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Can there be a time where collective humanity has reached a point where there is nothing further to know?

As the world was being cartographed, we were enthralled by the endlessness of it. Some people thought there were no limits; other people thought there were borders into dangerous realms with fearsome monstrous entities. Now, the world feels very tiny and we see its limitations. We know really, that so far as the earth is concerned, there is not much left to know about it, besides its continued historical progress; people, states and wars and power-struggles,etc (which information doesn't count for the question I am asking, as it is absorbed into the human collective understanding as it unfolds) .
We now speculate out into the beyond, and believe in the limitless possibility of imagination combined with technology. But what if we are like the people who mapped the world; what if there comes a point where science has discovered all there is to be scientifically discovered? Do you think this is possible, or do you believe in the endlessness of this creation, that there will forever be new realms revealed to us?

Also, just for fun, if you do admit that there is the possibility that knowledge itself is finite, what percentage do you think we have reached of that knowledge? I'm going to randomly say we are at 66% capacity.
Last edited by froggo on 20 Apr 2021 07:39, edited 2 times in total.
Imagine, 1000 years from now, we go through a 1000 year dry-spell, where no new scientific discoveries are made; and then suddenly someone(assuming we are even considered a something or an individual entity) wakes up(assuming we sleep) with a novel idea and runs (or flies, or sends telepathic waves) around telling everyone(assuming there are others) about it... would they kill him(assuming death were still a possibility) or turn him into an idol(assuming reverence wasn't distasteful and obsolete)? :D
That's why this is in the philosophy section Wellsy. If it were a practical question I would have placed it elsewhere.

If the matrices of physics had a point of origin (or do rules such as these exist whether the world of appearances they present themselves in exist or not?); the moment of its appearance might suggest it was near full-formation, because once a rule of physical law is discovered, it seems hard to imagine that that rule was not always there, lying uncovered, waiting to be discovered. I suspect that there is a finite amount of physical rules which can be deduced by experimentation and reasoning. The applications of the use of that knowledge can certainly be more extensive and more likely to verge towards the infinite (but a trajectory can never predict a sudden cessation of its momentum) then the actual framework of the knowledge itself. If there is a limitation of observable physical laws, how close have we come to observing them all?
I think if it were even possible that human beings could have knowledge of everything, the result would still have an overwhelming amount of information that there would perhaps be a division of intellectual knowledge such that no one can ever hope to obtain such an encyclopedic sense of things. It seems already beyond the reach of a person even while they might develop great understanding of some areas of knowledge.
Then also tie into the difficulties of properly integrating the disparate areas of intellectual labor. That it seems it would not be a complete knowledge until it was adequately holistic and continuous through different schools of knowing.

Also, I think even if we reached such a state there might be no way of knowing that it was complete other than perhaps an inference of a lack of radical shifts in understanding over a long period of human history in some field. Because we do not know what we don't know, it is only after the fact that we sense the contradictions and limitations of something that we can verge on the possibility of something more and only once we know that more can we retrospectively see what we didn't know.
Like how Newton's laws seemed immutable but while practical, are in some sense no entirely true.
The observable universe is not The Universe. With perfect data collection, it should be possible to know what can be known, but all that can be known is not everything there is to know.

Fasces wrote:Not everything is knowable. Isn't that what Gödel proved? At the very least, mathematics won't be solved. :lol:

He proved that there are true propositions in any (sufficiently complex) axiomatic system of mathematics which cannot be derived from the axioms in any finite number of steps. In principle, you might claim that such propositions are indeed 'knowable' through intuition, or divine revelation, or whatever. But they are not knowable through deductive logic. :)
froggo wrote:
Can there be a time where collective humanity has reached a point where there is nothing further to know?

That thought is a perennial. It pops up regularly, sometimes skipping a generation.

The short answer is no, the slightly longer answer is who the heck knows?? :smokin:

Either way, I think we've got a long way to go. Astronomy has been on fire, and keeps finding weird shit we can't explain. When I was young, everyone thought AI would be developed in a decade or two. A half century later, we still think that, it's been quite elusive. One of the guys I used to argue with, Victor Khomenko, owner of Balanced Audio Technologies, thought it was impossible. I don't agree, but it's been much, much harder than anyone expected. ... i-lfu8-cjQ

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