"Richard Feynman on doubt and uncertainty
“If you expected science to give all the answers to the wonderful questions about what we are, where we are going what the meaning of the universe is and so on then I think you can easily become disillusioned and then look for some mystic answer to these problems. How a scientist can take a mystic answer I don’t know because the whole spirit is to unders…well never mind that, anyway I don’t understand that…but anyhow…if you think of it though…I..the way i think of what we are doing is, we are exploring, we are trying to find out as much as we can about the world.
People say to me, “Are you looking for the ultimate laws of physics?” No I am not. I am just looking to find out more about the world. And if it turns out there is a simple ultimate law that explains everything so be it. That would be very nice discovery. If it turns out it’s like an onion with millions of layers and we just sick and tired of looking at the layers then that’s the way it is! But whatever way it comes out it’s nature, it’s there, and she’s going to come out the way she is. And therefore when we go to investigate we shouldn’t pre-decide what it is we are trying to do except to find out more about it. If you said…but..the problem is why we do you find out more about it, if you thought that you are trying to find out more about it because you are going to get an answer to some deep philosophical question you may be wrong and may be that you can’t get an answer to that particular question by finding out more about the character of the nature.
But I don’t look it at…my interest in science is to simply find out about the world…and the more I find out and…I like to find out…and there are very remarkable mysteries about the fact that we are able to do so many more things and apparently animals can do.
And other questions like that. Those are the mysteries I want to investigate without knowing the answer to them. So …altogether I can’t believe the special stories that’ve been made up about our relationship to the universe at large because they seem to be…too simple, too connected, too local, too provincial. The “earth,” He came to “the earth”, one of the aspects God came to “the earth!” mind you, and look at what’s out there…? how can we…? it isn’t in proportion…!
Anyway it’s no use to argue, I can’t argue. I am just trying to tell you why the scientific views that I have do have some affect on my beliefs. And also another thing has to do with the question of how do you find out if something is true? And if you have all these theories of the different religions and all different theories about the thing then you begin to wonder…once you start doubting… just like you are supposed to doubt, you asked me if science is true, no no we don’t know what is true…no no we don’t know, we are trying ……start out understanding religion by saying everything is possibly wrong, let us see, as soon as you do that you start sliding down an edge which is harder to recover from. And one…so with the scientific view or my father’s view that we should look to see what’s true and what may not be true, once you start doubting ……which I think, to me, is a very fundamental part of my soul is to doubt and to ask, when you doubt and ask it gets a little harder to believe.
You see, one thing, is I can live with doubt and uncertainty and not knowing. I think it’s much more interesting to live not knowing than to have answers which might be wrong. I have approximate answers and possible beliefs and different degrees of certainty about different things but I’m not absolutely sure of anything and then many things I don’t know anything about, such as whether it means anything to ask, “Why we are here?” and what that question might mean. I might think about it a bit and then if I can’t figure it out then I go on to something else.
But I don’t have to know an answer, I don’t have to…i don’t feel frightened by not knowing things, by being lost in the mysterious universe without having any purpose which is the way it really is as far as I can tell possibly. It doesn’t frighten me.” “"
Rocket engine. Bruce Schmitz examines a rocket engine being developed for NASA by Rocket Research Corp. It will be designed to deliver highly reproducible thrusts for making small corrections in the speed and direction of spacecraft. The propellant will be pure hydrazine or mixtures of hydrazine, nitric acid, and water, so the propellant’s freezing point can be reduced to -20° F.
Chemical & Engineering News, January 17, 1966
microscopic bone marrow transplant — hematopoietic stem cells (the immortal source of both red and white blood cells) poised in a syringe for transplant
colored SEM composite image
credit: Steve Gschmeissner
Cross-section of a plastinated human head
When bodies are plastinated, a technique pioneered by Gunter von Hagens in 1977, the body is first treated with formaldehyde, similar to an open-casket funeral, but at a higher concentration.The veins and arteries are injected with red and blue plastics.
The body is then dissected in any way required for the planned exhibit or sale piece.
After dissection, the specimen is placed in an acetone bath its temperature is lowered to below the freezing point of water, but above the freezing point of acetone. When the water in the cells expands due to freezing, it’s drawn out of the cells, and it’s replaced by acetone.
When all of the tissues are impregnated with acetone, the body is placed in a bath of polymer or plastic resin, and placed into a vacuum. Because acetone has an already-low boiling point, putting it into a vacuum causes it to boil at room-temperature, while still in the cells. The vaporization of acetone in the tissues leads to a negative pressure, which draws the polymer into the empty spaces.
After the body is fully infused with the polymer, it’s posed as it will be in its final form and cured (with gas, UV light, or heat) according to what it’s infused with, and hardened in place.
Plastination from Gunter von Hagens
A macrophage (pale brown) interacts with Borrelia cells (blue), the spirochete bacteria that cause Lyme disease. Although the outer membrane of Borrelia contains a strong antigen, the OspC protein, the bacterium successfully evades the human immune system by hiding out in places less accessible to immune cells, such as the central nervous system.
alanis: Clouds and shadows on Mars, photographed by Mars Express, 24th May 2012.
Between 28 and 36°S, 284°E, on the arc of highlands that surround the southeast Solis Planum. The crater split between the 2nd and 3rd images is Voeykov, about 75 km across, named for climatologist and geographer Alexander Ivanovich Voeykov (1842-1916). The small, deep crater toward bottom left of the 4th image is Los, named for a village of about 400 people in Gävleborg County, Sweden.
Composite of 3 visible light images for colour, and 5 monochrome images for animation. Colour is not balanced naturalistically, and the slightly psychedelic colours of the clouds are a result of mismatches between the images where the clouds have moved between exposures.
Image credit: ESA. Composite: AgeOfDestruction.
An alveolus (plural: alveoli, from Latin alveolus, “little cavity”) is an anatomical structure that has the form of a hollow cavity. Found in the lung parenchyma, the pulmonary alveoli are the terminal ends of the respiratory tree, which outcrop from either alveolar sacs or alveolar ducts, which are both sites of gas exchange (Oxygen and Carbon Dioxide) with the blood as well.
Image by David Gregory and Debbie Marshall
Taken from Daily Anatomy