Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

So what to do with knowledge of how the universe works?

  1. Jun 3, 2010 #1
    A friend of mine (an old man in his 70's) watched the History Channel shows on The Universe and the Big Bang Theory and all that and asked me - "so what if the universe started with a big bang? what good does it do me by knowing this fact? why worry about all this stuff in the universe when there is so much on Earth to worry about? why can't all these scientists on TV put their heads together to solve (more immediate) problems here on Earth than worrying about the ones outside Earth?"

    I haven't answered him yet...What do I tell him?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 3, 2010 #2
    There are scientists working on that stuff, these scientists on the TV just aren't AS INTERESTED in Earth as they are in space and the universe etc.. So?

    One of the perks of being a scientist and going into academia etc. is that you really are working in a field that you enjoy working in a lot. (Well from people I've talked to at least, I assume there are some that don't like their career choice as much :tongue:)
  4. Jun 3, 2010 #3


    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    Tell him that the discovery that forms the backbone of the Big Bang Theory was by Bell Labs scientists working on satellite radio communications.

    Tell him that without the space program, he'd have neither velcro or a cell phone nor a PC.

    Tell him that GPS requires both the space program and General and Special Relativity.
  5. Jun 4, 2010 #4


    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    Ask him if he's ever read or watched a murder mystery and if so, why? It is a deeply seated aspect of human beings to find the answer to unanswered questions, and we always seem to reap benifits of one sort or another along the way.
  6. Jun 4, 2010 #5
  7. Jun 4, 2010 #6
    Because those scientists want to do what they love.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook