One of the things I love about Brian Cox is, that while he is brilliant when it comes to astrophysics and science in general, he is so utterly clueless about the larger intellectual world. His latest comes in a conversation with anthropologist Alice Roberts on the Intellectual Squared podcast. Cox says, “Science is human because it’s fallible. It’s the only discipline that acknowledges its own fallibility, and is actually built on its own fallibility. It’s why it’s successful.”
Granted the “theology” I was spoon-fed at Bible College certainly had no sense of its own fallibility, but beyond that, theology is the most humble endeavor I know of, probably because the subject matter (ie, the living God) is even more impassable than the physical world the physical sciences study.
It’s also true that the not-quite-scientific-sciences-that desperately-want-to-be-sciences which lack a strong empirical base tend to be more dogmatic (psychology, sociology, economics, etc.), but to claim that the physical sciences are the only ones that understand they’re fallible? Really! Such a dogmatic opinion from such a self-assuming fallible guy, Prof. Cox. Tut, tut.