your views and beliefs are not necessarily more true than others.

Which doesn't mean, by the way, that I haven't got a lot of respect for your ideas or that I think mine are better. You seem to allow everyone their own path. Well, allow the agnostics and atheists their path and you're done. Why should a person's path include any formalised spiritual talk?

I am honoured by your suggestion I recommend books to you. There is one thing that bothers me a tad and that is that you exclaim: "I need answers!!" Some would say that it is the journey that counts, not the goal but, more importantly, the answers are not for me to give.

My main advise would be to read up on science in general. What can it do? What are (self-imposed) limits? I don't know where you come from so I can't really name any books specifically but there should be introductions available on people as Ockham (of the razor) and Karl Popper. Try to get books meant for adults as the children's books will usually just give you the theories whereas you need books that tell you how the theory was arrived at.

If you like reading fantasy, I would recommend the excellent Discworld series, by Terry Pratchett. Pratchett has written 'The Science of Discworld', a novel / science history-book, to supplement the regular novels. It is all about a bunch of wizards on a flat planet where magic is real. In a dangerous magical experiment, they create a universe without magic and a round world. This is, of course, our world: it is really about us. The novel alternates funny chapters with serious chapters, in which the history of our universe is described. While it is written to be understood by the general public, you still learn a lot and really get a feel for what scientific discovery is like.