Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity

has been called one of the most brilliant artifacts of human imagination ever devised. Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean it’s right. The universe is riddled with black holes; the hard part is solving them. If our brains worked faster, maybe we could see the gaps in our false solidity. Anything faster than fifteen frames per second, we see as continuous motion. Anything much slower, we see as discontinuous. We need telescopes and microscopes to show us the world as it really is, almost infinitely large and almost infinitely small. We need theories and technology to give us a clue to the things that surround us. Fizzicists talk about gravity as a force now more than ever, despite Einstein, so score one for uncommon sense. Biologists still talk about Nature selecting a trait ‘because’, when all you really know is that the possessors of that accidental trait produced more offspring than the others. Astronomers still scour the skies for intelligent life even though the odds for it down home are diminishingly small.

Advertisements