Despite oft-repeated claims by the self-described cognoscenti, something new in science is being discovered all the time. As Hamlet opined, “There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.” [Hamlet, Act 1, scene 5, 159–167]
Today’s tidbit comes from the realm of physics and animal behavior, specifically this item that describes how bees can sense the electric field surrounding a flower to ascertain its pollination status.
Who’d-a thunk it?
I draw several conclusions from the report: The first, that bees (and, presumably, other biological entities) have capabilities that have not yet been dreamed of, never mind found. This leads to the second conclusion: that we haven’t yet got it all figured out yet, nor, I suspect, will we ever do so. In support of this contention, I invoke Godel’s Incompleteness Theorems, which say, basically, that you can’t figure out the entirety of a system from within the system. The application here may not be exact, but it is related.
Humbling, isn’t it?
Questions: How sure are you of your grasp of the contents and bounds of your discipline area? Are you willing to entertain the prospect that there’s more to be learned? If so, how can you ensure that you don’t settle into complacency? What are the consequences of not exploring things further? What are the benefits of doing so?