Who are we, what are we and why are we?

Can science explain everything (soon or later)? Can it explain the why and the how of existence? Why are we and how are we, regarding how existence came into being. I’m not talking the Big Bang, because we don’t know the full, exact nature of it because we haven’t gotten to the precise instant, yet. I’m talking about the how and why of the Big Bang. What happened before the BB, if that term even applies? If the multi-verse question ever gets answered, how and why did the MV come about and so on?

Will there always be some questions will, now and always, be beyond the ability for humans to comprehend?

Is it a case of:
All this is, will eventually be known.


Are there stranger things in all of existence than can ever be known?

If we figure out the Theory of Everything, will we be God-like in that we now would have achieved omniscient?

Although you can structure sentences that appear to contradict it, I think the old adage says it best: “Science explains how. Metaphysics and theology explain why.”

Moved to GD.

Science provides the answers to what we can prove.
Religion answers what we cannot.

I’ve always like Adam’s hypothesis - If you prove the existence of God, he will cease to exist.

If it can be explained at all, probably. We have nothing better.

There likely ISN’T a “why” ( if by that you mean purpose ), and neither science or anything else can discover the nonexistent. As for “how”, perhaps. We don’t know if the necessary information is accessible/deducible from within our universe.

Almost certainly; barring the invention of a magictech omniscient vision machine, much information is simply not going to be available. Lost or inaccessible.

No, that would only tell us how things work, not what is actually happening elsewhere.

We don’t know yet. Stay tuned.

I made a left turn at Albuquerque.

I prefer to phrase it as: “There is only ‘how.’ ‘Why’ is a rather perverse notion we cooked up ourselves.” :stuck_out_tongue:

Well, that too is a metaphysics – a null-case metaphiscs to be sure, but still one. :slight_smile:

And it’s precisely as unprovable as Scholasticism, Shi’a Islam, Pure Land Buddhism, or Rastafarianism. (Or Pastafarianism, devotion to the Flying Spaghetti Monster, for that matter.)

Forty Two.

We will know the how when we discover the why. One thing I can be sure of, if I think I know, I don’t.

This has always bugged me. Really, what answers have metaphysics and religion actually given us? Have they actually told us ‘why’? The ‘why’ for anything?

Sometimes people ask why something happened to request some account of the mechanism (“why are the glaciers getting smaller?”), but if you ask how and why about the same things, I take the “why” to be searching for the intentions of a creator. There’s no creator and no meaningful questions to ask about the creator’s intentions.

We won’t explain everything. My cats will never understand the strategies for solving differential equations. Cats can’t understand everything. There’s not the slightest reason to suppose that the complexity and subtlety of the universe gets difficult enough to challenge us but stops just within reach of our smartest. Some things must be as hard for us to grasp as are differential equation strategies for a cat. Some things must be a million times harder than that. And some things must be a million times harder than those.

“I don’t know why we’re here, but I’m pretty sure that it is not to enjoy ourselves.”
–either Schopenhauer or Wittgenstein; anyhow, I know he was German

I think I was supposed to turn left but I turned right instead.

Existence (ie. the universe) didn’t “come into being”. It has always existed.

Whatever happened, whatever is ‘outside’ the 13.7 billion year-old, 78 billion light-year-wide region of spacetime we call ‘ours’, there was never nothing. A nothing-to-something transition is sadly as human an imaginary construct as Odin’s ravens.

Yes, because they are category errors. What colour are furiously sleeping ideas, for example?

Science will never provide perfect explanations for everything. One can only ask oneself whether science has provided explanations that are good enough to render supernatural entities unnecessary. And even on that day (which I personally believe has already passed), we might find a new Gap for God tomorrow.

Unfortunately theology and metaphysics have been answering unanswerable questions for a long time now. Unanswerable that is, at the time. Once we do find out the answer it invariably turns out they were just making stuff up. To my knowledge, their track record on unanswerable questions to date is pretty damn close to 0%. Seeing how they had no way of knowing at the time which claims we would eventually be able to test, don’t you think it’s pretty near certain that they’re making up the rest of the answers as well?

Edit: wrong quote

So what created matter and/or empty space?

If your answer is nothing or “It was just always there.” then explain further, please.

Try this thread. In physics, fields are considered more fundamental than ‘matter’ (matter being what emerges when the symmetry of the Higgs field is broken). Empty space can therefore no longer be considered truly “empty” if it is permeated by fields. Inflation describes the expansion of space we call the Big Bang (not, repeat not, an explosion in space) in terms of the interaction between fields.

“Where do these fields come from?” is, like I say, a very human question whcih assumes that everything must have a beginning. There is, however, no reason why such fields cannot have existed in some form forever (insofar as time has never not existed - when exactly were these fields not there any more?).

Science seems to discover more questions for every question it answers. Will this turn around and converge one day or will it continue to expand forever?

I personally believe it will expand forever.