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Culture & Religion

We Didn’t Evolve to Do Physics, Which Is Why It Seems So Weird

Physicist Lawrence Krauss explains why understanding new theories in physics is so hard, and why it’s so much fun.
Map of dark matter in the universe (NASA/ESA/Richard Massey)

Physicist Lawrence Krauss says there’s a perfectly good reason so many theories in physics are hard to wrap our minds around: Our brains didn’t evolve for such heavy lifting.

Natural selection didn’t favor homo sapiens for our ability to ponder spooky action at a distance, he notes. It favored us because we learned how to get away from those big hungry predators. So relativity’s a bit of a stretch for us refugees from the savannah.

But that’s okay, says Krauss. In fact, it’s what makes science and physics so much fun.

So don’t feel bad if understanding something new means just sitting and thinking about it for a little bit, and don’t feel bad you — we — don’t know more. Doing a puzzle’s much more enjoyable than having done one.

Plus also, there are no predators chasing us.


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