This chapter describes how humans are ceaseless, inveterate storytellers, making up stories to explain to ourselves how the world was formed and what our place in it is. For the most part, these are myths and metaphors, and we recognise them as such. However, in just the last few hundred years, with the help of the ‘scientific method’, we have begun to construct a story that is different from these. After many revisions we can hope that this new story will converge on what actually happened. This method consists of making narratives of possible cause and effect, and then testing them against the real world to see if they are consistent with what we see. Where they are not, the narrative is revised. Where they are, we accept them, for now.
Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.
If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.