Dan Falk is a Toronto-based science writer and winner of 2002 Canadian Science Writers’ Association Science in Society Journalism Award. He writes for major Canadian newspapers and is a frequent contributer to the CBC television program Quirks and Quarks. He is the author of In Search of Time: Journeys Along a Curious Dimension, which I have not read—an oversight I plan to correct as soon as possible.
I'm critical of many science writers for misrepresenting science in their articles appearing in newspapers or magazines. It's even worse when ordinary journalists attempt to write about science [The Ottawa Citizen Should Be Ashamed of David Warren].
Today I'm deligheted to bring to your attention an excellent article by Dan Falk in today's Toronto Star "[You are here: Your microspot in the universe: What Galileo and Darwin should really be remembered for: making us feel smaller"].
You really should follow the link and read the whole article. Here's the conclusion—I hope it will tempt you.
As physicist Steven Weinberg famously said, "The more the universe seems comprehensible, the more it also seems pointless."Thank-you Dan Falk. It's refreshing to see that kind of writing in a major newspaper. I'm looking forward to the letters to the editor, especially from those who haven't yet swallowed the bitter pill.
Both Galileo and Darwin showed us that our place in the cosmos is less central – perhaps less special – than we had imagined. For some it has been a bitter pill to swallow. But there is also every reason to rejoice in their discoveries. We are indeed animals, but we are animals that can comprehend the structure of DNA and the unity of life.
And yes, we live in one remote corner of the galaxy, itself one of billions of galaxies, but from this outpost we have probed the fabric of the universe, from the smallest quark to the most distant quasars.
Galileo and Darwin broadened our horizons, perhaps to a greater degree than any other two thinkers in history. As a result of their vision, we live in a larger, richer and more wonderful universe.
[Photo Credit: The photograph of Dan Falk on the University of Toronto campus is from his article, TIME TRAVEL AND THE DOWNING STREET DILEMMA, on the pagebooks.ca website.]