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Feynman and I (07/05/18 06:35:48) Reply
    Feynman was asked something to this effect: If there is one piece of scientific information to be preserved after total breakdown of civilisation - which information would that be? Feynman replied: The knowledge that the world is made of atoms.

    I strongly claim that he was mistaken.

    The idea that the world is made of atoms was made by pure speculation by the old Greeks. No scientific evidence - and even so the idea could be generated. It took centuries before the idea could be proved scientifically, and even longer to come to use. It has no use in daily life.

    I think a much more useful piece of information would be: There exist life forms that are so small that we cannot see them. This does have uses in daily life by answering some of the whys - the boiling of foods, the avoidance of touching sick animals, the fermentation of foods.

Re: Feynman and I (08/05/18 21:01:04) Reply
    Feynman was a great physicist. He knew preciously little of other sciences than his own, and little if no biology. So he is excused.

    You do not need to know about elements to have use of the knowledge of microbiology. For the complexity of biological molecules you need not to know about elements. For needing to know about molybdenium or cobalt or vanadium you need to be part of a scientifically advanced culture. Fungi or yeasts or bacteria: If they had known about it, Greek philosophyt would (I think) have been different and maybe useful.

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