This view of science as the sole mediator of everything depends upon one unstated assumption: While art cycles with the fashions, scientific knowledge is a linear ascent. The history of science is supposed to obey a simple equation: Time plus data equals understanding. One day, we believe, science will solve everything.
But the trajectory of science has proven to be a little more complicated. The more we know about reality—about its quantum mechanics and neural origins—the more palpable its paradoxes become. As Vladimir Nabokov, the novelist and lepidopterist, once put it, "The greater one's science, the deeper the sense of mystery."
The fundamental point is that modern science has made little progress toward any unified understanding of everything. Our unknowns have not dramatically receded. In many instances, the opposite has happened, so that our most fundamental sciences are bracketed by utter mystery. It's not that we don't have all the answers. It's that we don't even know the question.
But before we can unravel these mysteries, our sciences must get past their present limitations. How can we make this happen? My answer is simple: Science needs the arts.
- from "The Future of Science...Is Art?" by Jonah Lehrer
This is a great article that argues for the merger of the arts and sciences (reminding me of this article from The Peak), which seems, like oh so many other things, both impossible and necessary. Thanks to Zachariah Wells for pointing it out!