Asimov on Science from Bill Moyers World of Ideas 1988

Asimov on Science from Bill Moyers World of Ideas 1988

"Science doesn't purvey absolute truth. Science is a mechanism. It's a way of trying to improve your knowledge of nature. It's a system for testing your thoughts against the universe and seeing whether they match. And this works, not just for the ordinary aspects of science, but for all of life. I should think people would want to know that what they know is truly what the universe is like, or at least as close as they can get to it."

Isaac Asimov, on Bill Moyers' World Of Ideas (21 October 1988)

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Comment by Grinning Cat on June 4, 2015 at 12:30am

I miss him too!

Here are scanned transcripts for his two interviews on Bill Moyers' World of Ideas:

http://www-tc.pbs.org/moyers/faithandreason/print/pdfs/woi%20asimov...

http://www-tc.pbs.org/moyers/faithandreason/print/pdfs/woi%20asimov...

And YouTube videos:

"Isaac Asimov - Part I" (Oct. 17, 1988): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aogsJ4t4aBE

"Isaac Asimov - Part II" (Oct. 21, 1988): (video in three parts)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1CwUuU6C4pk
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CJAIERgWhZQ
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FEHtt5sGbTw

Comment by Daniel W on June 3, 2015 at 7:04pm
I miss Asimov.
Comment by Gerald Payne on June 3, 2015 at 3:05pm

It makes one wonder whether theologians can conceptualise the universe as described over and over in Asimov's writings. A universe of stars, galaxies, galactic clusters, black holes, quasars, supernova, galactic mergers, neutron stars, white dwarfs and endless voids, not getting a mention in the bible, raises serious doubts about the cosmological knowledge of it's author.

All I can think is that they add it to the holy mystery idea. This refusal to wonder is a damning contempt of human life. It's also a crying shame.

Comment by Joan Denoo on June 3, 2015 at 2:02pm

Science is a mechanism, a way of improving knowledge of nature, a system of testing, of seeing if knowledge matches nature. 

Science is a process. If the process is sound, the knowledge is sound, until and unless new information causes a re-thinking of the mechanism, an improvement of knowledge, of seeing if knowledge and nature matches, given the new information. 

There is no praying for a superior being to solve the problem.  

No amount of money paid to a priest or a church solves problems. 

No asking for guidance from religious folks solves problems and those who guide often base their trust on delusional thinking.  

Problem solving is for grown-ups, not for illusions based on ancient stories that may or may not be based on facts. Problem solvers cannot rely on deception, fantasy, hallucination, self-deception or fallacy. 

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