Can you know everything?

Human being is an intelligent animal. So intelligent, that he can split an atom and move genes from one gritter to an other. This requires a lot of knowledge.

But what is knowledge? What does it mean? And how can we know that our knowledge is correct and actually represent a valid model of the objective reality?

How much potential knowledge exists in the universe? Infinitely?

It is interesting to try to understand, what infinite knowledge could mean. Is it possible for a human being to understand Life, Universe and Everything? [1]. Absolutely, completely and without missing anything relevant.

What does the word “understand” even mean? We know, that our ability to understand varies greatly between individuals. A toddler sees the world differently and an elderly Alzheimer patient is loosing a grip of reality. Even the most ingenious human being cannot understand everything, right?

If an individual is apparently dump, is he or she really, or maybe just slower? Given enough time to learn he can “understand” as much as anybody.

It is problematic to try to understand what intelligence means, because it is not democratic and puts individuals to non-equal positions. It is scary and politically incorrect.

Even so, it would be unfair to claim, that everyone is capable to understand the same things.

As a matter of fact. I do not possess any understanding of this particular issue, but the question still keeps haunting me regularly, especially if you connect it to the question of potential existence of extraterrestrial intelligence.

How intelligent is a horned tentacle-legged alien? I don’t think the looks matter, only it’s capability to analyze the surrounding reality. How much more clever can an E.T. be than Homo Sapiens is?

Is there a limit to intelligence and knowledge. Something, that after you reach it, you cannot possible know anything more?

Is our definition of intelligence, what ever that is, even meaningless?

Whatever the answers to these question might be, the questions themselves seem very relevant to me, even though I cannot hope to learn a single a answer to them during my lifetime.

Do radically different variations of intelligence exist in the universe, or do we have some kind of singularity of knowledge that everything converges towards to? If that kind of infinite knowledge exists, does it take an infinite amount of time to learn it?

What kind of a place would that cosmic university be, that could teach you everything that was, is and will be.

I bet you would need to spend a lot of time sitting on your ass anyways.


[1]
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Life,_the_Universe_and_Everything

4 thoughts on “Can you know everything?

  1. Intelligence is a rather difficoult subject, mostly due to different interpretations of what iit should be: mainly a way to survive? Mainly a way to explore the world we live in? Mainly a way to have an easier life? But to me the big point is: could anyone say we are cleverer than 5 thousand years ago? Or should we say we are only better dressed? Judging by average gullibility, we are even less clever than in ancient times, when life was harder for everione and intelligence and transmission of knowledge was needed to survive…

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  2. Intelligence is a fantastic study, because it’s so full of riddles. However, when you get down to the nitty gritty science of it ‘intelligence’ is just another way of describing the ability to perform several dozen fuzzy-logical decisions in parallel, and forge new decisional paths and neuronal connections to arrive at new conclusions. This of course means that there would indeed be multiple ‘brands’ of intelligence you would think: For example arriving a the conclusion a colour is ‘red’ based off the absence of all other possible colours instead of the presence of red. That is of course an overly simplistic example, but I think you understand what I mean.

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    • “For example arriving a the conclusion a colour is ‘red’ based off the absence of all other possible colours instead of the presence of red. That is of course an overly simplistic example, but I think you understand what I mean.”

      Yes: that for you “intelligence” is using expensive and error prone strategies. Very clever indeed. How about counting how many beans in a bunch counting all the beans out of that bunch and then subtracting that number from the total beans in the world, including the bunch ones? That’s same overly simplistic example should be clear even for you on how much clever and straight and useful is your thinking

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