A word of caution on the latest observations of the universe and earlier theories such as those of Albert Einstein (Astronomers create largest map of the universe’s dark matter, 27 May). All such observations and conclusions are best qualified by the understanding that even our latest technologies (brilliant as these are), enhancing our five senses plus our intelligence and reasoning (evolved as the best we know on our planet), do not, in all likelihood, amount to a full or final perception of the phenomena in question. Human capacities – sensory and rational – with whatever ingenious technological enhancements, should not be assumed to be even close to the truth of many phenomena. We are not, and will never be, omniscient.
The ingenuities and perceptions of time supersede one another, as Einstein superseded Isaac Newton, and no doubt he in turn will be superseded. Meanwhile, new theories might perhaps always best be prefaced with the following warning: with the current state of human understanding, enhanced by human technologies and human reasoning, it looks as if these tentative findings might, for the time being, be discussed further. Perhaps Plato was right: we do not see things as they really are, but merely as we see them.
• Einstein was not “wrong”. General relativity made remarkable predictions that have been proved correct many times. It is in daily use in the GPS in your phone. It has been known for at least 50 years that it is probably incomplete, and new discoveries should be welcomed as possible help in improving it.
Letchworth Garden City, Hertfordshire
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