5 scientific theories and facts that are difficult to accept

Is the world an accident, there are plants with human genetic material in it, and physical laws are determined by our taste? A modern person is no stranger to it!

New theories and research results that contradict traditional ideas often make you nervous and turn out to be a phenomenon for many, which in English is called disturbing. We will recommend books that will increase your awareness and, therefore, reduce anxiety from the unfamiliar.

DNA Encrypted Bible and a Flower with Human Genes

Back in 1999, the American artist Edurado Katz launched an art project Genesis - he created a bacterium, in the genome of which a quotation from the Bible was written in English: “And may man rule over the sea fish, and over the birds of the air, and over livestock, and over all the earth, and over all the reptiles that creep on the earth. " The text was translated into Morse code, and then turned into a cipher of compounds (nucleotide T corresponded to a dash, nucleotide C - a dot, nucleotide G - letter separation, nucleotide A - a space between words).

It seems that the French philosopher Jacques Derrida was right when he said "everything is text."

After the bacteria with this DNA fragment lived for their pleasure, the sequence changed slightly due to natural mutations. After the translation back into English, it turned out that there were errors in the line - some of the letters were in other places. Thus, DNA is a kind of message that can change both as a result of genetic engineering and from natural mutations.

Eduardo Katz creates projects at the intersection of art and science - bioart or transgenic art. In addition to the Genesis project, he created an ultraviolet glowing rabbit by transplanting the jellyfish gene, which is responsible for the production of the green fluorescent protein GFP, and petunia with a genetic sequence from its own immune system. The transgenic flower is named Edunia, and its leaves are covered with a scarlet pattern, similar to a system of capillaries.

On genetically modified organisms: Alexander Panchin, “The sum of biotechnology. A Guide to Combating Myths about the Genetic Modification of Plants, Animals and People. "

Intelligent birds would have different laws of physics

When our expectations and hypotheses are true, the reward mechanism in the brain is triggered. Therefore, it is pleasant to reach with your mind some patterns. Through these incentives, we love to learn. We value experiences that overlap with the ones we already have.

"Our brain contains specialized modules that allow us to quickly and effortlessly create a dynamic view of the world, based on three-dimensional objects located in three-dimensional space."

- Frank Wilczek, "The Beauty of Physics: Understanding the Structure of Nature"

How we describe physical laws depends on our senses, as well as the ideas of symmetry and harmony formed from these ways of perception. The very ability to observe is the starting point, but all living beings observe in different ways.

According to the Nobel laureate Frank Wilczek, if dogs evolved to such an extent that they decided to create their own physics, their needs and capabilities would be limited by poor visual development and expanded - olfactory. Most likely, the "intelligent dogs" would have very developed chemistry and the study of molecular events, because smell is a chemical feeling. At the same time, they would hardly have achieved an understanding of physical laws comparable to ours. But in birds, which have even greater visual ability than humans, the knowledge of classical mechanics and Galileo's principle of relativity is embedded in the "firmware". So they would create physics faster than people, and it would be more advanced.

From the point of view of this theory, there is no unique interpretation of the universe, there are sensors with which we touch the incomprehensible (at least in the "Newtonian manger") elephant from different angles.

To learn more about physics and harmony, Frank Wilczek's book "The Beauty of Physics: Understanding the Structure of Nature" will help.

Some want to amputate healthy limbs

BIID (body integrity identity disorder) is a violation of the perception of the integrity of their own organism, in which people are sure that some part of their body is superfluous, and they dream of getting rid of it. At the same time, the unwanted organ is felt as foreign and interfering. Doctors refuse to remove a healthy part of the body, but sometimes people with such a perception disorder still manage to achieve what they want, after which they come to complete harmony with themselves.

Special cases of BIID also include the desire to lose motor or visual function. The deviation manifests itself even in early childhood (there is a case when a child cut out figures of little people from paper and cut off their leg - the one from which he wanted to get rid of).

The reason for BIID is that an error creeps into the program for the formation of the body's scheme even at the embryonic stage. As a result, a person really feels his body differently from others.

This is a reason to think about how many factors had to coincide in the formation of our psychophysiology so that our limbs seemed appropriate to us, and how the brain determines how we perceive ourselves.

The existence of BIID poses an ethical problem for us: should a doctor meet a person whose body does not correspond to his own ideas about the norm? In the case of transgender surgery and plastic surgery, most developed countries give people control over their bodies. However, amputation of physically healthy limbs is still a taboo.

For information on the defining role of the brain in shaping our body image, see Dick Swaab's book We Are Our Brain: From Uterus to Alzheimer's.

Paired existence and monogamy are not characteristic of man as a species

The monogamous nuclear family was formed by agriculture, and this happened relatively recently (by the standards of world history). Anatomically modern man has existed for at least 200 thousand years. The transition to agriculture took place around 8000 BC. Thus, in sedentary agricultural cultures, our species lives about 5% of the time of its entire social existence.

Women in gathering communities had the same access to resources as men and, therefore, had no need to grant men the exclusive right to reproduce in exchange for food and protection. Scientists point out that people who lived in pre-agricultural communities and engaged in gathering tended to be egalistic (sharing and changing what they mined) and lived in small groups, where most adults, both men and women, changed partners. and had several sexual relationships at the same time.

Monogamous unions are a fairly new invention that is not part of the essence or nature of man. In contrast, Homo sapiens is one of the five surviving large apes. And monkeys, as we know, are hypersexual.

Thus, from the point of view of paleontological science, the idea of ​​the "naturalness" of long-term pair bonds is incorrect.

Today, gender roles characteristic of an agrarian society have lost their relevance, and genetic engineering makes it possible to have a child from three or more parents. Perhaps this is the path to a radical rethinking of the importance of traditional parenting figures.

Where to read about the sexual behavior of our ancestors and contemporaries: Christopher Ryan, Casilda Geta, “Sex at the Dawn of Civilization. The evolution of human sexuality from prehistoric times to the present day. "

We're just an accident in the Multiverse

Modern physicists who study dark matter believe that the likelihood of the emergence of our universe, in which atoms were able to form and, therefore, to originate life, was extremely small. It is the amount of dark energy that participated in the formation of our Universe that provides the "hit". Given how unlikely this is, it should be assumed that there is a Multiverse - a hypothetical set of all possible parallel universes. Thus, we appeared on the basis of brute force, as a result of "enumeration" of billions of universes.

From the point of view of Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz, who lived at the turn of the 17th and 18th centuries, God chooses the best combination from all possible circumstances. Therefore, "everything is for the best in the best of worlds."

It turns out that the search for unshakable fundamental principles and the explanation of the physical properties of our world is a deliberately disastrous task. According to the anthropic principle, we see the Universe in such a way, because only in such a Universe could there be a person observing it.

“Imagine yourself as a fish living in a walled aquarium. What would you know about our world if you looked at it all your life in distortion from glass and did not have the opportunity to get out? It is impossible to know the true nature of reality: we believe that we clearly imagine the world around us, but, speaking metaphorically, we are doomed to spend our whole life in an aquarium, since the capabilities of our body do not allow us to get out of it "

- Stephen Hawking

Alan Laitman's book "The Accidental Universe: The World We Thought We Understand" tells about accidents and the revision of basic ideas about the role of physics in explaining the world.