The Science - Science Fiction thread

DarthDimiDarthDimi Behind you!Moderator
edited June 2014 in General Discussion Posts: 23,522
Who here likes sciences? I'm talking about exact sciences like mathematics, chemistry, physics and biology. I do. I love chemistry and physics and I'm rather fond of math as well. They can thrill me, challenge me. They give me pleasure, while I'm reading about them, writing about them or teaching them. It hurts when people call them boring or difficult, for they are neither of both. However, much depends on how you were introduced to them. Poor experiences in school will most likely discourage you to study sciences. Perhaps this thread can eventually change your mind about science.

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I've opened up this thread so that sciences can be discussed. We begin with this small introduction. Tell us how you feel about sciences and don't be shy.

Also, who loves science fiction? This is the place to discuss that as well.


  • Posts: 503
    Evolution is fake.

  • Samuel001Samuel001 Moderator
    edited April 2011 Posts: 13,350
    Science is indeed fascinating stuff. I loved Maths at school and very much like the three sciences. Getting into that field of work is a way to maybe truely change the world.
  • DarthDimiDarthDimi Behind you!Moderator
    Posts: 23,522
    True, @Sam! What I will (hopefully) be able to demonstrate in this thread is the unimaginable importance of science education, not only because we need good scientists to propel us into the future but also because a minimal scientific awareness might cause some laughably ridiculous beliefs to die.
  • Posts: 162
    I teach science, but it was not my best class in school at all the Chemistry still scares me. I really enjoy physics, though. I think it's all very fascinating. I think I like it because it's tangible and we experience so much of it every day in an easily understandable way.

    I never thought I'd teach science, and I think I learn more in teaching it than they do in me teaching them, but I try to make it fun. One of my students is going to show us a Rube Goldberg machine he built today. (Not an assignment - he did it on his own!)
  • DarthDimiDarthDimi Behind you!Moderator
    Posts: 23,522
    Good to hear that, @lalala. As teachers, we can inspire our pupils and that is important. Besides merely feeding them a vast array of formulae and definitions, we need also to expand their view on the world and stimulate critical thinking, the kind that is sometimes blocked by cultural and other emotions.
  • nick_007nick_007 Ville Marie
    Posts: 443
    Needless to say I plan on devoting my entire career to the sciences. Math and physics have fascinated me from an early age and it thrills me to know that I will one day be one of the people pushing the boundaries of our physical world.

    I love math and physics. The complexities of linear algebra and transform calculus alone can only leave the mind to wonder what kind of geniuses have graced this earth to theorize these things.

    Physics is my passion though, and it is such a broad topic. My studies focus mainly on statics and the mechanics of materials under stress and strain but I will always have a soft spot for the dynamics of bodies in motion.

    I once took an Astrophysics course as a complementary to my studies and I will never regret it. It taught me a great deal about the universe. From the formation of our solar system to the nuclear reactions on the sun that give us energy. It's very interesting stuff.

    I'll stop now. :-@
  • DarthDimiDarthDimi Behind you!Moderator
    Posts: 23,522
    Wow, Nick. You can surely be of tremendous use in this thread. \m/
  • DarthDimiDarthDimi Behind you!Moderator
    edited September 2013 Posts: 23,522
    I would like to refer to the following crazy text:

    The author's argument, if I'm not mistaken, is that the Big Bang Theory should be refuted based on its idea of creating-a-complex-universe-out-of-nothing being similar to suggesting that an explosion of Silicon Valley could elegantly drop down fully functional computers. I can agree on the latter being utterly ridiculous, however I refuse to accept the parallel as valid.

    Firstly, a computer is an intricately engineered, man-made machine, built to perform mathematical operations which obey human logic and serve human purposes. It follows a technological design and in fact executes non-spontaneous processes. It cannot sustain itself, procreate or even evolve without the involvement of people (not yet anyway). The universe, on the contrary, follows simple physical and chemical laws and isn’t in any way prone to human instructions. It does evolve spontaneously and without the interference of technology. Also, it can quite easily exist without electronic devises built to enable artificial thinking and mimicking, in many ways, our brain. If anything, a computer is man’s attempt at supplying us with a nanocosmos where pretty much the same interactions between mass and energy occur. Unfortunately, we can’t quite get there, which demonstrates our feeble skills and teaches us valuable lessons in modesty.

