Thursday, October 9, 2014

Feynman and the Flower: The Problem with Science

A friend of mine posted this quote by Dr Richard Feynman - a famous Nobel Laureate for those of you who do not know.

"I have a friend who’s an artist and has sometimes taken a view which I don’t agree with very well. He’ll hold up a flower and say “look how beautiful it is,” and I’ll agree. Then he says “I as an artist can see how beautiful this is but you as a scientist take this all apart and it becomes a dull thing,” and I think that he’s kind of nutty. First of all, the beauty that he sees is available to other people and to me too, I believe… 

I can appreciate the beauty of a flower. At the same time, I see much more about the flower than he sees. I could imagine the cells in there, the complicated actions inside, which also have a beauty. I mean it’s not just beauty at this dimension, at one centimeter; there’s also beauty at smaller dimensions, the inner structure, also the processes. The fact that the colors in the flower evolved in order to attract insects to pollinate it is interesting; it means that insects can see the color. It adds a question: does this aesthetic sense also exist in the lower forms? Why is it aesthetic? All kinds of interesting questions which the science knowledge only adds to the excitement, the mystery and the awe of a flower. It only adds. I don’t understand how it subtracts."
- Richard Feynman

While it does sound sincere and maybe even profound, I don't - with whatever little humility I am capable of - quite agree with Mr Feynman (of whom, I must admit for the sake of full and fair disclosure, I have been a big fan of). The problem is not really with science - which we can roughly summarize for the purpose of this post as  "the processes of observation and deduction of conclusions based on logical inference based of these observations", but with the space from which the observation or acquiring of said knowledge happens.

The problem with science is not that it observes more or observes less, but it leaves the observer out of all observation and pretends that there is something called an objective universe that exists "outside". 

And this produces - if you take it to its honest and logical conclusion - a dead lifeless dull universe. Anything of value, anything of excitement, anything of joy, anything of beauty exists because of and in fact IS the observer. The universe - which when stared at closer and closer we will realize is but emptiness - does not actually exist independent of who is seeing it.

And yes, science will eventually be forced to see the observer.. but only after a long process of constipated living where they suck the life out of everything that they come across - including potential girl friends or partners -  purely because of their refusal to look into or acknowledge themselves - which in turn is possibly born out of some childhood incompletion with their parents from where they got the feeling that they are inconsequential

The problem is not with science.. but the little hurt children in the denial-of-themselves who have hijacked the term scientists and made it reflect their violence and loneliness.  That is why Feynman developed the Atom bomb that killed lakhs of human beings and died without the least bit of remorse for being a part of the effort.

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