Science as Art

I earn my living by designing and running experiments that probe the biological basis of personality, so it might seem that I have more of a claim to the label of scientist than people with other professions. I’m not so sure: beneath its veneer of precision, science is a messy, wrong-turn-ridden journey of discovery that is little different from an artist’s struggle to capture, for example, the beauty of the Provençal countryside. Just like the artist never quite portrays the beauty of that landscape, the scientist never quite arrives at the truth as to how nature works — but, like the artist, he or she gets closer over time. Since each of our lives is a messy, wrong-turn-ridden journey of discovery, are we all scientists/artists? In Daniel Dennett’s book Intuition Pumps and Other Tools for Thinking he wrote: Every organism, whether a bacterium or a member of Homo sapiens, has a set of things in the world that matter to it and which it (therefore) needs to discriminate and anticipate as best it can. So yes … Continue reading Science as Art