My DVR at home is packed full of science shows, physics and cosmology in particular.
Science shows have a predictable format: “Interview a few geniuses who have it all figured out. Theory XYZ explains that the universe started like this, or gravity works like that, or subatomic particles behave like this, or humans evolved like that.”
Does science really have it all figured out? Here are some gentle reminders that geniuses are not as smart as we think they are:
“There is not the slightest indication that nuclear energy will ever be obtainable.” – Albert Einstein, 1932
“I think there is a world market for maybe five computers” – Thomas Watson, IBM Chairman, 1943
“Heavier-than-air flying machines are impossible.” – Lord Kelvin, 1895
“... my imagination refuses to see any sort of submarine doing anything but suffocating its crew and floundering at sea.” – HG Wells, 1901
[all of the above, plus the picture, were taken from an excellent lecture by Paul Werbos at the 2018 Science of Consciousness Conference, put on by the Medical School at the University of Arizona]
Maybe we don’t know everything, but are there any major revolutions left for scientists to uncover?
Scientific American author John Horgan wrote an excellent book called “The End of Science“, claiming that we’ve had all the great scientific revolutions we’re going to have. Science egos have a hard time swallowing Horgan’s position, and he rubs salt into the wound by explaining that science will never solve the really important questions, like “Where did the universe come from? How did life begin? How, exactly, does a chuck of meat make a mind?” Continue Reading