August 5, 2013

What if our study of the universe is like the story of the blind man & the elephant

There is a classic story of three blind men & an elephant.
There were three blind men who encountered an elephant. They wanted to 'see' an elephant & decided to feel it up.
One grabbed its trunk, another it's leg & a third one its tail.
The first one exclaimed, an elephant is flexible, like a rope, thick on the top, thins down at the bottom.
The second said, the elephant is like a pillar, sturdy. No chance of flexibility. Maybe some joints but not even close to a rope.
The third one said, you are nth wrong, an elephant is like a snake, thin & flexible. & I cannot hold it still. It ends above the aur so maybe it is hanging from a tree! I hope it does not attack me.

I think human understanding of the Universe at this stage is similar to those three blind men. We see one part of the universe & we think we have fathomed it. We have discovered gravity, electromagnetism, quantum mechanics & how they work. We think we know how the atoms work, how chemistry works. We think we know how atoms are but we have never 'seen' one. We think we know how atoms are made & even how galaxies are made. Each of those maybe correct in their own rights, but I think we are still away from truly understanding the Universe.
We still do not know how to save the Earth, the only planet till date where we can survive & how to save ourselves from ourselves.



4 comments:

  1. I really like the last line.

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  2. I read that as आई . llol

    ReplyDelete
  3. Aye Aye Kaptain!
    (the problem with a captain being a pedant)

    ReplyDelete