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Is it natural to be scared?

  1. Jul 24, 2013 #1
    As science progresses and unlocks mystery after mystery is it natural to be scared of what they may discover next? I am already in awe at how insane our universe is how some of it just defies all common sense. The first time I felt scared was when I was about 16 and I first read about special relativity and it really made me take a step back and it gave me a severe wake up call.

    There is so much going on behind the surface of what we see day to day that it's easy to forget and think everything is just so simple. When I explain to my friends how time slows down the faster you go relative to an observer, that your blood flows slower, your breathing slows down and a week for you may be 60 years for someone else, they just laugh and think I'm either lying or it's wrong.

    I am looking forward to what they may discover next but I'm also very nervous as once again my brain will be crushed... When I first read about special relativity it was basically the same as trying to accept that at the centre of every blackhole is a portal that takes you to another universe... I know this is not true I'm just using it as an analogy of what it was like for me to accept special relativity as being how it really is no matter how outrageous it may seem.

    I mean most of you are qualified physicists and some of you may be much older than I am, back when you were 20 and you heard about the double slit experiement, did it scare you at all? Did it throw you back and think WTF is this universe doing to my brain? Some part of human mind protests that it cannot be so, yet on examination of the evidence brings you to the conclusion that it is...

    Last edited: Jul 24, 2013
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  3. Jul 24, 2013 #2
    For a person observing another one moving relative to him, the time interval for an event 'in there' (ie, the event in which the time is proper) is slower for a person observing that, from what I remember in basic special relativity that much is true. Your next statements though, seems a little more complicated and I don't know if that's true, maybe an expert on biology and physics should share some insight?

    As for the topic, I can understand how mind boggling the discoveries we've made in science, especially in modern physics which is so out of human common sense.
  4. Jul 24, 2013 #3


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    I am scared of many things , but scientific discoveries aren't one of them.Even if the discovery was dangerous per say (for exemple aliens) , I still think we should try to discover it.This is what humans do , they discover.Deep down I think the goal of humanity is to discover the truth even if I don't think we'll have enough time.
  5. Jul 24, 2013 #4
    You should only be scared by things like black widow spiders, loose armed hydrogen bombs and a certain restaurant in Florida, USA which unfortunately I can't name because I might get sued (which also scares me).
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2013
  6. Jul 24, 2013 #5
    I completely agree, I am not scared in that aspect, I'm scared that I will not be able to comprehend the next greatest discovery... I hate the feeling of thinking you understand the world you live in (on a basic level) and then something even more outrageous comes along and however difficult it is to believe and understand, it's the truth.

    Quantum entanglement for example is the next thing which just defies all logic and understanding. Although I don't think it's proven yet but if it turns out that 2 particles really are interconnected and what happens to one, happens to the other instantly then that to me is just nuts... It's literally like Alice in wonderland and I'm Alice.
  7. Jul 24, 2013 #6


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    I don't know , never had that feeling.For as long as I can remember , probably since I started asking philosophical questions to my parents when I was very young and realized their answers didn't make any sense , I was pretty self-aware of my lack of understanding.

    There's not a single scientific discovery that could be more outrageous in my mind than what humans do on a regular basis at the "basic level" like you say.

    As far as understanding the next discovery , well that would probably depend on your knowledge at the time the discovery will be made.
  8. Jul 24, 2013 #7
    Actually i totally depends on how you are getting things,it is true that newer discoveries going in science leads to devastating condition,like of invention of hydrogen bomb leads to cheer for some scientists and leaders but it results in large hazard if dropped somewhere !!!!
    Whenever an new theory or new invention is proposed no one see its drawback or how it can be used
    but later the results may be different
    even if you yourself invent something :-) you are very much excited about it without thinking about it outcomes

    Soo..Friend just take it easily don't be Scared....its just the beginning of human curiosity !
    The Robot World..and human travelling space..and spaceships travelling with light speeds can be seen in near future
    Also there's special ability of Human....They can find the way to desstroy themselves...but they can also find the way to survive
    but if taken positively...
    Its just the beginning of INTELLIGENT HUMANS !
    Enjoy your surrounding....May be its not the same tomorrow
  9. Jul 24, 2013 #8


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    Not convinced with what I see everyday.

