Saturday, May 2, 2009

The failure of science

Science can tell us that raindrops are shaped the way they are because of surface tension and air resistance.

Science can tell us that they are composed of Hydrogen and Oxygen, and that they have a ph of about 6.6 because they absorb some of the Carbon Dioxide in the air, forming a very low concentration of carbonic acid.

Science can tell us that clouds are formed when water evaporates and forms crystals in the sky. That it rains when the air becomes over-saturated, unable to support the amount of humidity contained in the cloud.

Science can tell us that lightning is the result of static build up within the ground, and that we hear thunder afterward because the speed of light is eight-hundred times that of the speed of sound.

Science can tell us all that. And it's interesting, and good to know, and fun to learn.

But science can't tell us why rain is magical. Why weather is emotional, why we see heaven in the flash of lighting, why we hear music in the thunder. Science can't tell us that. In a way, science can explain all but the most important things in life. That is the failure of science.


  1. No kidding. Science = fail.

  2. mhm.

    Science gives the what, but never the why.

    And I'd almost go so far as to say that it's our answer the the why - not the what/how - that defines our humanity.

    Otherwise we are left always describing and never understanding.