Tomorrow Edition

Time To Restore Balance To Our Discourse

The world has an unhealthy obsession with politics. If people spent half the time learning about science as they do watching CNN or Fox or Al Jazeera or CCTV the world would be a better place.

Science brings reason, understanding and enlightenment. Politics brings division.

Science makes progress with new facts about the world seemingly discovered daily. Politics drives itself around in circles, offering little along the way that could inspire or excite anyone.

Science is the study of eternal truths, it tells you what is true and what will always be true. Politics is just what is happening right now.

This is not to say that politics is not important, we cannot function as a society without it, and it has a role to play in driving science forward, but a disproportionate amount of time is spent on it. If people took some of that time trying to understand what is happening in science these days they would realize that the world is not all the doom and gloom that politics tells you it is. There are amazing things happening all the time, wake up to it and you might just realize we are living in the greatest era in human history.

Many seem to think that science is beyond them and don’t spend time trying to understand it except maybe to watch a documentary once or twice a week. It really isn’t as hard to grasp as you might think. If you just spend a little more time with it, it starts to reveal itself.

Just take a look at this.

These are drawings of neurons made in the late 19th century by Santiago Ramón y Cajal, the father of neuroscience. He spent his whole life peering through microscopes and drawing what he saw. Every time you move your hand, or smell a flower, or have a thought, or beat your heart, it is because one of these microscopic neurons is sending an electrical or chemical signal through your brain. What is remarkable about his work is that, even though the microscopes he used were crude compared to the microscopes of today, because of his dedication to his craft, the countless hours he must have spent tinkering with the resolution and the lenses, these drawings are very close to what neurons actually look like. Everything you see, feel, think and do is because of the structure, wiring and signaling from one of these little things to another. There are a 100 billion of them in your head and 100 trillion connections between them. They make up the most complicated structure in the universe, the brain, which allows the universe to understand itself.

Or look at this.

This is mitochondria. Inside every cell in your body there are thousands of these little things. Billions of years ago on Earth, when single celled organisms ruled the planet, these things floated around independently. They are living things that have their own DNA. The ancestor of every cell in your body was also floating around at that time. Somehow that cell absorbed a mitochondria into its structure. Our cells benefited from mitochondria’s ability to produce a form of energy called ATP, it was a more efficient form of energy than anything our cells had previously come up with. The mitochondria benefited from the protection it received being encased in our cell’s membrane. A symbiotic marriage was formed that has lasted till this day and allowed life on earth to thrive. You would not be here if this chance meeting did not happen.

Or newly discovered gravitational waves which this guy describes far better than I ever could…

Science is littered with interesting stories like neurons and mitochondria and super massive black holes slamming into each other. They are also stories that inform your life because they tell you who you are and how you came to be.

If people took the time to learn this kind of stuff instead of spending their energy bickering over everything Trump does or says they would have a new perspective on the news. Though they matter, they are not the most important things happening in the world. They’ll also realize that everything that he says and does, though it does effect millions of lives, pales in comparison to the discoveries made in science because those effect every single person alive and helps us understand every human, animal, plant, microbe, planet, rock, and grain of sand that has ever been and will ever be. Trump and everything he does will start to look microscopic by comparison, especially his tiny little hands.