We are explanation-seeking animals who tend to think that everything has an identifiable cause …

-Nassim Taleb, The Black Swan

…we are explanation-seeking animals who tend to think that everything has an identifiable cause and grab the most apparent one as the explanation. Yet there may not be a visible because; to the contrary, frequently there is nothing, not even a spectrum of possible explanations. But silent evidence masks this fact…..we are too brainwashed by notions of causality and we think that it is smarter to say because than to accept randomness.”

Science and religion operate in different domains

From “10 Things Your Pastor Wants to Tell You.” P. 7

Religion deals with what theologian Paul Tillich called ‘ultimate concerns’ — abstract philosophical questions such as what the nature of life is and why we are here. Religion seeks meaning, purpose, and moral truth, not physical knowledge.

Science, on the other hand, seeks to understand the natural, observable world around us. Unlike religion or philosophy, the claims of science are falsifiable. That is to say, they are capable of being proven or disproven. Scientific progress is only made as its hypothesis are rigorously tested, analyzed, and refined.

While science asks us to accept nothing on faith, religion asks little else. No one can prove whether there is one God or many gods or whether God’s spirit is alive in a particular human being, but we can most certainly prove whether the earth is six thousand years old or six billion years old. In short, science is an essential tool to understanding the world in which we live. Science cannot, however, tell us how to live or answer our ultimate questions.

As dominant as science has become in our world, we might be tempted simply to discount anything that is impervious to its probing finger, including religion, but that would be a mistake. The truth is that the things we care about most deeply — starting with love — lie beyond the reach of science.

Consider again the question of origins. If, for example, scientists are able to take us back to a big bang, nagging questions remain. Why did it all happen in the first place? For what purpose? What does it all mean? How should we then live? Only the philosophers and theologians can help us here.

Occasionally scientists venture outside their discipline and into the realm of theology. Carl Sagan was guilty of this when he opined that the cosmos ‘is all there was, is, or ever will be.’

Says who? Or, better yet, prove it!

When scientists give in to the temptation to address ultimate concerns, the result is ‘scientism’ — philosophy masquerading as science. Sagan’s statement is no more scientific than that of the fundamentalist preacher who claims that God created the universe in six twenty-four hour days.

Similarly, religion can masquerade as science. Consider the Christians who ask public schools to give ‘balanced treatment’ to creationism and evolution. Creationism is not an alternative scientific theory. It is a nonfalsifiable claim that a divine being intervened in the natural order to create life. Calling a cow a billy goat doesn’t make it one, and calling creationism ‘intelligent design’ doesn’t make it any less religious. It’s still a nonfalsifiable claim that a supernatural force (which by definition is one coming from outside the natural order) accounts for life on earth. Intelligent design is just creationism in a suit.

When science and religion stick to their respective realms, all of society benefits. Science helps us understand the world around us, and religion helps us make sense of it all.

In this case, good fences really do make good neighbors.”

In science, philosophy, and investing, we never know what is “true.”

— Bill Bonner Letter January 2017

In science, philosophy, and investing, we never know what is “true.” The best we can do is test propositions to see if they are false.

An experiment can prove that something is wrong; it can never prove it is not wrong. You say, “Water always boils at 212 degrees Fahrenheit.” Fine, give it a try. If it boils, good work. But you can never be sure that it will do so next time you try. If you say, “Water doesn’t boil at 212 degrees,” that is a hypothesis you can disprove by a single experiment.
The same process, more or less, works in the investment world. You can never know which premise is correct; that would imply that you could foretell the future.

Betting on something you think will happen is very risky. Zillions of things might happen. Only a few actually will.
You’re better off, generally, betting against things that others think will happen, but for which the probabilities are unfavorable.

“Identify the trend whose premise is false and bet against it,” says legendary investor George Soros. “

I want room to change my mind because changing your mind is good. Changing your mind means you are learning, you are making progress, it means you are taking in new information. So we need to give ourselves the ability to change our mind

— Guy Spier

I want room to change my mind because changing your mind is good. Changing your mind means you are learning, you are making progress, it means you are taking in new information. So we need to give ourselves the ability to change our mind.”

A puzzling limitation of our mind: our excessive confidence in what we believe we know, and our apparent inability to acknowledge the full extent of our ignorance and the uncertainty of the world we live in. We are prone to overestimate how much we understand about the world and to underestimate the role of chance in events. Overconfidence is fed by the illusory certainty of hindsight

– Thinking, Fast and Slow P. 13

… a puzzling limitation of our mind: our excessive confidence in what we believe we know, and our apparent inability to acknowledge the full extent of our ignorance and the uncertainty of the world we live in. We are prone to overestimate how much we understand about the world and to underestimate the role of chance in events. Overconfidence is fed by the illusory certainty of hindsight.”