June 12, 2010

Seeing the world

Thuja occidentalisToday I saw a cartoon on http://abstrusegoose.com/ that perfectly expresses how I see the world.

A few weeks back I walked along Rawlinson Road in northern Oxford while listening to techno music in the sunshine. I had an experience very much like the cartoon:

The red bricks were selectively reflecting and diffusing different wavelengths. The moss on the trees and walls was evolving, filled with tardigrades. My feet were held up by elastic forces due to van der Waals and other electrostatic interactions between the molecules, in turn sustained by overlapping orbitals described by quantum mechanics. Insects were flying thanks to tricky continuum dynamics involving vortices. The air was moving by Navier-Stokes equations. The sky was blue due to Rayleigh scattering, lit by a sun shining through nuclear fusion, with photons diffusing for many years through a complex hydrostatic equilibrium until they finally after an 8 minute trip, got refracted and hit my retina - yet within their own reference frame the trip was instantaneous.

People who claim science has a barren, non-magical world-view don't know what they themselves are blind to.

Posted by Anders3 at June 12, 2010 01:50 PM