The Big Bang Theory

By Larry Teren

A literary and social critic not long ago wrote about Americans that we would rather read a book on how to write a book than try to write one. In other words, we tend to be more talk and less action. I have to admit that recently I took a handful of home study step-by-step courses on various programming languages. The learning curve was not that much because I was already very familiar with all the techniques being taught. It was just a matter of learning the specific syntax that those languages used to accomplish similar goals. But I was not doing much to make an effort to figure out how to profit by this extra knowledge.

Talk, no action is the mantra. We talk about losing weight but few of us actually do it. We get tired of the effort once we see that it requires commitment.

And how about that old Mark Twain (I think) observation that everybody talks about the weather, but nobody does anything about. I keep the windows closed shut and adjust the thermostat control for either heat or cool depending on the season. But, I’m no climatologist.

Which brings up the point about the Big Bang Theory. bigbangtheoryNo, this is not about that popular television sitcom show. Instead, lets talk real science here. The short explanation is that some people- I haven’t taken a poll so I don’t know the percentages- believe that the world was accidentally created millions, if not billions, of years ago by some rocks, meteors and what-have-you colliding in space. The collision created the planet earth. Over time it evolved in its current form of animal, mineral and vegetable.

People- it’s called a theory. The last time I checked the dictionary, a theory usually means that a postulated idea is not written in stone or meteor. It is a possibility and someone has to prove it. Someone actually has to do something to show that what they want the rest of us to believe actually is true. Sir Issac Newton came up with three- count ’em, three- laws of motion. These are not theories but laws. We no longer say the theory of gravity, but the law of gravity.

alberteinsteinmarilynmonroeAlbert Einstein was a nice guy and possibly did meet Marilyn Monroe late in life but we still call it the Theory of Relativity and not the Law of Relativity. If you cannot prove it, it doesn’t count. If you can’t do it, then maybe you are better off reading about it and pretending that you are just as smart as the guy who can.

And if you cannot defend the brilliant thoughts that race through your mind, don’t go banging your head or whatever else against the wall. You’ll end up with some physical and mental damage. At least, that’s my theory.

Bad Timing in a Nobel Cause

By Larry Teren

The other day they announced three winners of the Nobel Prize in the area of physiology medicine, specifically on how immune systems work. It was bad timing for one of the winners. Ralph Steinman had died three days earlier of pancreatic cancer at the age of 68.  Nobel Prize rules stipulate that they do not award prizes to dead people. However, in this case they made an exception because, frankly, they made the announcement before they were made aware of his demise. They decided to not renege. Continue reading “Bad Timing in a Nobel Cause”