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We live in a time of information abundance, which far too many of us see as information overload. With the sum total of human knowledge, past and present, at our fingertips, we’re faced with a crisis of attention: which ideas should we engage with, and why? Big Think is an evolving roadmap to the best thinking on the planet — the ideas that can help you think flexibly and act decisively in a multivariate world.

A word about Big Ideas and Themes — The architecture of Big Think

Big ideas are lenses for envisioning the future. Every article and video on bigthink.com and on our learning platforms is based on an emerging “big idea” that is significant, widely relevant, and actionable. We’re sifting the noise for the questions and insights that have the power to change all of our lives, for decades to come. For example, reverse-engineering is a big idea in that the concept is increasingly useful across multiple disciplines, from education to nanotechnology.

Themes are the seven broad umbrellas under which we organize the hundreds of big ideas that populate Big Think. They include New World Order, Earth and Beyond, 21st Century Living, Going Mental, Extreme Biology, Power and Influence, and Inventing the Future.

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The Beliefs Beneath Science

August 10, 2010, 7:08 AM
While scientists often leave their religious beliefs at the door, it is much harder to abandon one's philosophical beliefs, which are equally unproven yet influence science to a high degree. "'Scientists, like everyone else, have beliefs,' writes distinguished mathematician E. Brian Davies in 'Why Beliefs Matter'. He is not only referring to religious beliefs but to philosophical ones, too. While religious beliefs can be easy to leave at the laboratory door, philosophical beliefs are much harder to sideline. Some mathematicians, for instance, subscribe to a Platonic view in which theorems are true statements about timeless entities that exist independent of human minds. Others believe that mathematics is a human enterprise invented to describe the regularities seen in nature."
 

The Beliefs Beneath Science

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