Just a short post. I’m currently reading a book titled The Science of the Discworld IV (I highly recommend the series), and I just came across a passage that I thought you (the people who are likely to see this post) might find relevant.
That kind of thinking is said to be analytic. It may not come naturally, and its outcomes may not always be terribly comforting, but it’s possible. It has been the main path to today’s world, in which analytic thinking has become increasingly necessary for our survival. If you spend your time comfortably telling yourself that the world is what you want it to be, you will get some nasty surprises, and it may be too late to do anything about them. Unfortunately, the need to think analytically places a huge barrier between science and many human desires and beliefs that re-emerge in every generation. Battles scientists fondly imagined were won in the nineteenth century must continually be re-fought; rationality and evidence alone may not be enough to prevail.
As I said, it’s a short post, and I don’t intend to taint the above words with my interpretation. Make of them what you will.
If you’re interested in the whole book, it’s book four in the Science of the Discworld series by Terry Pratchett, Ian Stewart, and Jack Cohen. The series effectively attempts to explain the Universe with chapters alternating between science [for the layperson], and a story in which our Universe was created by a magical accident at the Unseen University in Terry Pratchett’s Discworld.