Monthly Archives: May 2014

True truth in science? The alchemy of joining dots


Remember the puzzles we had as kids where we join up the numbered dots in the right sequence and a cute animal emerges?
What if modern science is like that – a random-looking field of dots (scientific evidence all over the place) and we’ve joined the dots in a particular order? It gives us a sensible pattern and we say: “Yeah, that must be it!”

But what if there is another way to join the dots? Or many ways to join the dots? You see, scientific ‘dots’ don’t come with numbers attached to tell you how to join them. Let’s play with this idea and see what happens…..

Here we have a field of dots with no guide numbers (diverse scientific evidence scattered across subjects)…..

field of dots

Do we have an automatic ‘bias’ in our perception of the way these dots invite us to join them? Perhaps like…..

Archimedean spiral

An Archimedean spiral !

But what if this were only one way to join the dots?

What if we joined them like this:

flower from spiral

Yes, exactly the same dots arranged the same way, but a totally different object is described – a flower!

I’m sure it would be possible to arrange many different sorts of figures in this field of dots.

So perhaps it is time to do some creative dot-joining with all the scientific evidence we have to date and see if it’s possible for different pictures to emerge!

dots, Archimedean spiral, flower