You Are More Important Than a Quark

From The New York Times:Apple

Some people resent reductionism because it sweeps away many mysteries. Behind spooky phenomena, reductionists have shown, are the ordinary ticktocks of nature’s machinery, the concealed ropes and pulleys of cosmic-scale Penn and Teller tricks. Indeed, reductionism has reinforced the old philosophical suspicion that there is something vaguely unreal about ”reality”: as the Greek philosopher Democritus said, it’s all just atoms and the void. To a hyper-reductionist, the invisibly small microworld is more ”real” than everything else. Bigger objects — cats, toasters, people, the sun, galactic superclusters — are just second-order consequences. The atoms or quarks or leptons (or ”strings,” if you follow the latest trendy theories) are what count, while you and I are just ephemera.

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