Top 10 Questions SCIENCE STILL CAN'T ANSWER
In this video, we are going to take a look at ten very unique questions that some of the most brilliant men and women still quarrel over. When you take a minute to think about it, there are so many things we still don’t have definite or even well-substantiated answers for. From the possibility of advanced life extension, to the apocalyptic end of our universe as we know it, prepare to put your thinking caps on.
Where Are We Going To Store All This Carbon?
Ever since the Industrial Revolution of the late 18th and early 19th centuries, carbon emission has been sky rocketing. At this time, there is no designated recycling ground for the carbon dioxide released from automobiles and other human activities. This is a major concern for many scientists who calculate the carbon footprint left by humans. It is believed that because such a large amount of carbon dioxide is released into the atmosphere without very many restrictions, this may result in noticeable changes in climate. By now it should be obvious that this could have a lasting impact, so the question remains, what are we going to do to combat the issue; is there a safe place to store all this carbon?
Can Cancer Be Cured?
This is one of those yes, no, maybe so questions. For this all to make sense, we must first take a look at what exactly cancer is. By definition, cancer is “the disease caused by an uncontrolled division of cells in a part of the body.” The risk of contracting such a terrible disease varies depending on a number of factors; age in particular. Cancer is something that has been hardwired into all of us, and the older we get, the chances of genes acting abnormally resulting in cancer increases greatly. From what science knows so far, it has been around since the time of the dinosaurs. Millions of dollars go into research for cancer prevention each year, rather than a catch all cure. At this stage in the game, there is too much we are still in the dark about. The good news is that of the 1.6 million cases that are expected to be diagnosed this year in the United States, about half of them are preventable through a change in diet. It is suggested to quit smoking and avoid unhealthy foods for starters. For the time being, it appears that not all cancers can be cured or even prevented.
Why Do We Dream?
The brain continues to be one of the most advanced computers in the world, yet unlike ones constructed out of raw material, there is much we still don’t know about it. For decades, scientists have been performing sleep and dream studies to try and answer this question. There are two key things about sleep that are general accepted in the scientific community. One: our dream cycle is typically most abundant and best remembered during REM sleep. Two: we all dream, but the frequency at which we do so and the amount of which we remember if any, varies from person to person. Among leading theories as to why we dream is that it works hand and hand with the sleep process and helps the brain sort information it had stored during the day. This may explain why some dreams are so forgettable while others can even be fun and allow you to fly and do other extraordinary things. As of right now, multiple theories are circulating without a clear-cut answer.
How Will It All End?
In 1920, poet Robert Frost famously asked in one of his works whether the world will end in fire or ice. Nearly one hundred years later, physicists still can’t answer this question. Dark energy actually plays a major role in the end of it all. Scientists are currently under the impression that this mysterious force is responsible for accelerating the rate of universal expansion. If it remains constant over time, chances of a “big freeze” occurring increase drastically. There comes a point when galaxies are spread so far part from each other that space will seem like a vast wasteland, says scientificamerican.com. There is even a chance that dark energy could become so strong that not only would galaxies be spread apart, but instead torn apart by this unseen force. This apocalyptic scenario has been rightly dubbed the “big rip.” As you can tell, there a whole lot of possibilities for an event that will likely take place billions upon billions of years in the future that it will be a long time before the list can be narrowed down.
What Is The Universe Made Of?
This seems like a rather amusing question, but the answer is far more complicated than one might expect. If polled, chances are the ‘Average Joe’ would say something along the lines of planets, stars, gases, different elements and compounds, etc. For quite some time this is what science was leaning towards until we came to the conclusion that matter only makes up five percent of everything in the universe. Researchers are now determined that the remaining ninety five percent is made up of dark matter and dark energy. This is a rather new concept of hypothetical matter which cannot be seen by telescopes. The only way we know it could be there is by its gravitational effects on visible matter along with radiation. The existence of dark matter is generally accepted by the mainstream scientific community, yet it is still in the early stages of observation and so much is unknown; not being able to see it under any sort of filter doesn’t help much either.
Will There Ever Be A Human Overpopulation?
