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On Sky Hooks and Selfish Genes.

Metaphors and analogies are useful devices, great tools - if used correctly - to get the message across especially with regard to difficult or non intuitive concepts.

From Hoyle's Big Bang, to RD's selfish gene and Dennett's sky-hooks, scientists have managed to bring scientific concepts within the grasp of most non-scientists, helping us like a floater does an inexperienced swimmer hovering over the deep-end.

I particularly like the joke - I'm sure you all know it - about the two walkers in the woods who are about to be attacked by a bear and while one runs away the other stoops to put on his running spikes. You can't out-run the bear, scoffs the first runner. No, replies the spike-wearing runner, but I can out-run you. It really got the message across about evolution, for me.

What funologies and metaphors have you come across and what scientific concepts did they help you understand better?

TAGGED: HUMOR, REASON, SCIENCE


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