Science Magazine celebrates its 125th anniversary with a series of articles on what we still don’t know.
My favorite? Are We Alone in the Universe? Many a night I’ve lay in bed wondering if, in my lifetime, we’ll ever make contact with or confirm that life exists outside of our blue planet. Recent space exploration on Mars, Titan, and other celestial objects is steering us to the conclusion that no, we are not alone.
I’ve always enjoyed science and thinking about these hard questions. Why I didn’t become a scientific researcher can be attributed directly to Chem 32! Interesting class, but one that made me realize that my destiny was meant for a different path.
2 thoughts on “25 Things We Don't Know”
I have to agree with you on that Chemistry issue. We all know that it is a wonderful branch of science that allows us to do things that we could otherwise not have done, and to have things that we simply would not have otherwise. For example, we now have very light but strong alloys, fire-retardant fabrics, and life-saving drugs.
HOWEVER, during my days at school, two subjects pissed me off because of their inaccuracy. Simply put, I felt like they are like moving targets. Calculus is the study of inprecision…for those who are seriously interested in approximate values rather than the precise ones. It helps when you can’t get the precise value by other economy and practical ways, but I still hate it because it always has been about…getting close to the real answer, but not it.
CHEMISTRY is another one. In math, one plus one is always two; the result of one plus one is two at sea level or at fifty-thousand feet above sea level. In chemistry, H + O ought to produce hydrogen oxide. But no no….they may produce hydrogen peroxide sometimes…and water most of the time. Chemists always have an explanation why. So there is no solid foundation.
I am not saying Chemistry is nonsense. Chemistry operates in real life in the nature and it makes sense. It is the study of Chemistry that does not make sense as it has so many exceptions. The study of Chemistry works only for those who can memorize and those who are obedient. That’s why there are many mainland Chinese studying Chemistry and advanced Chemistry in the US.
One last example why I hate Chemistry. Our Chemistry textbooks have a very precise description of when liquid water changes state to vapor or gaseous state. That description is 100 degree C at Sea Level. We know water boils and vaporizes at 100 degree C. If you are not at sea level take a few degrees off…but you get the point.
BUT…does the study of Chemistry ever explain to you or to me how wet clothes dry? Where did the water go without reaching 100 degree C? How about a glass full of water in the living room starting to lose water without reaching 100 degree C or through a leak?
We all know…these disappearing water vaporized. But our Chemistry textbook does not allow water to change state from liquid state to gaseous state without passing that 100 degree C barrier!!
Bizarre. Chemistry…it almost makes sense, but it never does.
Some mysteries we may never know, this is true. But it’s my conviction that God lives, speaks, that the heavens aren’t closed. And that understanding gives me the peace for everything else in my life. Even Chemistry. :D