What's Your Favorite Science Theory?

By siliconindia   |   Tuesday, 17 January 2012, 02:31 IST   |    5 Comments
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It was also seen that many nominated ideas were not from those found in science courses taught in school or college. Neuroscientist Robert Sapolsky of Stanford University thinks the most beautiful idea to him would be emergence, in which complex phenomena almost magically comes into being from extremely simple components. For example, a human being arises from a few thousand genes. The intelligence of an ant colony - labor specialization, intricate underground nests comes from the seemingly senseless behavior of thousands of individual ants. He says that "Critically, there's no blueprint or central source of command and out of this emerges a highly efficient colony."

Various ‘beautiful’ ideas were nominated. Sam Barondes, neurobiologist from the University of California, San Francisco nominated the idea that personality is largely shaped by chance. One unexpected force is which parental genes happen to be in the egg and sperm that produced the child. He said "But there is also chance in how neurodevelopment processes unfold - a little virus here, an intrauterine event there, and you have chance all over the place." He also says that the role of chance in creating differences between people has moral consequences. "Promoting understanding and compassion for the wide range of people with whom we share our lives."

Timothy Wilson, the University of Virginia psychologist suggested the idea that "people become what they do." Though people's behavior arises from their character - someone returns a lost wallet because she is honest. The reverse also holds good. He also says that if we return a lost wallet, our assessment of how honest we are rises through what he calls "self-inference." One repercussion of this phenomenon would be “We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful about what we pretend to be.”