Albert Einstein. “The process of scientific discovery is, in effect, a continual flight from wonder. “
An interesting quote. Sure, discovery removes the shroud of the magical unknown and gives us the tools to understand and tame these processes. For me, though, reading about discoveries inspires me to wonder even more. Wondering is exciting. It’s what humans were made to do. The dance of discovery between the mind and nature casts light on things that had been dark. But with new illumination, comes new shadows.
Here are some recent discoveries that have given me a “wonder-rush.”
Scientists Scan Data From Saturn’s Moon (AP). AP – Saturn’s largest moon contains all the ingredients for life, but senior scientists studying data from a European probe ruled out the possibility Titan’s abundant methane stems from living organisms.
Those who follow this weblog know I’ve been eagerly anticipating this one. I can’t stop looking at the pictures and imagining what it’s like there. Yes, I’m quite clear on the fact that it’s deadly to life as we know it, but I’ve been imagining things like that ever since I read a book in grade school, Mission to Mercury (at least I think that was the title, I can’t find it on Amazon to make sure). With lakebed coastlines, flowing liquid methane rivers, soft “soil”, rains, winds, storms…yes, I know we have much less toxic versions of those things here. Why am I entranced by a sunset over the lake when I’ve seen hundreds of them before?
Scientists Create Petrified Wood in Days (AP). AP – Researchers at a national science laboratory in south-central Washington have found a way to achieve in days what takes Mother Nature millions of years converting wood to mineral.
This impresses me on so many levels, not the least of which is what led them to this line of research? Did they need to study petrified wood but it was getting too expensive? Did they have a particular application in mind? Did they just think it would be cool to make some of their own? I would really like to know.
Scientists Get to the Root of the Venus’ Flytrap’s Mysterious Snap (Los Angeles Times). Los Angeles Times – From evolutionist Charles Darwin onward, scientists have pondered how the Venus’ flytrap can snap its leaves closed around an insect in less than a tenth of a second even though it has neither muscles nor nervous system.
Okay. Question answered…partially. Fascinating work. Now I’m curious about what evolutionary processes could have resulted in this marvel of nature.
Likely Da Vinci Studio Is Found (Los Angeles Times). Los Angeles Times – ROME A forgotten workshop of Leonardo da Vinci, complete with 500-year-old frescoes and a secret room for dissecting human cadavers, has been discovered in Florence, Italy, researchers said Tuesday.
What an amazing find! I can’t wait to learn more about these frescoes and other new evidence of the great Renaissance artist, architect, astronomer, scientist, anatomist and engineer.