The human imagination has always been captivated by Big Questions: about the fundamental structure of reality, the origins of life, or the nature of consciousness. Yet these questions about deep origins or fundamental nature seek answers about things that are outside our current experimental and observational capacities. The Big Questions reach past the limits of empirically verified or verifiable knowledge. How does science work at the limits of knowledge? Among other factors, we will explore the role of aesthetics (elegance, parsimony, symmetry, coherence); social learning (imitating high-status authors or following the crowd); and redesigning theory so it is testable.
Exploring questions closely related to this core project illuminates the limits of knowledge with respect to the Big Questions and expands humanity’s reflective understanding of knowledge, its current limits, and its evolution, especially when it comes to fundamental questions about origins and essence.