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What is the scariest scientific concept?

  1. Nov 4, 2009 #1
    Something that always freaks me out is the idea that time has no end, every time I think about it I get properly wierded out.
    Recently I started trying to get my head around the start of time, either there being one or not being one, and that's almost as bad.

    The qustion is, are there any scientific concepts/topics that freak you out? What about trying to think about the boundaries of the universe? etc
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 4, 2009 #2


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    Human being descendants of apes?

    Not that it freaks ME out, but for sure the idea is a pain for many.
  4. Nov 4, 2009 #3


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    The fact that increasing knowledge only ever increases the number of things we are aware of that we don't know. It freaks me out that there are so many things we know of (like the constants of nature) whose explanations may be eternally beyond our reach.
  5. Nov 4, 2009 #4
    Infinity, zero, nothingness.
  6. Nov 4, 2009 #5
    E=mc squared
    It doesn't freak me out but I know its scarey for many people.
  7. Nov 4, 2009 #6
    What freaks me out is that I'm rapidly evolving in the opposite direction.
  8. Nov 4, 2009 #7


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    That is, you devolve?
  9. Nov 4, 2009 #8
    The evidence construction of preconceptual science

    http://www.junkscience.com/images/nq050606.gif [Broken]
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
  10. Nov 4, 2009 #9


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    That were all destined to decompose.
  11. Nov 4, 2009 #10
    That 13.7 billion years of particle physics has boiled down to this thread.
  12. Nov 4, 2009 #11
    I think there has to be a beginning of time. If time has always existed infinitely in the past, the time would still be going in that infinity before us and we'd never reach this point in time where we exist.
  13. Nov 4, 2009 #12
    The idea that at some point I will simply cease to be. When I was little I laid in bed one night thinking about what it would be like to die and freaked out. I ran out of my room crying and telling my mom that I didn't want to die. Probably freaked her out. My grandmother then decided to tell me about the afterlife and such mumbo jumbo. Not much of a comfort there.

    So pretty much anything that reminds me of my finite existence. Other than that its all just interesting ideas to ponder.
  14. Nov 4, 2009 #13
    hey, I used to think about this too! It was a pretty scary thought for a kid. Sometimes when my mind wanders for long enough I occasionally remember my finite existence and it would give me the shudders.
  15. Nov 4, 2009 #14
    Yea, the thought that, one moment you are a thinking, feeling, conscious life-form, and the next... nothing. No after life, no nothin'.

    But the scariest scientific idea must be the atomic bomb, I mean, come on...
  16. Nov 4, 2009 #15
    Wow, I had the exact same experience when I was about five or six. I ran to my grandmother crying that I didn't want to die. It gave me a great deal of comfort when she told me that she was not worried about dieing, and that I shouldn't worry about it either.

    Grandmas (Nanas) are awesome.
  17. Nov 4, 2009 #16
    Interesting. I believe I was about that age aswell. I wonder if there are any studies on the age that people begin to be aware of their mortality.
  18. Nov 4, 2009 #17
    Funny, I can't remember the exact age, but I also had a very similar experience. I must have been around five because of what I remember about my surroundings. What must have seemed to come out of nowhere (I was a quiet child) I one day randomly told my mother that I don't want to die. She looked at me with a strange look on her face and asked why I was thinking of such a thing. I had no clue. All I know is that at the time it was the most weighty, epic thought I ever had, and it scared the hell out of me.
  19. Nov 4, 2009 #18
    AI taking over the world and grinding people up to feed to other people in the matrix.
  20. Nov 4, 2009 #19


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    Strange, I don't remember being afraid that I was going to die. Maybe I never thought about it; maybe I got used to the idea that everything has to die and had no reason to think I was exceptional. Still, I do think death is a scary concept: death of Earth, of the Sun, of the universe, etc. make me wonder why time is such a killer.
  21. Nov 4, 2009 #20


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    Hmmm, I remember thinking about dying and found the idea that you would just blink out of existence, be nothing, no thoughts, no memories, just nothing, to be comforting.
  22. Nov 4, 2009 #21


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    I still get an uncomfortable feeling, when I think about death. I'm atheist, so I believe this is it...period. I have to live the best life I can, because I only get this one shot.

    Tick, tick, tick...time is passing. Wow.
  23. Nov 4, 2009 #22


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    For those who were brought up Roman Catholic or similar, you may recognize the gut-sinking feeling when you realize that you might have been lied to all the time, and that your existence is not pre-ordained nor controlled by your belief system. Shortly after, you should be able to extend such feelings to ALL belief systems. Not a great thing to confront when you are 12 or so, with no support system.
  24. Nov 4, 2009 #23
    I remember getting scared about dying around 6-10. I would get even more scared about losing my parents.

    Now, I don't care about dying as far I keep on pursuing my dreams until the very end which are obviously more important now than the life/(health :shy:). But then, I don't have any belongings or close relationships.
  25. Nov 4, 2009 #24
    I don't ever recall being afraid of death. As far back as I can remember I've always been ok with dying and that was it no more life to me.

    Any scientific concept that's used to devlop ways of hurting humans I'm scared of... Science is a really powerful tool and the methods it develops to cause injury/death will be the best possible (which IMO is extremely bad).
  26. Nov 5, 2009 #25


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    I think most people are not scared of being dead, they are scared of dying. Especially with all miracles of the medicine, allowing to make this process as long as you wish.

    I was less than 10 then, and on this particular day school didn't start at 8 a.m. (my English fails me - no idea how to word it properly, my first lesson on that day was on third or fourth lesson? Period?) My dad was also at home, working at the university had its perks. I remember I jumped into my parents bed (now it would be inappropriate, incorrect, whatever) and we had a long talk. No idea why we drifted to dying, but he told me we will all die eventually - and I started to cry. I was so devastated I had to pass school on that day.
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