Oracles are magical. They make prophecies and lay claim to knowledge they couldn't know, and say such wisdom comes to them through un-knowable channels.
In that regard, i certainly hope i am not telling people that science works like an oracle.
The point of this thread and much of my interest on forums like this is to show people what's out there, and to get them actively thinking about science.
Why science? Because it is the only verifiable search for knowledge we've come across. Because it isn't right based on anybody's assertion. You can go check on the claims of science and see for yourself. You don't rely on a guy in a lab coat, you don't rely on figures of authority, you don't have to take anybody on faith. It's all right there waiting for us to look at it, and we can verify that it's true.
People say that a world without magic is a world without wonder. That knowing too much robs life of it's mystery and beauty. I try my best to point out what Feynman said above. Knowing about the thing you are amazed by does not diminish it's beauty. It increases the wonder and majesty, and clarifies what mysteries there are. By knowing, really knowing, what mysteries are truly out there you can finally appreciate reality for what it is. And that is a story far more interesting, full of more profound mystery, dealing with the most incredible interconnectedness that it utterly blows all of our invented stories out of the water.
It's out there for everyone to see! It isn't too complicated to understand. It isn't beyond your reach. it isn't just for people who work on the LHC, or pioneers of technology. It's there for you and I to investigate right here and now. You can understand where people came from. You can understand how chemistry is possible. You can find out what made the periodic elements to begin with. We are now even uncovering, step by step, what "nothing" really means, and where THAT comes from.
People claim science lacks wonder. Look at that video of the ISS sailing around the planet. That's beautiful. That's epic.
And our planet is at a tipping point. Just when we've become capable of taking care of ourselves on a global scale, the question has been put to us by our own laziness and short-sightedness, "WILL you take care of yourselves?"
The only thing that can keep so many of us alive is understanding our circumstances and being able to deal with them in real concrete ways. No amount of happy thought, or prayer, or denial, or self deception will keep the water drinkable, the land arable, or the nukes un-detonated.
WE have to understand these issues because we are all there is to deal with them. We aren't the best there could be. We are short sighted, prone to self-deception, greedy, and lazy. But we are all there is on this planet who has any hope of doing something about these problems. If we want to live longer healthier, happier lives then we have to do something about it. And the only method we've found that we can really prove works is science.
I'm not talking about particle physics, or engineering. I'm talking about the root of the scientific through process.
Observe, guess, test, revise.
This is how we have fed so many, how we have clothed, how we have housed, how we have cured sickness and empowered the healthy. It's also how we've been able to put ourselves in danger, and now it's all that can put us back on safe ground.
It will be innovation, not divination, which ultimately unlocks our potential.