A statement about what is there, what it does, and how and why.

Predictions about what is going to happen next are insufficient explanations.

The quest for good explanations is the basic regulating principle not only of science, but of the Enlightenment generally.

See also:

Links to this note


The act of using Creativity to come up with new Explanations. See also:


Science is the practice of finding good Explanations. Science is a way of dealing with theories regardless of whether or not one believes them. They are judged according to whether or not they’re good explanations. And if a particular explanation ends up being the only explanation that survives the intense criticism that reason and science can apply, then it’s not so much adopted at that point as just not discarded. It has survived for the moment.

Universal Computation

Anything that can be written down as a program can be computed given the right memory and enough time. Explanations are a form of information, and information can only be processed in basically one way—with computation of the kind invented by Babbage and Turing.