    Furthermore, the universe makes perfect sense when one applies the same rules and laws of physics and chemistry that one can apply to everyday life and that only fools would refuse to accept these days. The only reason a computer makes sense is because we build it to make sense. We force it to work by imposing extra rules upon it, rules which do not naturally exist in our cosmos. In our absence, they would be sitting there and do nothing. The universe, however, would – and will! – live on in our absence. To conclude this, allow me to state that we can perfectly grasp how a computer, a car or a chair get made, how they ‘work’, what every tiny little particle in their system does and so forth. The universe, and even the author of the text has to agree with this, isn’t fully understood by us yet. Even then, we, the so-called ‘scientists’ (as he contemptuously writes), at least try to understand and by god we’ve come very far already. Our understanding of the universe has cleared the path to building satellites, putting a man on the moon, launching Voyager, etc. What have those ‘magicians’ ever done to explain the universe? They refuse falsification of their theories, which almost by definition makes them dishonest advocates of their theories. They refuse to sit down and criticize their own thinking. They stubbornly cling to untested, unverified theories and refuse the power of observation, empirical research and so forth, which is why their contributions to understanding the world are few, if any, and which is also why they constantly try to set us back, instead of allow us to grow even more knowledgeable. One thing I know is that science, at least, has resulted in clearly visible applications.

    I will agree that The Big Bang theory is still ‘just’ a theory and could still be improved, purified and better understood. [However, there's no such thing as 'just a theory' in science. I phrased that sentence against my personal scientific purism.] At least we allow a theory to grow more valid – at least we allow it to be criticized. Had Allah ‘just’ dropped us down out of complete nothingness (a contradiction in the author’s plead should become clear at this point), he’d be a pretty cold-hearted entity to not allow us to wonder where we come from through empirical thinking, since he has given us the power of intellectual and critical reasoning anyway. In fact, I’d argue that treating a divine force as a magician who refuses to disclose his tricks is an insult to said divinity. This in one of the reasons I can practice religion and science with an open mind and without feeling guilty towards one or the other.
  • edited May 2011 Posts: 5,767
    I love science, notwithstanding the fact that I never had much grasp of physics, let alone chemistry. Although with growing necessity my knowledge increased a bit over recent years.
    I work in a medical profession where it is obvious that things don´t work according to strict rules, yet I find the learning of certain chemical, physical and mechanical facts increasingly important.
    Quoting DarthDimi: This in one of the reasons I can practice religion and science with an open mind and without feeling guilty towards one or the other.
    I consider myself a rather spiritual man, yet I don´t see any opposition or contradiction between science and spirituality. Both are reflections of the same thing IMO. One problem is that both in science and in religion a lot of distortions are taken as truth by many people.

  • SeveSeve The island of Lemoy
    Posts: 357
    the more I learn the more I realise how little I know

    I was never much good at science, history is more my thing

    lately I've been interested to see how religion, philosophy and science have historically been seen as related and overlapping in other cultures, whereas, as having been raised in european culture, I had tended view them as separate and almost mutually exclusive
  • KerimKerim Istanbul Not Constantinople
    Posts: 2,629
    Science and math were my two favorites in school. History was my #3. I then took physics and calculus in my senior year and had trouble grasping both. In college I was really fascinated with geology, especially with how the continents and certain landmarks (i.e. Grand Canyon) were formed. Just amazing how the Colorado River formed the Grand Canyon, which is a mile deep.

    As for religion, I'm agnostic. My theory has always been that religion was used to explain what was scientifically unknown at the time (i.e. God created the Heavens and Earth). Over time, science has disproved many concepts from religion. Think about how far advanced we'd be now if it weren't for the Dark Ages where religion pretty much supressed science for hundreds of years. Especially in the field of health sciences.

