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What Scientists Spend Our Time Thinking About

Science gets things right and it takes a long time and it takes a lot of chatter to get there.

I think science is fantastic because it plods along pulling away the exuberance of sciences from the actual facts that are before us so that science comes along and gets things right as to how things work and it takes a long time and it takes a lot of chatter to get there.

It takes a lot of data of course and information, but it finally gets it right and what can be better to do than to finally understand something?  So someone put it to me the other day, the job of the human being is to, as you go through life, is to become less stupid and that is the job of science is to try to educate us about the nature that we are, our very nature, how we’re built, who we work, understand that and in doing that it seems to me is fulfilling and of great value and not scary and spooky and all the rest of it. 

It’s just I think there is a little bit of—when scientists finally say okay this is the way something works everybody goes oh, no, they debugged another thing and demystified another thing and that’s just not the way to think about it.  It’s the way to think about it is “Oh, that’s how that works!” and then go onto the things that occupy our minds most of the time, which are all our social relationships.

That is what we think about.  We don’t think about triangles and squares and computers that talk and all that. 

In Their Own Words is recorded in Big Think’s studio.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock


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I don’t think we’ve conceptualized yet well enough how the brain gets its job done to abstract all of that activity in our brain into meaningful units to which we can then think about how to move those around to build a brain.