Friday, November 17, 2006

Re-post: Philosophical discussions and wacky theories - Mar 05

Thursday, March 17, 2005


I went to bed at about 8pm last night, having spent most of the afternoon there too, and woke up at around 11pm, just in time to find a 'blog of the day' and to enjoy a deep philosophical conversation with Tom. He was thinking about evolution, and where we go from here. I suggested research into the field of bio-electricity as a way forward, but he was quite sceptical.

We also got onto the issue of 'proving' theories, the structure and elitism of the scientific community, and the value of theories which were once found to be 'true' and have now been surpassed. I said these theories (Newton, for e.g.) still have validity in appropriate situations. So, if you wanted to build a car, you'd use Newton's theories, but if you wanted to build an atom bomb, you'd use Einstein's. Tom agreed that new theories don't necessarily prove the old ones 'wrong' - they just add to them. Science, he said, is a cumulation of everything everyone's found out.

Then we got onto wondering how it was that ancient people built structures that we'd find impossible to build now - so does evolution occur in a cyclic way, or is it really just linear? We wondered whether we'd become very advanced 5000+ years ago, then been plunged back into savagery by a cataclysmic event like the deluge. We considered what might happen to humanity now if the planet was hit by an asteroid, or if one of the super-volcanoes erupted and wiped out most of the species. All of the advancements and technologies we take for granted as being irreversible would be forgotten about in the desperate struggle for survival. Within a few hundred years it would be as if such things had never existed.

We used to talk like this for half the night, before Tom started working. Nowadays, rising at 5am, he has to bow out before midnight - basic survival needs taking over from evolutionary progress! I wonder whether he'll hold onto his dreams and his principles to really make his mark on the world, or whether his admirable unswerving financial drive will take precedence. Half the fun in raising children is wondering how they'll turn out, trying to guess what they'll do with their lives. Often they surprise us - we forget how fast the world changes for young people, and their priorities with it.

Today I'm feeling well enough to catch up with a bit more domestic stuff. I was doing the laundry while we were chatting last night. I even got the dining table clear, so we're making progress.

Ali went out yesterday afternoon and did a lot of walking. He came back quite late last night saying he felt much better for the exercise. He's into buying old vinyl records these days, and had a Robert Plant LP in his bag last night. This makes me chuckle, and feel quite proud. "Your musical taste is definitely in your DNA," I said. I don't know whether this put him off or not. Something else that makes me laugh and must be a DNA thing: his dad always used to walk everywhere and *always* had a plastic carrier bag - just like Ali does now! There must be a carrier bag gene on the string somewhere. Hmmm, I'm definitely getting better, judging by the increased output of wacky theories.

posted by Gill at 9:23 AM 2 comments

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