Many people think that scientists in general are rough and cold individuals, that they hardly could appreciate and comprehend the beauty of an art opera, and by extension the beauty, the poetic side and the emotions inside a piece of art. Even a simple landscape, for an artist so majestic, for a scientist should be dull and without significance since he sees only the meccanisms inside it, loosing all the reasons for which it should be seen.
Well, that’s the opposite of accurate. To remind Professor Richard Feynman, a brilliant physicist and one of mine big muses, in one of his interviews he tells a story about one of his friend who was an artist. He says that a scientist could not see the beauty intrinsic in a flower for the reasons I mentioned before. Feynman said:”I don’t see how this can subtract, it can only add”. And that is pretty accurate. There’s no reason to thinks that a scientist could not appreciate the beauty or talent behind something because he understand it completely! On the other hand it’s very true that understanding processes amplify the perception of the beauty itself! It helps to have a greater and grander view of the simple and finite object you are looking at. Besides that with this kind of reasoning even something not so beautiful for an artist like, say the inside oh the human body, can become awesome. I mean look at the processes, look at the complexity that nature have formed. If I could barely understand a piece of them I should be in Heaven! You can see behind the flesh and blood that makes up the body, you can enjoy the majesty of the universe.
I decided to begin with this special series of posts called “Jaw Drop”. I really like this saying because it’s very figurative like many other words in english. In italian it would be Straordinario or Strabiliante. All of these words can express my feelings or other people feelings when they discover something new which is Mindblowing. When you think of it, or at least hear it for the first time you Jaw Drop, and stay with the Jaw dropped a few seconds:
Think about the vastness of the universe, think about the atoms that make everything up, think about how a tiny seed can grow up to a giant tree, think about how a bacteria could kill you, think about how small a virus can be or how big a galaxy is. Think about how our world have formed, think that if it was not for the molten iron heart inside the Earth we could not have been born. Think about how thin is the layer that separate us from the rest of the universe, called the atmosphere, which keep us alive. Think about being twentyfour-seven covered in bacteria, fungi,spores and other microorganisms and not perceiving it.
How come the sky is blue? How come we weigh? How come we get sick? Are we alone in the universe? What do we really see? How a genome can dictate everything we do?
Just think about that, finding the answers or even finding the right questions can be Jaw-dropping and Mind-blowing.
If you promise to think about it, I’ll tell you a story….