Saturday, November 29, 2008

"Now my own suspicion is that the Universe is not only queerer than we suppose, but queerer than we can suppose."

--J. B. S. Haldane


Gareth said...

Better get the Queer Eye team onto it. Not only will they explain how the universe works, but theyll make its bed and buy it a new suit!

The Universe will never know what hit it.

intense strangeness attractor said...

""Now my own suspicion is that the Universe is not only queerer than we suppose, but queerer than we can suppose."

Probably J.B.S. Haldane's most famous quote, but one which has been "homogenized" (Heh! Scrabblin' for a double entendre word score!) for family consumption and misquoted as "Not only is the universe stranger than we imagine, it is stranger than we can imagine" which in turn is often attributed to Sir Arthur Stanley Eddington, even though there is no record he ever said or wrote that paraphrase of Haldane's documented quote. Now that right there is an example of "high strangeness."

So, as the intro to Dawkin's video bit, it is quite appropriate, especially as concerns the science of quantum mechanics and multiverse theory, and generally how very strange the nature of reality is and may be.

As an aside, Haldane is also famous for the (possibly apocryphal) response he gave when some theologians asked him what could be inferred about the mind of the Creator from the works of His Creation: "An inordinate fondness for beetles."

This is in reference to there being over 350,000 known species of beetles in the world, and that this represents 40% of all known insect species.

An inordinate fondness for beetles.

That just about sums it all up for me! 8^}

c: "drata" -- disturbing, dramatic, difficult data, as in the above, and below:

P.S.--J.B.S. Haldane is also famous for aspects of the mathematics of population genetics, and has something portentous to suggest about directed evolution and the potential consequences of biogenetic manipulation in relation to transhumanism in terms of his original discovery and research into what is termed, in population genetics, genetic load or genetic burden, which is a measure of the cost of lost alleles due to selection (selectional load) or mutation (mutational load).

We'd best be extraordinarily careful when it comes to modifying our own genes in regard to attempting to enhance our native intelligence. Ah'm jes sayin'. 8^}

[References/quotes source: Wikipedia]

Tristan Eldritch said...

Find it hard to take Dawkins seriously since he give up science to become a hysterical polemicist.

kcotae said...

Hmm.. an homosexual universe. That's a new twist. I bet Einstein never thought of that!

Anonymous said...

I was unimpressed. Quantum physics is so wild, yet the biological view is so predictable and even mundane.
He thinks he knows "how it happened" in biology due to Darwin. I think its time for biologists to use some imagination.


Mac said...

@Tristan Yeah, I agree. I suspect this piece was pre-"God Delusion."

I've said this before but I might as well say it again: if phasing out religious superstition is Dawkins' aim (and a worthy aim it is, IMO), then his current approach is doomed to failure. He needs to ditch the anti-religion schtick and stick to pro-science.