The creativity of science
One of my favorite things about science is the creative manner in which it requires us to think. To trust our observations, but to doubt our conclusions. A simple example:
It is common to think that trees grow from the ground into the air.
Now, let us consider this:
There are two atoms which love one another, they are Oxygen, and Carbon. But they have a hard time reaching out to one another. They would stick to each other and only each other if they could just get an energetic external push to do so. But if they get too much energy, they jiggle around so much that they fall apart. And the air is full of carbon, in a gas called Carbon Dioxide. This gas has a Carbon atom, and two Oxygen atoms, and when there is enough energy from the sun, (and surely there is no greater source of energy than that giant ball of fusion in the sky) they get ripped apart and the Oxygen is kicked out and the carbon remains.
And this is how a tree is made since the tree is mostly made of carbon, the actual physical substance of the tree, it is primarily carbon.
So, I guess what I am saying is that trees come out of the air, and are dropped into the ground. And that is a beautiful way of letting science shape the creativity of our conclusions.
All scientific theories fail or eventually will as they are refined or revised. Only in Mathematics are theories indelible. Which for me makes physics all the more mysterious for even what has been well established can and must be revisited.
To eliminate clutter
It is the wonderful task of mathematics, as well as it’s immense power, to simplify all matters by the elimination of all that is unnecessary.
Cold hard science
For those who believe that scientists are generally cold and calculating, please remember that a great scientist needs to be able to go beyond formal logic in order to arrive at those conclusions which formal logic will later confirm.
That first part of the process is called creativity, it is called art when the second part is complete. And when the rest of the world gets it, it becomes engineering.
It is interesting how the layman is far more interested in what scientists don’t know. They alway ask us about what we are working on and yet make very little effort to ensure that they understand what we do know. They come to me saying, “you don’t know this do you?” and “you don’t know that!” Not realizing that if I did know, it would be in terms of known things which they are not interested in fully understanding.
And if I were to say that they would not understand the answers, I am called arrogant. Yet what is that arrogance compared to the laymans assumptions that he could understand in a moment, what took those who found the answers years of disciplined training to comprehend?
Non scientific methods are perfectly wonderful alternatives. Until the results really matter.
What greater poem was ever written than Maxwell’s laws of Electrodynamics?
Perhaps because it was written by nature
For it is by these four elegant verses that we apprehend the very light by which we read all other poetry
One should avoid being obscure as a means of appearing profound.
There are only simple answers, however difficult they may be to understand, they must be simple nonetheless.
Can science perform as a moral compass or do we still have to rely on religion? Perhaps religion does a better job since most people understand it better than science. However, considering the sad moral state we are in despite having both in abundance, I might suggest looking in a third direction.
History for example.
Reality requires greater imagination than fiction, for nothing demands greater creativity than understanding.