Friday, December 01, 2006

The unbecoming of science

It's strange that I get this link from Sudha. It talks about the "unbecoming of science".

Only yesterday, I was telling how more and more, physics feels like religion. Now, before ye asses pitch in and say But physics and religion are manifestations of the same entity, let's make it clear. They aren't. The only way in which they're related is that they aren't. Get that straight.

So, what is this unbecoming of science that we're talking about. Put literally, it's the semi-pseudo mysticism that has come to surround physics, making it sound like one of those verses from the vedas that sound really deep, but don't mean a shit.

When was the last time you were able to visualise anything in physics to a satisfactory degree? Electromagnetic waves? Gravity? Fluid dynamics? Uncertainty principle? Well, welcome to  20th century science. When you talk of the universe folding upon itself, of universe in twenty three dimensions, of tiny squiggles of energy making up the universe, and the way these things squiggle determining what particle it is, you get more lost than you were the first time you gave oral sex. It's not what you had imagined it to be.

Strong anthropic principle is another way of saying Don't ask questions. That's how things are. This is what all bad-breathed uncles tell their neices and nephews when they're asked - Is it tortoise all the way down?

Maths is the new tortoise


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1 comment:

witnwisdumb said...

I see... Interesting post.

I agree that most of the theories of modern day science that attempt to describe the universe, are highly convoluted. But then, the same is true of something far less complicated, like photosynthesis, for instance. You would no doubt agree that there are far more complexities involved in trying to explain the universe itself, than in explaining photosynthesis.

And yet, the latter is itself such a complex process, that some of the intricacies are yet not entirely clear. So, what would you have? If you really expect the universe and all its phenomena to explained in terms so simple and lucid that anyone could understand, then I see no choice but to stick to stories of lotuses and tortoises.

Or perhaps you have a better idea?