Reverend Thomas Robert Malthus was born on February 13th, 1766 in Surrey, Great Britain. He is not only known for his work as a demographist, but best for the paper ‘An Essay on the Principle of Population.’ In it, he observed that sooner or later population will be put back into check as a result of naturally occurring events such as famine or disease. Malthus reasoned that “the power of population is indefinitely greater than the power of earth to produce subsidence for man.” This led to the birth of what is known as a ‘Malthusian catastrophe,’ meaning that the human population will always return to subsistence-level once agricultural growth has become greater than that of which the earth can yield. Advances in medicine and sanitation are contributing factors to the greatest population explosion in history, which is currently over seven billion. Is there a chance that Malthus may be behind the times? So many factors play into the possibility of there being more humans one day than the available number of resources that no definite answer can be given.
Are Humans The Only Intelligent Lifeforms In The Universe?
This question may be among one of the most controversial and sensitive subjects brought up. There are two very opposite yet strong sides of the argument, both believing the other to be mistaken. Mathematically, the chances of us, the human race, being alone in the universe is quite slim. The known universe is believed to contain no less than one trillion galaxies, a number so unfathomable we won’t even try to put it into proportion. Of the 50 sextillion planets said to possess the right conditions to support life, 500 million are in the habitable zone of the Milky Way, the galaxy of which Earth is a part of. Still, without concrete evidence, there is no way to prove or disprove the existence of an ‘alien race.’ This will be one of those topics, just like the possibility of there being a creator, which will remain heavily scrutinized and something that science does its best to stay out of until measurable data is found.
Is There A Way To Live Indefinitely?
Death is something that affects all of us. From the loss of a pet to a close relative, it is a sad thing and something most don’t look forward to or wish upon others. Because of its many ‘inconveniences’ if you will, some scientists have taken steps in the direction of finding a way to eradicate death attributed to natural causes from society or at the very least prolong its coming for as long a time as possible. As one source sums up quite nicely, the times we live in now are unlike any others. We don’t think of ageing as a fact of life, but rather a disease which should be treated or possibly prevented. Currently, the average life expectancy stands at 71 years, while in the early 19th century, it was just about half this. Google executive Ray Kurzweil takes 150 vitamins a day in an attempt to cheat death. Kurzweil hopes this routine will keep him long enough to see times where biotechnology and nanotechnology work to augment people’s immune systems and rid them of disease. Sadly, science has yet to shed any light on the possibilities of living infinitely or greatly expanding the average life expectancy. This enters uncharted waters for a community based on fact and well-substantiated explanation; the best possible answer is that time will tell.
Is There A Limit On Computing Speed?
In 1958, Jack Kilby, an engineer working for Texas Instruments casted a pattern onto a .4 inch or 11 millimeter-long surface consisting of germanium, creating the first known integrated circuit. Due to the fact that this circuit was capable of holding no more than a single transistor, the chip could only hold one ‘bit’ of data which came in the form of a 1 or a 0, as associated with binary, depending upon the transistors configuration. Ever since a pattern was discovered in 1965 by Gordon Moore, co-founder of the Intel Corporation, computing power has nearly doubled on a two year rotation. Because of advances in technology, engineers have been able to double the number of transistors they can fit on computer chips. These advances increase the speed and power of computers as the number of transistors continues to surge from years previous; the more transistors, the more computations that can be performed per second. Is there a point in time when ‘Moore’s Law’ will no longer be applicable to this process? Scientists have been looking into new systems such as quantum computing, because as of the time being, there is no way of knowing if computing speed can continue to increase at the accelerated rate it has shown to do.
What Is Consciousness?
The Merriam-Webster Dictionary describes consciousness as “the quality or state of being aware especially of something within oneself.” Despite these fancy words strung together, we have yet to grasp what exactly it means to be in such a state. Science tells us that consciousness has to do with multiple regions of the brain all in a network together rather than a single compartment. Consciousness is a concept so difficult to understand because of the simple fact that it’s something that has been wired into our brain since birth. Subconsciously we make choices that affect the outcome of events while at the same time following a personalized routine or carrying on with everyday life. In 1994, cognitive scientist and philosopher, David Chalmers, published a paper explaining why consciousness is such a complicated concept. He attributed its complexity to the fact that there is no known way of ‘measuring’ consciousness. The most difficult question left unanswered is “why or how consciousness occurs given the right arrangement of brain matter.” The world’s most well-read men and brightest minds have yet to come up with an answer for why human beings are capable of producing pictures inside their head at will.