1. What does "domestication" mean here? Does it connote "to limit"?

  2. Where is the "paradox" that the writer talks about? (Of course there is a paradox at the heart of this belief)


But while they may scorn such relativist discussions, scientists are not talking about the domestication of Beauty. For them real Beauty is altogether a more profound entity and is aligned with Truth, the truth of a unified Reality waiting to be revealed. Of course there is a paradox at the heart of this belief. Scientists are examining the material world of real things working in particular ways. But even if they start out simply making observations, whether of stars, fishes or brain cells, they cannot resist looking for patterns, which leads to the positing of empirically or logically provable hypotheses. If these start out on the level of ‘just supposing’, in the most rigorous practice the Popperian system is brought into play, attempting by replicable experiment to disprove them until there is sufficient evidence remaining which cannot be disproved, and which, therefore, may point to the right answer for the time being. Scientists know that while breakthroughs are hailed, paradigms shift. And yet, even if their task is to observe change itself, as in dynamic systems or as a consequence of entropy or environmental breakdown; moreover, even while many will claim to have no religious affiliations and to be robustly atheist or agnostic, the majority express a faith in the notion of an absolute knowledge which demands a high order of visionary thinking. Art and Science By Sîan Ede

  • Again, this bolus of text has no meaning in the ordinary sense of the word, i.e., a communication that other parties can agree upon. For instance, why is "Beauty" capitalized? The most you'll get is something like CB's answer: "it can mean" and "seems to me." Ede is not a scientist and knows nothing about science. No scientist believes in "absolute knowledge." Science is the business of building the best approximate models with the evidence a hand.
    – deadrat
    Jul 12, 2015 at 18:16
  • I'd speculate (as long as it's a free bet) that the author means that scientists aren't trying to formulate a scientific model of beauty. I'd also speculate (as long as I'm actually paid to make the bet) that the perceived paradox is that, despite the above, scientists express a sense of beauty in the world, part of which is enhanced by their experience of scientific activity.. Perhaps it is a false paradox traceable to not knowing what the word "scientist" means.
    – Karasinsky
    Jul 12, 2015 at 20:37

1 Answer 1


Domestication literally means taming something, but metaphorically it can mean to take something wild or free and make it boring. The author is claiming that even though scientists might seem like they're making beauty boring, they're actually pursuing the deeper beauty of truth.

The paradox the author has in mind seems to me to be how the scientists investigate the natural world but are actually looking for metaphysical truths.

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