Friday, September 23, 2011

"There's a turn up for the books, then."

(Apologies, as this is broadly an expanded rumination on a tweet.)

I love some of the mild panic intimated by some of the rational and calm scientific community in this BBC News Online story about CERN.

"We tried to find all possible explanations for this."

I'm sure at some point they'll find that someone forgot to carry the decimal, or they lost a couple of atoms down the back of the fridge or something while someone wasn't looking. Everything may well return to normal.

But watching a whole bunch of quite seriously talented scientists do the collective equavalent of going 'Um..' is a bit good. We're humans. We're not meant to know or understand everything. You can insert the usual bit about people once thinking the earth was flat and the atom was the smallest bit of stuff going here, if you like.

It's nice to have our collective smugness punctured a bit. Look lads, new facts! Re-think EVERYTHING!

Also, being all artsy around the waist and ankles, it struck me how much easier it might be for me to accept this than some people in the scientific community. I have a (very, very) broad understanding of the science bit. But no where near enough to get hindered by any hard and fast rules of physics or owt.

"Stuff goes faster than the fastest we thought it could go? Okay then. Is anyone making tea?"

Alright so even I appreciate that if something is found to go faster than the speed of light, that has potential consequences for all kinds of thinking, theories, clever stuff and (most importantly) sci-fi writing. And I'm not dismissing this lightly. But what I'm saying is, imagination is a really, really important part of anything. Especially science.

I have no real point here - and I'm certainly not saying art is more important than science - nossir. Both have their place in a harmonious universe. I firmly admire all clever maths and science types, simply because it's so far removed from my own abilities!

Right. I'm just wittering now.