    Sure , there's plenty of smart people out there , but that was always the case.
  10. Jul 24, 2013 #9
    I appreciate your post but that was not what I meant. My post is strictly aimed at being scared of not being able to wrap my head around something.

    I am nowhere near knowledgeable enough to say I understand everything, I barely understand anything but on the basic level my brain can comprehend special relativity... just about.

    I'm basically just nervous and worried if something is discovered that my brain just simply can not grasp...
  11. Jul 24, 2013 #10
  12. Jul 24, 2013 #11


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    If you learn the math and understand the physics rigorously, the physics will be a lot less mysterious. The main reason it seems so mysterious is because popular physics (e.g. Through the Wormhole) depicts it that way by hiding the math and littering the physics with hyperbole. That's not to say the physics isn't counter-intuitive but at least you'll be able to understand it formally.
  13. Jul 24, 2013 #12
    Yeah I totally get what you're saying, understanding the math and physics behind something may well help you to understand HOW something is the way it is, but for example special relativity tells us that time slows time relative to an observer as your speed increases, that's great I have no problem understanding that part... the problem I have is when you stop to think about what that really means, the fact that the blood in the body will flow slower, you will blink slower, you age slower, the neurons move through the brain slower and you breath slower... everything inside your frame of reference is in slow motion, yet to you you're moving perfectly fine.

    THAT to me is the part that just blows me mind, to think that the universe actually works in this kind of ways, how electrons can be in two different places simultaneously, how two particles seperated by light years are still somehow linked, to think that space-time may be some kind of tightly woven fabric ect...

    It's just so different to what we see and the things we do day to day that it's scary to think this is how things really work on the deeper level.
  14. Jul 24, 2013 #13


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    I personally wouldn't say that's scary but rather marvelous and/or mind blowing. Scary for me would be a bug in my room.
  15. Jul 24, 2013 #14
    Yes, marvelous to the point of scary haha. Like I said when I think about this stuff it just blows my mind, I'm in awe.
  16. Jul 24, 2013 #15


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    Awe: A mixed emotion of reverence, respect, dread, and wonder inspired by authority, genius, great beauty, sublimity, or might;
    An overwhelming feeling of reverence, admiration, fear, or wonder produced by that which is grand, sublime, extremely powerful, etc.

    I agree :approve:.
  17. Jul 24, 2013 #16


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    That's a good start (most of my friends know almost nothing about relativity).

    I can say with almost 100% certainty that you will never understand EVERYTHING. There are many scientific fields! But don't let that disappoint you, you can get to understand much if you put effort into it.

    Don't worry, welcome to the club. There are a lot of things I don't understand:

    • How quantum mechanics works "under the hood" (who does?)
    • How quantum entanglement works? (i.e. the "mechanism" - who does?)
    • Is dark energy energy or not? (who knows?)
    • What is dark matter? (hopefully we'll know more about this soon...)
    • Is string theory pointing in the right direction? (controversial subject)
    • Why the irrationality of pi can't be proved with circular reasoning (just kidding).
    • + many other things.
    Generally, I'll say I'm not scared by science or the complexity of it. I'm rather stimulated and fascinated. And when I'm interested in a particular subject, I try to learn more about it.

    But I can get frustrated by some topics, particularly entanglement; it is messing thoroughly with my common sense :biggrin:.

    And regarding the unknowns (e.g. science beyond what we know today), I'm not scared at all - I can't wait for new discoveries, haha! There are a lot of things we don't know, and I want to know!
  18. Jul 24, 2013 #17
    Its just a matter of fact that..how you understand the things in physics
  19. Jul 24, 2013 #18


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    Ever had one of these bad boys in your room? I've had a couple of them over the years , they are very fast and disgusting.If you miss it with your first shot , it's gone.Thankfully they are loners.

  20. Jul 25, 2013 #19


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    wth is that jesus christ is that a centipede? I hope never ever to see one of those or I might die of a heart attack.
  21. Jul 25, 2013 #20


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    I think for the public, the majority aren't scared, they're in awe, or excited, they don't need to understand it.

    Then there are those that truly are scared about advancements in science that go against their religious teachings, they don't even want to understand it.
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