When science doesn’t work…

Posted on October 30, 2010


.Jenny: “Why is it that science works so well in solving some problems and yet can’t seem to solve others?”

Professor Wiggly: ” Good question. First of all science works better with dead things – like bits of iron and billiard balls than with living things like germs and people. Bits of iron and billiard balls are brainless  play by simple rules and do what they’re  told. Germs and people are much more complex – sometimes they cooperate, sometimes they play by their own rules and the hell with yours, sometimes they don’t just goof off – they don’t even know what their doing.”

Jenny: ” So the dumber the stuff that scientists work with the better?”

Professor Wiggly: ” Yes, the dumber the stuff they study is, the simple the rules they play by,  so the easier it is to figure out the rules, and to change them. Physical scientists work with dead bits and pieces and so have it easier than biochemists who work with simple living stuff who have it simpler than zoologists who work with simple living animals,  they have it easier than psychologists who work with complex living animals – humans!”

Jenny: ” Ah ha – so anything you can get to sit still in a laboratory long enough to study is easier to figure out than something that has a mind of it’s own – unless it’s a white rat with a very small brain?”

Professor Wiggly: ” People are not good laboratory animals. They are a scientific pain in the butt.”

Posted in: Sciencing