Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
"I thought I knew some things about modern physics before I stumbled in this thread. You know, from reading Hawking and stuff. Now, I feel stupid again."

I think you have, accidently perhaps, hit the nail of this discussion squarely on its head. The whole problem with modern science is that you have to be a specialist to understand it. I know enough about physics to know that I don't know much (one of Rumsfeld's "known unkowns"), and a big part of the problem is that the math is too hard for me. But my creationist friend doesn't realize that there is any math behind all this, and he just compares what sounds to him like a bunch of gobble-de-gook to the stuff that comes from his evangelical minister.

Without the math (and the many preliminary layers of development you have to go through to get to the modern understanding of the universe), popularized science has no more claim to correctness than the flying spaghetti monster. It's a serious, serious problem, and one result is the funding disaster hitting Fermilab and SLAC right now. Forget the gigantic new projects, even the existing good ones can't get money because no politician in the country ever even signed up for Phyiscs for Political Science majors. (Well, except for Jimmy Carter, maybe.)

The scientific community needs to figure out a solution to this problem or we are going to find ourselves in the 14th century before we know it.

by asdf on Mon Feb 25th, 2008 at 11:40:51 PM EST
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