This week’s Feed the Machine will be a little different. Before I go on, here is the link to the article in question:
It’s a short article, more a review than a science article really, but it got me thinking, and I want it to get you thinking.
Why would one of the most respected scientists of the 21st century knowingly make such a blunder? Beyond this, what if, on an alternate earth, there was a scientist who was so respected, so smart, so right about everything, that her discoveries weren’t examined? In fact, they were taken as LAW the moment she set them down to paper? What if the world conformed to her laws, even when they were wrong? What if it didn’t? What if someone called her on it? Imagine a sort of Marie Curie/Albert Einstein hybrid. If this person said animal cells had walls of crystal, wouldn’t you believe them implicitly? Does that make this scientist a god?
You can take this further. If the scientist becomes a god, then, to her followers, it wouldn’t matter if she was right or wrong. Experiments to prove the validity of her theories could be considered both holy or blasphemous, depending on the results. Would experimental error be considered a sin?
What causes people to make mistakes? Is it hubris? Is it laziness? Conceit? How far can we take this idea of a figurehead scientist, falling from grace? I’d like to see. Comment away, doctorates.