Thursday, January 30, 2014

Modern Science. Where is it leading us?

When I was going through the mouth-breathing stage during my junior year in high school, I became fascinated with science. None of this was because I was a good student. All of it came about because I never believed anything the textbooks said. One of the concepts that challenged me was the statement that ‘a bullet fired from a gun would hit the ground at the same time as one dropped from an equal height.’ We spent several Sunday afternoons trying to prove the book wrong. Despite the fog in my addled brain, we discovered that the concept was accurate, all wrapped up in a concept called gravity.

It was a few years later when I saw a young man named Carl Sagan on television writing a mathematical formula on a blackboard that proved some difficult concept I couldn't began to grasp. I discovered that there were people who could take a small scientific concept and deduct facts about things they had never seen and places they had never been. This was science, theoretical science, and it was exciting beyond belief. In the years that followed, I worked with engineers who could produce the same magic with a calculator or with a computer. Recently, I heard someone say that ‘everything that can be invented has already been produced.’ Nothing could be further from the truth. To borrow a phrase from Winston Churchill, ‘this is not the beginning of the end, but the end of the beginning.’ Scientific developments are coming our way almost on a daily basis, and they are going to change our lives in ways we can’t fathom. Electronics is leading the way, but there are other things just as exciting, and they are just around the corner. As I read scientific journals, I recapture some of the excitement I felt as a high school student. Computers, cell phones, and HD television are just a few of the things we now enjoy. I can’t help wondering what is next.