Science can be quite the miraculous thing, providing answers to questions that have been around since man started his lengthy path to discovery. Even as impressive as it is these days, there are still those questions that science still can’t seem to answer. In this installment, we are once again visiting unanswered questions by science!
Is There a God?
Is there a God
It was inevitable that we’d touch on this one at some point. Will science ever prove or disprove the existence of God? As Neil Degrasse Tyson puts it – in a nutshell, mind you – that a productive scientist will draw the line between faith and science. Although it’s an even split among scientists, about 50% believing in the existence of a God, none of them – the respected ones at least – will ever use their Holy book as scientific evidence of a God exists. This works both ways – one cannot disprove stories in Holy books and then use that as evidence of no God. So until a supreme being forms into our clouds like Mufasa and talks to us, there isn’t any testable scientific evidence to support either side of the coin. As of now, not to mention the thousands of years prior to us, the only argument the naysayers have is “prove it” and “burden of proof”, while the believers are stuck saying, “just wait”.
Will We Ever Time Travel?
For Doc Brown, all it took was a modified DeLorean, some plutonium, the flux capacitor, and 1.21 gigawatts, but chances are for us to accomplish time travel, it’s going to take a bit more than that. We already know that the 4th dimension is time, so the trick is finding a way to break that dimension in some way, right? According to Einstein, time is like a flowing river that slowed and sped up around bodies like our planets. His neighbor at Princeton, Kurt Goedel, added an aspect of whirlpools to Einstein’s theory. According to Goedel, someone that moves along the rotation would wind up at the starting point, but would have traveled backwards in time. Einstein rebutted Goedel’s theory by saying the universe expands instead of rotates. In 1963, mathematician Roy Kerr deduced that black holes were the secret to time travel. Whether either of these three are correct still remains a mystery, for as you can see, we’ve yet to travel back in time. We’d have to say we’ll never achieve time travel – because, well, someone would have already time traveled to our time by now, right?
Do Ghosts Exist?
Electromagnetic field detectors, electronic voice phenomenon, ion detectors, thermal imaging – ghost hunters across the world utilize various scientific methods to try and capture and explain the existence of ghosts, but many still question the viability of parapsychology and any scientific connection to spirits and the afterlife. In fact, the irony of using scientific means of trying to capture spirits is that, according to scientific logic, ghosts don’t exist. Is it so simple to discredit thousands of reported claims of the paranormal simply by saying there is no scientific logic behind them, though, when you consider how much of our existence and the natural occurrences are still shrouded in mystery? The answer to whether or not ghosts are real may lie within the truth behind that Southampton University study we spoke of earlier.
What is the Purpose of Life?
Why are we here? What was the point of throwing us into this melting pot we call Earth? Truth be told, this may be a question that just never gets answered, but we can certainly still ask it in the off chance there is some scientific reasoning behind it. Maybe the purpose of life is all about perception and changes from one individual to the next or perhaps it’s written somewhere in our genetic code. According to certain physicists, such as Jeremy England at the Massachusetts’s Institute of Technology, our purpose may be connected to a fundamental law of nature, where matter is driven to absorb energy and bud life-like properties. Purpose, then, may have nothing to do with our existence and could very well be little more than the product of scientific process. This question has likely been asked by every human to step foot on Earth, and we’re likely to never find out the answer unless we have a scientific breakthrough to revive people from the dead.
What happens After We Die?
Some people try not to think of this too much, fearing that all that awaits us is an afterlife of nothingness and blackness, but it is a curious question that certainly warrants a solid answer. What happens to our consciousness at the moment of death? Scientifically speaking, it takes several minutes for your physical body to full “turn off”. In 2014, a study at Southampton University focused on the possibility of life after death and focused 2,000 cardiac arrest patients. Of those patients, 40% of the survivors claimed an awareness during the period their heart had stopped, despite the brain shutting down within ½ a minute. Though the patient’s recounts of their resuscitation were pretty accurate, there is no scientific explanation as to how or why these 56 surveyed individuals had a possible glimpse of life after death.
How Does Gravity Exist?
Gravity is the reason we’re able to live comfortably on Earth without floating into orbit. It’s the driving force that essentially keeps our universe in place and keeps planets, moons, and other space rocks from willy-nilly colliding into one another. Despite its extreme importance, we really have little to no idea how this force came to be. We know how gravity works, thanks in part to some guy named Isaac Newton, and are well aware of the relation between the mass of two objects and the gravitational force created by them, but how was the force initially created. Scientists have gone as far as creating the concept of particles, called gravitons, to explain the science behind gravity’s creation, but these particles have yet to be observed. For something so vital to everyday life, it’s strange to think there is no solid reasoning for its existence.
What’s Behind Plate Tectonics?
The movement of Earth’s many plates is not an arguable point. Parts of the world feel it frequently via minor and large earthquakes; but what is it that actually causes the plates to move? It’s at least known that the plates aren’t moving about randomly or drifting aimlessly, but are likely driven by a force that has yet to be fully discovered. Sure, most scientists subscribe to Harry Hess’ theory that the slow movement of hot, softened mantle below the plates is responsible, but there are still many questions. Ultimately, we’re left to wonder why only certain regions see the formation of the convection cells that leads to the movement of the plates, and without sufficient data on every aspect of these movements, we may be kept in the dark as to the truth behind plate tectonics.
What is Beyond the 4th Dimension?
We are well aware of the 3rd and 4th dimensions and their properties, but what of anything that may lay beyond them? Did you know that it’s believed there are actually 10 different dimensions? Though the initial 4 dimensions, which include 3 spatial and a 4th for time, can be scientifically verified, anything beyond is part of a fairly new school of thought that physicists are all over trying to prove. The Superstring Theory, a theory that attempts to explain the particles and forces of nature through a model of supersymmetric strings, theorizes that the 5th and 6th dimensions are worlds not too different then our own. If time travel were possible, it would likely be among these dimensions. In the 7th and 8th dimensions, we’d be introduced to worlds that began differently than ours. The 9th dimension would open us up to viewing all possible universe histories, including all possibly laws of physics. The final dimension, the 10th, is believed to be the “all seeing eye,” where everything imaginable is viewable.
What’s at the Bottom of a Black Hole?
When you get down to the science of them, black holes are a fascinating aspect of space. Their gravitational pull is so strong that anything trapped inside, from light to other particles, cannot escape. They’re a terrifying void of inescapable nothingness, but the fascination that surrounds them far supersedes the miserable thought of every being caught in one. While we know plenty about the black hole, there is one aspect that still remains a mystery. We’re aware of the Event Horizon, the region from which escape is entirely impossible, but what lays in wait at the bottom of these unusual formations? Popular theory follows Einstein’s school of thought, which is that the black hole never ends, rather reaching a singularity, or infinitely small point. Other scientists, including Physicist Nikodem Poplawski, believe that the black hole is a conduit between two universes, a theory that is popularly used in Hollywood.
How Does Matter Exist?
Let’s pretend, for a moment, that the Big Bang Theory is the only school of thought on how the universe was created and we all subscribe to it willingly. Through the Big Bang theory, an equal amount of matter and antimatter should have been created. These equal amounts would have cancelled one another out, leaving a black, radiated void where our universe now exists. So, how is it that there was an imbalance that allowed for matter to outweigh antimatter? While scientists have tried to explain it, there has been no concrete reasoning. Is this a point in favor for the school of creationism or was there some as-of-yet unknown process that favored the creation of matter over antimatter? While we look to science for the solid verdict, we’re left with more questions than answers.