Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Laws of nature

Arthur C Clarke, Science Fiction Writer and man credited with the idea of Orbiting communications satellites once laid down three laws of prediction;
1. When a distinguished but elderly scientist states that something is possible, he is almost certainly right. When he states that something is impossible, he is very probably wrong.
2. The only way of discovering the limits of the possible is to venture a little way past them into the impossible.
3. Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.

I was browsing through Wikipaedia this evening and found out about a gentleman named Dr Paul Ehrlich. Some of his predictions may be of interest. I make no other comment apart from how wrong can a man be? Looks like Clarke's first law of prediction is in serious need of revision.

If asked, I would amend Clarke's first law to read; When a distinguished scientist states that mankind is somehow doomed, he is almost certainly wrong. When he states that humans might muddle through somehow, he is very probably right. The other two of Clarkes laws appear not to need such amendment.

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