Sunday 04 September 2005

The Perception Of Truth

Is truth simply the way we may explain most easily what we observe of the world around us? My work as a scientist demands that I continually question the perception of truth. Long ago, the Catholic Church hailed Ptolemy’s geocentric view of the universe as the truth to explain God’s creation of our world. When Copernicus proposed a simpler heliocentric model to predict the motion of planets in our solar system, his view was quickly scorned as a challenge to the biblical truth. Today, we know that the heliocentric view of the universe explains not only the motion of our planets but also the motion of planetary bodies in other galaxies. Yet, it will be wrong of us to choose the heliocentric view over the geocentric view just because it provides a simpler explanation of our universe. This is because while Occam’s Razor may dictate the principle of parsimony when selecting a theory to explain our world, the same principle may not guarantee that the chosen theory indeed represents the truth. In other words, truth is not simply the way we may explain most easily of the world around us. Truth does not stand alone. It stands besides all other truths of the universe. The only way to pursue truth is to continue to challenge existing belief with other truths, rather than accepting it in isolation.

By Philip Jong • At 09:02 PM • Under Column • Under Life • Under Work
Public Post • CommentsTrackbacksPermalink