Science can only describe; it cannot explain.  Surely this is wrong, you say.  Science explains a lot.  Well, that depends on what you mean by “explain.”  Science can tell us why we don’t float off into space (gravity), and can even tell us what creates gravity (the warping of space-time), but these are not explanations.  They are merely descriptions of physical phenomena.  The deeper questions go unanswered.  For example, why gravity exists in the first place, and why does it assume the value it does?  Scientists can describe the history of the universe all the way back to the Planck time, but they cannot explain why the universe started the way it did, or what caused the universe to come into being.

If science can only describe physical phenomena but cannot explain it, then it is naïve to think science alone is sufficient to answer every question of human inquiry.  Science is an amazing discipline that has been wildly successful in doing what it is intended to do, but it cannot do everything.  The role of science should not be diminished below its usefulness, but neither should it be exalted above its limits.  If you want explanations, you’ll have to look beyond science.

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