A reminder that we know a lot less than we think we do

I keep trying to finish a book titled We Have No Idea by Jorge Chan and Daniel Whiteson, but I can’t seem to get over my frustration that there is so much we don’t understand about our existence in this universe.  The authors try to simplify the concepts of quantum physics to laymen like me to an almost silly level.

The fact is that 95% of the universe we live in is composed of “dark” energy and matter that we know is there, but we can’t see it and have no understanding of what it is.  In other words, we don’t understand 95% of a universe that is an infinitesimal part of potentially an infinite number of universes.  The bottom line is that we don’t know what is possible or even probable in our existence.

Perhaps it is so complex we will never understand it.  Or, perhaps it is simple.  Let me bring you down to my little world.

We have worked on flipping a house for over a year now.  We have gone through several contractors who have not performed.  It has been back-breaking work for us in almost 100 degree heat in Florida for most of the time.  My wife and I drive over an hour each way to clean the pool twice a week and mow the lawn once a week.  We have been working on painting and repairing for months. The house has been on the market for almost three months now, and we have lowered the price twice.  No offers, no interest.  So she buries a St. Joseph statue in the yard, and we say a prayer to St. Joseph to ask him to sell the house.

As I am cleaning the pool the same day, a butterfly takes a great interest in me.  It circles around me, one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten times.  I call out to my wife to look at this.  By the time she comes out of the house, it is gone.  Maybe it is nothing.  But I've never seen anything like that before, and I have seen very few (only one other actually) butterflies in the city this summer.  I'd like to think it was an angel telling me our prayer was answered.  Because we got a great offer for the house that day.  What does this mean?  I have no idea.  It’s the craziest thing.

Thomas Lifson adds:

Donald Rumsfeld reminded us that there are two kinds of unknown information:

  • Known unknowns: the information that we realize we don’t have.
  • Unknown unknowns: the information that we have no idea exists, so we don’t know that we don’t know about it.

Dark Matter is an example of information that has moved from unknown unknowns to known unknowns.

Lots of people with agendas assume that “science” knows everything necessary to take the actions they want. Global warming would be a prominent example. The very concept of unknown unknowns suggests modesty in making claims for actions that have not been experimentally confirmed  

Andrew Thomas blogs at http://darkangelpolitics.com

I keep trying to finish a book titled We Have No Idea by Jorge Chan and Daniel Whiteson, but I can’t seem to get over my frustration that there is so much we don’t understand about our existence in this universe.  The authors try to simplify the concepts of quantum physics to laymen like me to an almost silly level.

The fact is that 95% of the universe we live in is composed of “dark” energy and matter that we know is there, but we can’t see it and have no understanding of what it is.  In other words, we don’t understand 95% of a universe that is an infinitesimal part of potentially an infinite number of universes.  The bottom line is that we don’t know what is possible or even probable in our existence.

Perhaps it is so complex we will never understand it.  Or, perhaps it is simple.  Let me bring you down to my little world.

We have worked on flipping a house for over a year now.  We have gone through several contractors who have not performed.  It has been back-breaking work for us in almost 100 degree heat in Florida for most of the time.  My wife and I drive over an hour each way to clean the pool twice a week and mow the lawn once a week.  We have been working on painting and repairing for months. The house has been on the market for almost three months now, and we have lowered the price twice.  No offers, no interest.  So she buries a St. Joseph statue in the yard, and we say a prayer to St. Joseph to ask him to sell the house.

As I am cleaning the pool the same day, a butterfly takes a great interest in me.  It circles around me, one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten times.  I call out to my wife to look at this.  By the time she comes out of the house, it is gone.  Maybe it is nothing.  But I've never seen anything like that before, and I have seen very few (only one other actually) butterflies in the city this summer.  I'd like to think it was an angel telling me our prayer was answered.  Because we got a great offer for the house that day.  What does this mean?  I have no idea.  It’s the craziest thing.

Thomas Lifson adds:

Donald Rumsfeld reminded us that there are two kinds of unknown information:

  • Known unknowns: the information that we realize we don’t have.
  • Unknown unknowns: the information that we have no idea exists, so we don’t know that we don’t know about it.

Dark Matter is an example of information that has moved from unknown unknowns to known unknowns.

Lots of people with agendas assume that “science” knows everything necessary to take the actions they want. Global warming would be a prominent example. The very concept of unknown unknowns suggests modesty in making claims for actions that have not been experimentally confirmed  

Andrew Thomas blogs at http://darkangelpolitics.com