13.7: Cosmos And Culture Commentary On Science And Society

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All of our scientific tools have limits. These limits ensure that we will never see the whole picture. We can never have complete knowledge of the universe. Above, the ESO's APEX radio telescope probes the heavens from its lonely perch on Chile's Chajnantor plateau. Gordon Gillet/ESO hide caption

itoggle caption Gordon Gillet/ESO

"Untitled" by Mark Rothko, on display before auction at Sotheby's, New York, in May. Does its value stem from its pedigree? Or is it valuable because of its contribution to the ongoing dialog that is human expression through the ages? Emmanuel Dunand/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Emmanuel Dunand/AFP/Getty Images

The Star-Spangled Banner — the flag that inspired our National Anthem — on display at the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History. Hugh Talman/Courtesy of the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History hide caption

itoggle caption Hugh Talman/Courtesy of the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History

In the quest to understand our world and the universe in which it sits, Marcelo Gleiser advises: "Not all questions have answers. To hope that science will answer all questions is to want to shrink the human spirit, clip its wings, rob it from its multifaceted existence." Goddard/Arizona State University/NASA hide caption

itoggle caption Goddard/Arizona State University/NASA