Is it the end of scientific discoveries?
- 28th June 2016
- Posted by: Phi Tuition
- Category: Academic
Is it really the end of scientific discoveries? Have we reached to an absolute maximum for all science and technology? Is it true when even scientists defend that there will never be another Einstein?
It sounds like the 19th century all over again:
Kelvin once allegedly said that “There is nothing new to be discovered in physics now. All that remains is more and more precise measurement”; whereas Planck was warned not to go into Physics “In this field, almost everything is already discovered, and all that remains is to fill a few unimportant holes.”
However, Kelvin’s words never being cited in any document and Planck’s mere commitment to understanding Physics soon after opened up more discoveries including quantum physics.
We may tend to oversee many crucial factors and become unable to understand very complex matters. We are a very fast living populous now, however with all of the scientific discoveries of all time we can’t expect ourselves to consume every bit of existing knowledge. This is one of the main reasons why some say that all we can do is learn what has been discovered so far as we won’t have time to put more effort in. Are we losing our curiosity and creativity during the period of understanding and learning?
It’s not that we have lost passion in science completely, but in combination with turning into a population where “knowledge is king”, we tend to be less curious and have less questions to advance the topic. The Telegraph mentioned in 2010 that the leading scientists have said that the scientific discoveries may be coming to an end as the limits of the human mind make further breakthroughs impossible.
Do we forget that we’re also human? New discoveries surely come with commitment, curiosity and passion for the given topic. Biology, for example, is a very interesting subject too, but without a curious and questioning attitude in a specific branch of Biology it may turn into a very big textbook without an end. It’s the questions that advance us. Wasn’t it last year that the first new antibiotic in the past 30 years was discovered?
It’s true that some branches of science are more saturated than others. Physics, especially has been the essential topic recently on the discussions relating to the end of scientific discoveries. There have been no fundamental revolutions in theoretical physics since the evolution of the standard model. Gravitational waves breakthrough wasn’t even considered as a breakthrough by most, as the starting point (Einstein’s theory of relativity) was 100 years old. However, do we miss the point of being unable to produce such machinery and data that was fit for this purpose until now? Don’t we want to know more about the universe? Isn’t this new information going to create more factors for us to consider, especially combined with our presented knowledge on Earth? Do we really know everything at hundred percent including their correlations with all factors?
We don’t think the scientific discoveries are coming to an end. As long as there is a question, suspicion, curiosity and commitment; even the smallest changes can have the biggest ripple effects with era changing consequences. The most important discoveries are surely the ones which we cannot predict.
“Don’t underestimate the power of your vision to change the world. Whether that world is your office, your community, an industry or a global movement, you need to have a core belief that what you contribute can fundamentally change the paradigm or way of thinking about problems” – Leroy Hood