Saturday, November 12, 2011

Philosophy Wire: Earth, Core, Peach…

Earth layers artwork
Philosophy Wire by Spiros Kakos [2011-11-12]: An experiment to recreate the extreme conditions of the centre of the Earth was officially opened on Thursday. During the experiment samples are compressed at a pressure millions of times higher than that on the Earth's surface. High-power lasers are then fired through the diamonds at the samples, heating them to higher than 10,000C. Then X-rays are used as a probe to determine the precise composition and chemistry of samples [source: BBC News]. Science today is based on the premise that all phenomena can be reproduced (preferably to a funded laboratory). But what happens if that is not possible? Nature is full of unique phenomena. You cannot learn the taste of a peach unless you eat it, Buddhists say. The uniqueness of many phenomena is the Achilles's Heel of exact science today…

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