Politics Magazine

Simply Beautiful

Posted on the 17 August 2016 by Steveawiggins @stawiggins

Simple BeautyThe scientific method has been a boon to humanity. Knowing how to sharpen the rational faculties has demonstrated its benefits time and time again. Sometimes, however, overemphasis on rationality contains hidden costs. Humans are not always rational, and sometimes this is a very good thing. Culturally we’re told that reason trumps emotion and that evolution has somehow led us to this. That’s only part of the story. Marcelo Gleiser’s excellent The Simple Beauty of the Unexpected serves as a wonderful corrective to this one-sided view. Although I’ve been trained in rationalistic thinking, my humanities background lacks the credibility of similar training in the sciences. Gleiser, as a physicist, demands respect. As he notes throughout this book, physics asks the hard questions. The only proper response, he rightly declares, is humility. Arrogance in any human endeavor may make for a good story, but it is bad citizenship on this planet.

I have to confess to being one of those poor souls who really doesn’t care about fishing that Gleiser mentions early on in his book. That doesn’t mean that I don’t agree with his outlook and mature thoughts on the subject. Using fly-fishing as a kind of bait, he draws the reader in to consider some deep and meaningful questions about life. Although he describes fishing literally, he clearly has a metaphorical usage in mind as well. Rare is the scientist who will admit that science can’t answer all questions, and moreover, wouldn’t want it to. Showing the limits of rational thought can feel like taking one’s clothes off in front of a crowd for those wedded to empirical evidence. Applied science clearly works very successfully. That’s not the same as having all the answers. Gleiser beautifully illustrates this, acknowledging that the spiritual has a role to play even among the rigorously trained and actually employed of the intelligentsia. This is a very important book.

Admitting that some things happen for which there is no rational explanation, Gleiser advocates for appreciating the wonder rather than trying to force science into situations where its explanatory power fails. This doesn’t happen often—indeed, rarity is what makes the unexpected so wondrous—but when it does happen we need to, like a fisher, accept it as part of the way the art unfolds. In Gleiser’s terms, not every fishing trip is successful. If you always had success, what would be the point in trying? He ventures into the murky waters of religion a time or two, but this is catch-and-release, not for the kill. The Simple Beauty of the Unexpected is an example that includes itself. Those who read it will learn what this means.


You Might Also Like :

Back to Featured Articles on Logo Paperblog

These articles might interest you :

  • Long Tail Pro: Best Keyword Research Tool for Getting Higher Rank in Search...

    Long Tail Pro: Best Keyword Research Tool Getting Higher Rank Search Engines

    Whenever it’s about an online keyword research tool, Long Tail Pro is at the top of the list. Long Tail Pro (LTP) is one of the prominent keyword research and... Read more

    6 hours, 28 minutes ago by   Seogdk
    MARKETING & ADVERTISING, SOCIAL MEDIA
  • Are There ‘major Doubts’ About the Safety of Keto?

    There ‘major Doubts’ About Safety Keto?

    Another day, another scary news story... Last Thursday, Business Insider whipped up concern with this catchy headline: But are there really three huge new... Read more

    7 hours, 2 minutes ago by   Dietdoctor
    DIET & WEIGHT, HEALTH, HEALTHY LIVING, MEDICINE
  • Why Outsourcing Marketing is Good for Your Bottom Line

    Outsourcing Marketing Good Your Bottom Line

    When integrated marketers and their teams are in over their heads with a challenging workload, bringing in help from the outside makes sense. Rather than... Read more

    7 hours, 10 minutes ago by   Marketingtango
    BUSINESS, MARKETING & ADVERTISING
  • SkinMedica Review

    SkinMedica Review

    I have tried a lot of beauty products over the years. l've read the reviews, done the homework, and have learned that one's Holy Grail is not another's. Just... Read more

    7 hours, 10 minutes ago by   Wardrobeoxygen
    FASHION, SELF EXPRESSION, SHOPPING
  • He Says, She Says: The Language Of Sexual Consent

    With all that is going on with Judge kavanaugh and his ascent to the Supreme Court, colored by multiple accusations of sexual assault, I think it's an... Read more

    7 hours, 11 minutes ago by   Joanigeltman
    FAMILY, PARENTING
  • What About Hell?

    What About Hell?

    By Elizabeth PrataI love to speak of Jesus's love, mercy, grace, salvation, and sanctification. However I also think it is important to speak of His justice,... Read more

    7 hours, 38 minutes ago by   Elizabethprata
    SOCIETY, SPIRITUALITY
  • Watch “Guddu Engineer” on the Zee5 App

    Watch “Guddu Engineer” Zee5

    ...is the soulful and mesmerizing romantic song of the film, "Guddu Engineer" which released last Friday, 14th September 2018 on ZEE5 as a part of the "ZEE5 Fil... Read more

    8 hours, 12 minutes ago by   Amreen Shaikh
    CAREER, MARKETING & ADVERTISING, SOCIAL MEDIA