Tuesday, December 18, 2007

The Most Incomprehensible Thing

An article in the NYTimes reminds us that Albert Einstein reportedly said:
The most incomprehensible thing about the universe is that it is comprehensible.
There is a similar mystery -- or, there is a species of this mystery -- about the ability of evidence to reach beyond itself, to suggest possibilities that are not, strictly speaking, shown or demonstrated by evidence but that nevertheless sometimes turn out to be (probably) true. (E.g., I see what looks like a footprint -- and I infer that someone walked there; I see what may or may not be a handprint, I infer that it is a handprint, and I infer, or guess, that David Defendant's palm put it there.)
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