Scientific Shocks

The world is in for another great scientific shock.


There was the Copernican revolution that gave us a new meaning for the word ‘revolution’. It took a while but people started feeling that they really were on the surface of a sphere, spinning around and orbiting a star. At first, the very thought made people dizzy and fearful. They might believe that the earth was round but they did not feel it. Now it is just how we think.


Then there was Darwin. Not everyone has digested that theory yet, but many people can now be comfortable with the feeling that we are one of the animals, not the opposite of animals, and feel a long, shared history with them. Darwinism along with plate tectonics has made us accustomed to the idea that the earth, and its life, has been slowly changing for an extremely long time rather than created as we see it now, in a short time. Now it is just how many of us think.


Next Newton’s universe of simple matter and energy, action and reaction, unfolding in a rigid, continuous space and time, was shattered by Einstein’s relativity and Quantum Mechanics. Most of us have not only failed to internalize these theories, we have not even managed to understand or really ‘believe’ them. There is an understanding gap between physicists and broadly well educated members of the public who cannot feel ‘they are living in’ the universe that the physicists describe.


It is time to get ready for the next shock. Science is shortly going to illuminate how the brain works and it is not going to be easy to assimilate. We will have to learn to see ourselves in a different way.

I hope this blog will help you prepare for the shock. That is why I am doing the blog.

One thought on “Scientific Shocks

  1. A healthy scepticism will afford protection against any shocks at what science may
    reveal about the workings of the brain. It will fall well short of describing its interactions with the mind, which is the real problem. Doubtless there will be endless speculation.

    At one time scientists had sought answers about the physical actuality of the universe, until they took to analysing it mathematically;.then trying to interpret the results they obtained in quasi-physical terms. One outcome of this process was to leave Paul Dirac in awe of the mathematical genius of the Creator he didn’t believe existed. But mathematics is a purely human means of analysing physical processes, and Feynman pointed out that a creator who knew what he was doing wouldn’t need any such analytical tools and could happily manage without..

    As it is mathematics has become an end in itself. Relativity set the fashion by attempting to rationalise the appearance of reality as experienced by the senses, assuming a constant speed of light. What this has produced is a mathematical model of reality, and scores of theories as to why it doesn’t quite square with the real thing. Now the argument has come full circle with doubts being expressed about how constant the speed of light is anyway! Is it any wonder that a credibility gap has opened up between scientists and an educated public which sees them as living in worlds of their own.

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