Your Child is Your Theory

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I learn so much from The Writer’s Almanac. Today I learned about Freeman Dyson, who was a physicist and a writer. He figured out how light and matter interact — which is something so foreign to me, I can’t even begin to imagine what he could have figured out.

He also wrote something I figured out right away. He was talking about scientific theories:

“You sit quietly gestating them, for nine months or whatever the required time may be, and then one day they are out on their own, not belonging to you any more but to the whole community of scientists. Whatever it is that you produce, a baby, a book, or a theory, it is a piece of the magic of creation. You are producing something that you do not fully understand.”

Scientific theories are backed up by evidence, children by nature and nurture. But both become part of the larger world, where they interact with other things and become something different, something more than what the scientist or the parent could ever have imagined or understood.

And that’s a good thing.

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1 Response so far »

  1. 1

    Mon said,

    Nice post.

    And just like theories, we don’t own them.


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