TED Conversations

Manyika Sakambuki

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Mention one scientific theory you think needs adjustment. Why do you think that way?

Our assumptions fashion how we see and make decisions. in the past, astronomy was defined as the study of how heavenly bodies move around the earth because it was believed that the earth was the center of the solar system. that was until a Polish Astronomer- Nicolai Copernicus changed our thinking. same as when the atom was thought to be the smallest particle until electrons, neutrinos, etc. were discovered. bring forth your ideas!

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Closing Statement from Manyika Sakambuki

Ok thanks! Turns out that all theories which have no direct application to the physical world wont hang around for long. Most likely, they'll stay as just ideas of the 'geniuses' which have no proof but only serve to quench our thirst for understanding certain things that seem hard to understand e.g. black holes, perpetuity of life, being able to control infinitesimally small stuff(nano techs), death... and we can go on and on. This has been a useful conversation.

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  • Mar 19 2013: Here's another, the absolute nonsense that is "time travel". It makes for romantic fantasy but if you look at it objectively it falls apart immediately. The concept of "time" is a product of motion. Time doesn't exist separately from motion for it it did, matter--the matter that moves like planets, stars, galaxies--would have to exist in every iteration of time--essentially making us into a static elongated solid. Matter however has no mechanism for multiplying it's own mass to suit the fancies of human beings. In order to travel back in time you would have to travel back in space to where the earth was when you've reached your goal. If you wanted to travel forward in time, you'd have to travel through space to the place earth will be at the time your shooting for--after all, you can't be here in this time and there in that time at the same time--that's millions of miles of space. What happens when the story expands to having say ten times the number of machines and time travelers or a hundred or a thousand? You would have matter that only exists in one place at one time being replicated through no explained means to exist in other places at other times. Consider that we are not the only intelligent species and other beings on other planets are whizzing through space to iterations of matter that supposedly could replicate itself to accommodate this fantasy--the could make our world collide with other matter passing through the same space at a different time. We would have a cosmos with a lot of objects smashing into each other. Matter doesn't replicate itself at each movement through space from nothing. Causes and effects are understood enough to know that you can't achieve infinite replications of the same matter without sources of other matter to be used. And no one is powerful enough to add iterations of the same universe to itself for any being's amusement or adventure. This is pure anthropocentrism and we're neither that powerful or central to the universe.

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