Does Science Have a Limit?
I was searching through the journals provided to us by GW is search of something to write about when I came across this one : http://prl.aps.org.proxygw.wrlc.org/pdf/PRL/v108/i7/e078101. This article discusses the science of ponytails. In the article, they propose “a [scientific] theory on the basis of a continuum theory for the spatial distribution of hairs in a bundle.” At first this sparked my interest. It’s something different to what is normally found in a physics journal.
The article discusses the physics of hairs, the statistical probability of certain hair lengths, the elasticity of a ponytail, and many more variables that could affect the way a ponytail is shaped as well has how it would fall. It was clear that a lot of work went into making sure this was as accurate as possible. Equations such as this: were used to calculate the “energy of an asymmetric fiber bundle.” Such an equation is not easy to come by and must have taken some time to derive.
This got me thinking… what are these scientists doing? Why on Earth do we care about how a ponytail falls? Is it going to help humanity in anyway? Probably not. Is it going to further our knowledge in anything useful? Again, probably not. In my opinion, this is the limit of what can be called scientific. I think science is some sort of knowledge, and is this really knowledge. This is more of a pointless waste of time. Scientists are a sort of tool. There are a limited amount of them in the world, and normal people can’t do what they can. So why are they wasting their time figuring out the physics and statistics of a ponytail. There are more important things that can be theorized… global warming… world hunger… deseases… all of these are important to the advancement of the human race. Ponytails are not. So my question is, who holds scientists accountable? Is there any accountability? Or are they just free to do what they want…