Title 3 – KQ 6: To what extent can we relate and compare through good explanations that may not be true?
KQ 6: To what extent can we relate and compare through good explanations that may not be true?
When Einstein explained using the metaphor of taut rubber mat and heavy ball dynamics for us to imagine the relativity and space –time concept , we all seem to ‘know ‘ what Einstein was talking about without actually understanding Relativity through the mathematical tensors.
Aristotle extends caution to both the make-up and use of metaphor in Rhetoric. According to him, metaphors can never be comprehensive-the genius of metaphor was to perceive similarities in things dissimilar—but not too dissimilar. In sciences our eagerness and enthusiasm to find a metaphor to replace an exhaustive explanation risks superficiality. As Nobel Laureate David Baltimore states, “We might want to recognize that some scientific concepts are a reality beyond metaphor and metaphor should be admitted into science only after strict examination”.
Our affinity for “ anthropomorphism” for objects , concepts ,theories and processes – a selfish gene, family of Planetary systems , monstrously sucking Black Holes – is fitting and lucid but tend to be misleading.