Saturday, February 5, 2011
BBC Horizon (2011) - What is Reality?
I've been interested in why people resist or disbelieve science. Whether it is astrophysics, climate change, quantum physics or evolution, scientists are finding out more and more about how the natural universe behaves. The information is there in hard facts, but it seems that the more science progresses in our understanding of how the universe behaves, the more people tend to disbelieve those findings.
That is perplexing from a scientific point of view, but not so much from an intuitive psychological point of view. I think it is Richard Dawkins who said that we humans tend to view the known universe from a medium-sized or human- sized perspective. That is, one in which size is not too microscopic and not too vast that it is beyond our comprehension, and in which time seems not too infinitesimally short, but also not so long that it defies our comprehension of what a long time really is. We tend to think of space and time in terms of our own bodies or our own lifetimes. For instance, for a child walking on the earth, it seems perfectly reasonable that the ground we walk upon is flat, and therefore, the earth is flat... It is when the realities of the studied universe go outside our intuitive comprehension of the way nature works that we have to rely on science to truly understand reality... And that is where intuitive belief and scientific knowledge part ways.
For an amazing and much more in-depth article on the subject I've just discussed, please visit www.edge.org and check out the article, Why do some People Resist Science?