Bill Moyers: “What is the practical difference it makes whether or not we find out what dark matter or dark energy are?”
Neil deGrasse Tyson: “If you were around in 1920 maybe you would’ve been saying, “What’s the practical difference in measuring the behavior of atomic nuclei? I can’t see atoms, this is just a wood chair, I’m good to go. Why are you investing so much energy, so much brain energy, on understanding what’s in the middle of an atom? That seems like a waste of this brilliance.
“In the 1920s, in addition to discovering that we’re not the only galaxy in the universe and that the universe is expanding, that’s a watershed decade because in that decade, quantum physics was discovered. Perhaps if you were around asking me that similar question then, you’d have questioned the whole enterprise, yet today, a third of the GDP of the world is generated on the creation, storage, and retrieval of information, and the entire IT revolution cannot exist without an understanding of what’s going on inside the atom. It is a quantum physics phenomena.
“So, ask me again in 50 years of the value of how dark energy works.”
See Bill Moyers' and Neil deGrasse Tyson's recent conversation here: http://youtu.be/da3G2ezt9R0
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