    To all the science teachers on here (well all of the teachers on MI6), thank you for what you do. Hopefully you get to mold the one mind who makes a breakthrough or discovery in their particular area.

  • Posts: 5,767
    Human beings are made in a way that they want to understand things. That implies that the world does not present itself all at once, one has to put effort in discovering the world and how it works.
    Leaving out the control-oriented aspect that has crept over time probably into every organization that represents religion, a fundamental religious (or maybe spiritual is the better term) idea is the communication of knowledge to humankind from a higher instance, from above to below so to speak.
    At the same time, whoever or whatever created humankind fitted them with a considerable intellectual capacity and the ability to learn and extrapolate from observation, thus discovering the world from an inside point of view, or from below up so to speak.
    Those two ways of learning are both valid approaches, they are complementary and shouldn´t be cause for confusion.
  • M_BaljeM_Balje Amsterdam, Netherlands
    edited May 2011 Posts: 4,429
    Without Science some people died already.

    At scool Arithmetic (Dutch name: Rekenen) i whas good/very good, after iam bored i get some Mathematics ( That's what i think with Science. Dutch name: Wiskunde) later but that be to much for me. In specialy names of Arithmetic things i never learn or there lean the alturnatief names. Sometimes also the teachter did not know it or in my eyes have to much of a dificult explanation.

    I know 1/2 is the same as 2/4 and 10mm is the same as 1cm but you should not ask me what 5/2 x 6/4 be. Because it is already be almost 11 years a go i finished with the final scool where you can learn this kind of things, i also think i vergot already how much cl 1ltr be. A bit strange for one someone who have work in the kitchen, but it also not be one of the returning element in the studie.
  • DaltonCraig007DaltonCraig007 They say, "Evil prevails when good men fail to act." What they ought to say is, "Evil prevails."
    Posts: 15,689
    Ibut you should not ask me what 5/2 x 6/4 be. Because it is already be almost 11 years a go i finished with the final scool where you c
    Let me think...

    5x4/2x4 x 6x2/4x2 = 20/8 x 12/8 = 240/8 = 30/1

  • DarthDimiDarthDimi Behind you!Moderator
    Posts: 23,522
    I love science fiction. It inspires me. Ever since I read the great novels of Asimov and Clarke, I've considered myself a huge Sci Fi fan. Being a scientist myself, the art of Sci Fi challenges me and even excites me on a strictly cerebral level. Sci Fi plants ideas into our minds that maybe great scientists one day are able to practically realise in real life, as they have already.

    How about your affection with Sci Fi?
  • CommanderRossCommanderRoss The bottom of a pitch lake in Eastern Trinidad, place called La Brea
    Posts: 7,962
    First off, the article you refer to Darth makes many mistakes. The primary beeing that evolution has nothing to do with the Big Bang. Nothing at all. The former explains how we got so many different spicies on this planet (not how life began!!) whereas the latter tries to explain why all this matter is actually here. Now his claims that there is no evidence are based on his own observations, and I have got the idea he's not hampered by the lack of looking for the evidence. Please, let's leave religion out of this wonderfull thread. As you said yourself, many people find ways to combine the two. Religious or not, science is supposed to be done in a scientific way.

    Personally I used to be very good at mathematics. Now though, I regret I'm not. I did however a short stint at the Haarlem University for Aeronautical Engineering (Hogeschool Haarlem), which nowedays has moved to Delft and is called InHolland. Not that I was very good, I found Aerodynamics extremely difficult, but I got fascinated by the science behind strengths and weaknesses in metallurgical compounts. Forging metal is something amazing. Seeing what happens if you heat steel quickly or slowly, what happens when you add carbon, just...fascinating.
  • DarthDimiDarthDimi Behind you!Moderator
    Posts: 23,522
    Great to read your comments, CR! You're right about the article and its many mistakes. Like I said: it's crazy.

