So what is Science’s First Mistake? If you are looking for the long answer you will have to read our book, which took us over six years and literally hundreds of revisions.
Our short (and hence superficial) answer is that the Science’s First Mistake is the assumption that our world operates according to causal laws – that causality is built into the fabric of that world, and that Science is the uncovering of those laws from empirical observations.
This book on the other hand claims that Science is a collection of delusions in pursuit of theory, an umbrella-term covering an incoherent and un-unifiable set of socially-constructed, self-referential linear abstractions for describing what is our non-linear world. Causality is just one of the many means whereby human cognition makes sense of the world – that sense is not in the world. It is constructed in the head of the observer. Science’s First Mistake is to forget that its abstractions do not deal with reality, rather its models and theories are ‘unnatural in nature’ and artificial, and indeed quite absurd when viewed from outside the tunnel-vision of science’s self-referential certainty. Scientific descriptions, enmeshed as they are in the structural coupling of cognition and observation, may deliver clarity of purpose along the tunnel’s axis, but leave the periphery littered in paradox and absurdity.