A Bit 'o Random Musings on Politics, Religion, and Anything Else That Passes Through My Crazy Head

Monday, December 12, 2011

Be Thou Humble

I have never been a science geek.   Let's just say that I took the minimum requirements for science classes in both high school and college, struggled with all of them, and never even considered a science-based major.  One thing that I do manage to find fascinating about science is the science of light.  Since Aristotle, scientists have debated the nature of light - is a wave or does it have substance as a set of particles?  Okay I'm now going to oversimplify the whole debate.

Scientists in the 19th century thought they had it figured out through a set of experiments that proved that light had wave properties.  But then another set of scientists proved that light ALSO exhibited properties associated with particles.  These discoveries led to what is called the "wave-particle duality" theory of light.  This means that light is both a wave and a particle.  I like this story because it shows that scientific pursuits contain an essential element of humility - you have to be willing to be proved wrong.  You have to be open to new ideas that partially or completely negate ideas or tenets you have held your entire life.  I also like the dual nature of light - it isn't necessarily one side or the other, it is both!  We tend to think in black and white too much - so often life is not in the neat little boxes we like to think it is.  So, be thou humble in thy lightness - be willing to accept new ideas :)

No comments:

Post a Comment