New Horizon

Comment by Bill Kaminsky
November 10, 2007
The standard history of science implies that we humans had quite a bit of trouble figuring out Newtonian mechanics. Isn’t it the case that humanity never realized until Galileo that were it not for air resistance a falling object’s acceleration would be independent of the object’s mass? In your scenario of undersea intelligent creatures, I’d bet there would eventually be some undersea Galileo who’d realize that were it not for water resistance, everything would be falling toward the center of the earth with the same acceleration. On the other hand, I’d bet that if the undersea creatures *never look at the stars*, then their classical mechanics might well be stunted indefinitely. In my opinion, the development of physics requires not only new thinking about tangible, everyday phenomena, but also experience with new phenomena far from what one can hold in her or his own hands/flippers/etc.



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