Edge.org’s annual question: What scientific idea is ready for retirement?
As usual, John Brockman and Edge have come up with an annual question that’s sure to generate some fascinating answers. While the full set of answers will only be available from the 14th of January at Edge.org, The Guardian today published a preview that includes answers from Richard Dawkins and others.
Jonathan Gottschall’s answer uses the example of something pretty amazing to raise questions about a “science of art” and why we’ve seen so little progress in that regard. As he writes:
Fifteen thousand years ago in France, a sculptor swam and slithered almost a kilometre down into a mountain cave. Using clay, the artist shaped a big bull rearing up to mount a cow, and then left his creation in the bowels of the earth. The two bison of the Tuc D’Audoubert caves sat undisturbed for many thousands of years until they were rediscovered by spelunking boys [cavers] in 1912.
The preview contains entries on addiction, arrogance, binary logic, infinity and more – so if you’re looking for some thought-provoking Sunday reading, I commend it to you.