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Science Nerds Only - Dilbert Blog

Science Nerds Only

Today’s blog is for science nerds only. I provide you with three media data points and turn you loose to connect or reject them.

First, the New York Times is reporting that a respected string theorist is saying gravity is an illusion emerging from the mechanics of atoms. Another respected physicist says gravity is an illusion caused by the differences in entropy.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/13/science/13gravity.html?_r=3&pagewanted=1&ref=homepage&src=me

In other recent news, physicists working with the Large Hadron Collider are rumored to have found evidence of the so-called God Particle (Higgs boson) that would theoretically explain why other particles have mass.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/large-hadron-collider/7885997/Large-Hadron-Collider-rival-Tevatron-has-found-Higgs-boson-say-rumours.html

Thirdly, I point you to page 55 of my book God’s Debris, written ten years ago. It’s the chapter titled Physics of God Dust. (It only makes sense if you read the entire book, but most of you have, so this is just to jog your memory of that chapter.) The free pdf download is here:  http://nowscape.com/godsdebris.pdf

Years ago I read a fascinating book (I can’t recall the title) that described how throughout history the great discoveries of science were preceded by art. In other words, if you looked at the paintings and fiction that were becoming popular just before the scientific breakthroughs of the times, you would see that the styles of thinking necessary for specific scientific breakthroughs had recently begun to permeate society at large. Or to put it in more poetic terms, humanity gains knowledge about its own reality when it is collectively ready for it. That readiness is reflected in art.

Skeptics will rightly point out that you can find any pattern in history if you try. True enough. But it’s still such an interesting notion that it’s worth considering, even if only for fun.

My discussion of physics in God’s Debris isn’t an exact match to what the physicists are discussing in the links I provided. But if someday the idea is validated that gravity is an illusion caused by probability and entropy, it will seem as though art, including but not limited to God’s Debris, predicted humanity was ready for that knowledge.

Update: Thanks to reader Alanc for correctly identifying the book about art preceding science.   The more relevant sequel is Art and Physics by Leonard Shlain.

http://www.amazon.com/Art-Physics-Parallel-Visions-Space/dp/0688123058