Beyond not knowing

Any line of questioning leads to the ultimate: “I don’t know”. –Adam Savage, Mythbusters

The latest episode of the TED Radio Hour includes the line above from the Mythbusters guy.

Curiosity moves us forward. Some questions may be unanswerable, for now. But keep asking.

“Why is the sky blue?” Centuries ago the answer would be a guess or something way off course handed down with misplaced certainty but no evidence.

Now, science can tell us the sky is blue because of Rayleigh scattering. (I have to Google that question periodically, and I still struggle trying to explain it to my kids.) But that answer is now a jumping off point for even more questions, which will lead ultimately to “nobody knows”.

Scientists seem pretty sure of the big bang, but what was before that? No one knows.

Pushing towards uncertainty and not-knowing can be scary and frustrating and exhilarating. My level of certainty on so many things is much shakier now than it was twenty years ago. And it’s certainly made life more interesting.

The path of honesty and curiosity and courage regularly will lead to “I don’t know”. And that is where possibility comes alive as we push a little further beyond comfort and past not-knowing.