A Shocking And Enlightening Scientific Discovery

I’ve been reading a book on Physics called ‘Six Easy Pieces’ by Richard Feynman.

(Richard was ranked as the 7th greatest physicist of all time)

It challenges my brain, and I have to read slow, which is cool.

Today I read something fascinating.

He writes…

‘It is not possible to predict exactly what will happen in any circumstance.

…Nature, as we understand it today, behaves in such a way, that it is fundamentally impossible to make a precise prediction of exactly what will happen in a given experiment.

This is a horrible thing; in fact, philosophers have said before that one of the fundamental requisites of science is that whenever you set up the same conditions, the same thing must happen.

This is simply not true; it is not a fundamental condition of science. The fact is that the same thing does not happen, that we can find only an average, statistically, as to what happens.

Philosophers, incidentally say a great deal about what is absolutely necessary for science, and it is always, so far as one can see, rather naïve, and probably wrong.’

To me that has a couple practical insights for my life.

  1. In many cases (maybe most) we don’t know, what we think we know.
  2. Always reserve a space for the ‘mysterious‘ aspects of life and existence.

We seem to live in an age where science, in many ways, has replaced the idea of God.

Faith in science, the new religion.

And certainly, much of what we enjoy in life, that makes life easier and more enjoyable has come as a result of understanding the laws of nature and using them in ways that are beneficial.

Can we appreciate it, without worshipping it as some new infallible deity?

‘Intelligence is the ability to make finer distinctions.’ -Rich Dad

Ben Franklin added ‘humility‘ as the last bullet on his list of virtues.

Jesus said ‘become as a little child.’

Eyes wide with wonder, always curious and teachable.

Somehow adults seem to learn a few things and conclude we know all things.

Understanding the concept of ‘chair’ is not the same thing as understanding the atoms that make up that chair, and how they hold together in some cases and break apart in others.

‘The beginning of wisdom, is a just appraisal of one’s ignorance.’ -Mortimer Adler

Life is a wonderful, mysterious, rewarding journey – and even more so, when we’re open to the shocking fact, that we just might have some new things to learn.

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