TED Conversations

Josh Mayourian

Student , Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art


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Will we ever truly be able to model nature?

My Bioelectricity professor Nina Tandon recently gave a TED talk “Caring for engineered tissue” and I was amazed how we are able to copy the environment of artificially grown cells. There are many techniques used to reduce error and create accurate results. Such amazing replications allow us to grow artificial hearts and bones, enhancing research opportunities on these
parts of the body. This made me wonder how successful we are at modeling
other living systems, so I watched the TED talk “Robert Full on engineering and evolution.” Many years ago, engineer's claimed bees shouldn't be able to fly, dolphins shouldn’t be able to swim, and geckos shouldn't be able to climb from their calculations. However, in the past few years we've been able to explain these phenomenons, showing how much we have progressed. Through watching these great talks, I was curious: How close are we to modeling nature and making predictions without ideal assumptions? Will we ever be able to reach this point and truly copy nature?


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  • Mar 7 2012: Will we ever be able to truly model nature?

    The answer to this, in my view, depends entirely on one's intention.

    The infiniteness of nature is something that science has yet to fully reveal. Every time the microscope reaches to further smallness, the complexity grows, and every time the macroscope reaches further, the seeming limits increase.

    Perhaps science serves one better when it asks a different question: What is nature? That nature's forms have continually eluded our greatest technologies throughout all history, and its integrally intermingled and intertwined systems are so beautifully interdependent that mankind cannot predict its effects, begs a different question and a different application of science that better serves all of our global human family and our wondrous Universe.

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