Theories of Life

In the last blog, I made the comment that our beliefs are like scientific theories and I would like to expand upon that topic in this blog.

Henri Poincairé in his book The Foundations of Science notes that experiments are the source of scientific truth; they are the foundation of science. [1[  He also notes that “a collection of facts [experiments] is no more a science than a heap of stones a building”. [2]  The stones must have some order if they are to be a building and our experiments must have some order if they are to be a science.  The reason is because our experiments can only examine a very limited number of almost infinite number of events that occur in our universe.  If we are to understand something about our world and universe, we must bring order to our limited number of experiments and facts by constructing theories.  These theories take the limited number of observation we have made and make sense of, or explains them and our world.  These theories also give us ideas on how to construct additional experiments which can either refute or support the theory and further expand our knowledge.

Our beliefs are no different.  As we stated in our blog of March 6, 2012, any person observant of the world around us recognizes that our choices are infinite.  Each day we make decisions that change our lives.  Our life is different because of the school we attend, the career we choose, the marriage partner we select, the friends with whom we associate.  Many of the decisions we face involve many unknowns.  So how can we make the right choices when our ability to gain all the needed facts is so limited?  To make these decisions, we must have some theory of how our world is constructed.  Our beliefs are our theories.  When we face situations where we do not have all the facts, we depend upon our theories of how our world, our life, is constructed to help us make the right decision.

While our beliefs can help us make the decisions we need to make, how do we know our beliefs are correct?  In the past few blogs, we have seen the difficulty of answering that question.


[1]   Henri Poincaré, The Foundations of Science (Lancaster, PA:  The Science Press, 1946), p. 127.

[2]   Poincaré, p. 127.

This entry was posted in Reasons. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *