In the last few weeks, I’ve noticed something funny about people’s attitudes towards science. You might not think it funny, but I find it hilarious. So, cue the Thomas Dolby, and get ready for:
The Like You’ve Got Something Better To Do
Thanksgiving Science Spectacular
Part one of The Like You’ve Got Something Better To Do Thanksgiving Science Spectacular, is a short letter to the editor that appears in this weekend’s edition of the North Coast Journal. I wrote this letter in response to the NCJ’s science feature: Field Notes by Barry Evans. In recent months, the column has completely abandoned the natural world, in order to explore the outer limits of theoretical physics, apparently in search of truth, in the rarefied space where the improbable meets the incomprehensible.
If you don’t read the NCJ regularly, the letter might not make much sense to you. Even if you do read the NCJ, you still might not get it, but to put things in perspective, ask yourself: “How much different would my life be, if I had never heard of the Higgs Fucking Boson?”
There must be some pretty strong marijuana growing in that field where Barry Evans takes his notes. Earth to Barry: There are many more interesting things to look at in Humboldt County than the depths of your own navel.
I have to agree with GT Buckley’s opinion about the Large Hadron Super-Collider. Scientists, especially physicists have gotten amazingly good at hucksterism, especially when they want to spend billions of dollars on projects that benefit no one but scientists and technology geeks. Usually, they sell us these projects by promising that their experiments will answer the existential questions that have baffled humankind since the dawn of time, and baiting us with terms like “The Big Bang” and “God Particle”.
Barry seems to have taken the bait, hook, line and sinker. Despite it’s popularity, the outer limits of quantum physics is not the place to look for answers to existential questions. For that, I suggest Barry turn to the field of phenomenology. That might help him come to terms with the limits of science, and the incomprehensibility of life.
If there is any meaning or purpose to life, Barry, you’ll find it in the natural world of your perceptions, not in the theoretical extremities of objective science. Look around Barry, tell us what you see.