Thursday, January 5, 2012


Yesterday on the new YouTube channel SciShow, Hank Green talked about the possibility that the Higgs Boson particle may not actually exist. The particle is predicted by the standard model of physics, so, according to Hank, if it doesn't exist, we'll have to reconsider a lot of what we know about the world. Reminding us that physics is theoretical.

My little brother is developing a thing for dinosaurs. Of course, I immediately set him up with The Land Before Time on Netflix (signs of its impending demise? It only has a few of the  random direct-to-video sequels). Smart kid that he is, he then turned on one of those maybe-the-dinosaurs-looked-like-this documentaries, with CGI stegosauruses (stegosauri?) And as he exclaimed over dino-life, I kept reminding him and myself that "This is what we think they looked like/did/ate."  We don't know, and unless his hope for a time machine is actualized, we'll probably never know.

So many big things in our world are unknown and uncertain, it just makes me think that maybe it's okay when the little ones are too. Maybe instead of making life more frightening, it actually makes it more exciting, to never know what may be proven or disproven around the next bend. To never know what a new year, or a new day might bring. Especially if you see it the way the CERN scientists in Hank's video--one asserts that this revolutionary discover would, at the least, keep him in a job. Keep his life going. And that's what questions do. They keep us going.

And maybe that's worth reconsidering everything we know every once in a while.