Reflection On A Grain Of Salt By Carl Sagan

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Can We Know the Universe? Reflections on a Grain of Salt by Carl Sagan From the very beginning of modern man’s evolution, we have been driven by our desire to improve our knowledge, and find answers to our questions about how life, and the mysteries of the sky above intertwine. In philosophy, the study of knowledge is called epistemology; and the degrees of existence that we call knowledge, have been a topic of much debate throughout the millennia’s. In the early years before science gained widespread popular acceptance, most of mankind looked to the churches, and religion attempted to provide answers to their questions. Gradually over centuries, most philosophers shifted away from the churches and sought answers through science. In…show more content…
So, can science provide all of the answers to our questions? Well the short answer is no; Science is unable to Instruct us on how to use scientific knowledge, let alone ensure if we even have the intellectual capacity to harness the knowledge revealed through science. Sagan then directs our attention to a less perplexing subject than our quest for knowledge of the Universe; when he asks “Can we know… in detail a grain of salt?” We all know what a grain of salt is; or do we? When Sagan discusses the atomic composition of a grain of salt, and its“1016 sodium and chlorine atoms,” molecular composition. The ability for science to provide all knowledge of the universe became a dismal reality, when Sagan drew our attention to the fact that “the total number of things knowable by the brain is no more than 1014…, but this number is only one percent of the number of atoms in our speck of salt.” So, is this case closed for science’s ability to furnish mankind with the ability to fully understanding the universe, thru the knowledge it

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