    You're an engineer as well? My degree says I'm one. However, I feel more like a scientist than an engineer.
  • edited November 2011 Posts: 5,745
    I have a sci-fi question.

    If Wells was able to predict all sorts of the modern technology we have today, including wireless communications, space travel, lasers, invisibility, and Verne was able to predict the modern submarine, telephones, wire-guided missiles, and advanced space flight, why don't we see people predicting other things in our future?

    I feel like the modern time period doesn't have these great imaginations to lead the science of invention. We're still stuck on lasers and invisibility! Why don't we have people coming up with this sort of stuff?
  • SandySandy Somewhere in Europe
    Posts: 4,012
    Great to see the thread here. I'm a scientist (becoming PhD this month) so I'm partial to the subject.
    #JWESTBROOK I kind of agree with you. I think these days science moves ahead of fiction, though. The bounderies are being pushed every day.
  • DarthDimiDarthDimi Behind you!Moderator
    Posts: 23,522
    You may be astonished to find that people like Carl Sagan, Robert Heinlein, Arthur C. Clarke and Isaac Asimov have in fact in more or less recent history made interesting predictions which, in time, may come true.

    The big thing, however, would be that science evolves rapidly and it's become a lot tougher for fiction writers to stay ahead of it. I suspect that right now someone is having a field day predicting certain elementary particles or strange string theory effects for the sake of a Sci Fi novel.

    Interesting question you bring up, @JWESTBROOK!
  • edited November 2011 Posts: 5,745
    I feel like our society, or the fiction it follows, focuses on alternate realities and "sheet" space theories and aliens. Not something plausible to define, per say, at this time.

    And I suppose it is true that science is more commonly accepted, well genuinely accepted these days, and advances must faster than in Wells and Verne's time.

    But it is indeed very hard to sit down and think whats next. Those guys had some healthy imaginations.

    I like Sagan for his humanitarian outlook on science. I feel like he understood how science could aid our race and our planet, and that was his focus. I love that famous excerpt from Pale Blue Dot. What a poet! Sagan made/makes science easy to understand and follow, and his words make you fell.. good.. inside. Thats something I can't credit my chemistry teacher with!
  • edited November 2011 Posts: 2,782
    I love science fiction. The ideas and thoughts of creative people over a hundred years ago are manifesting them as reality today. H.G.Wells, Jules Verne etc and of course the master, Arthur C.Clarke, his ideas he imagined are in use today.

  • DarthDimiDarthDimi Behind you!Moderator
    Posts: 23,522
    Clarke is phenomenal. I deeply long to see the Rama books filmed. I'd love to peak inside that ship. What a delight that could be.
  • Rama is a great story - Peter Jackson would do it justice - maybe it should be a series to give it the respect it deserves. And of course there is the Rama universe.

  • DarthDimiDarthDimi Behind you!Moderator
    Posts: 23,522
    For years I've been looking for stories that could work in film at least as well as 2001: A Space Odyssey. I've come to the conclusion that master himself held the answer for me: Rama. I'd love to see a capable filmmaker handle these stories with care. I'd love to see them fall into the hands of Danny Boyle.
  • Danny Boyle, Sunshine = awesome.

    Steven Soderbergh, Solaris = awesome.
  • DarthDimiDarthDimi Behind you!Moderator
    Posts: 23,522
    Danny Boyle, Sunshine = awesome
    My thoughts exactly. One of my top 3 Sci-Fi films ever.

  • DaltonCraig007DaltonCraig007 They say, "Evil prevails when good men fail to act." What they ought to say is, "Evil prevails."
    Posts: 15,689
    Duncan Jones, Moon - awesome.
  • DarthDimiDarthDimi Behind you!Moderator
    Posts: 23,522
    Another excellent choice. Moon is good proof that sober filmmaking with a warm touch and intelligent ideas can work splendidly well.
  • Samuel001Samuel001 Moderator
    edited November 2011 Posts: 13,350
    Duncan Jones, Moon - awesome.
    As is Source Code. EON should take note, should they ever want to go down that route again.
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