Cognitive science is the interdisciplinary, scientific study of the mind and its processes. It examines the nature, the tasks, and the functions of cognition (in a broad sense). Cognitive scientists study intelligence and behavior, with a focus on how nervous systems represent, process, and transform information. Mental faculties of concern to cognitive scientists include language, perception, memory, attention, reasoning, and emotion; to understand these faculties, cognitive scientists borrow from fields such as linguistics, psychology, artificial intelligence, philosophy, neuroscience, and anthropology. The typical analysis of cognitive science spans many levels of organization, from learning and decision to logic and planning; from neural circuitry to modular brain organization. The fundamental concept of cognitive science is that "thinking can best be understood in terms of representational structures in the mind and computational procedures that operate on those structures."
We say that the string is 'random' if there is no other representation of the string which is shorter than itself. But we will say that it is 'non-random' if there does exist such an abbreviated representation. ... In general, the shorter the possible representation... the less random... On this view we recognize science to be the search for algorithmic compressions. ... It is simplest to think of mathematics as the catalogue of all possible patterns. ... When viewed in this way, it is inevitable that the world is described by mathematics. ...In many ways the search for a Theory of Everything is a manifestation of a faith that this compression goes all the way down to the bedrock of reality...
John D. Barrow, New Theories of Everything (2007).
Those (natural) laws cannot be circumvented by any amount of piety or cleverness, but they can be understood. Uncovering them should be the highest goal of a civilized society. Not, as we have seen, because scientists have any claim to greater intellect or virtue, but because the scientific method transcends the flaws of individual scientists. Science is the only way we have of separating the truth from ideology, or fraud, or mere foolishness.
Robert L. Park, Voodoo Science (2000), p. 211
I was particularly interested in that, in working on Jurassic Park that aspect of what are the negative parts. Because in talking with the people who were doing this kind of research what I was hearing was that the most responsible of them were deciding not to proceed down certain lines of inquiry which is really a new phase in science. Traditionally in science what the scientists themselves have said is: "I might as well do it, because if I don't, someone else will. It is going to happen inevitably." I think there's recognition now, that it's no so inevitable and it's quite conceivable that if I don't do this research neither will anyone else. It's simply too dangerous.
Michael Crichton, interview Lost World section of Beyond Jurassic Park DVD.