5 debates science hasn’t been able to settle yet
Science has an answer to everything but sometimes it is difficult to find the science behind everything. How great it must be to pin point the exact reason why a particular occurrence exists. No wonder so many people around the world have dedicated their entire lives to scientific discovery. But even with the most brilliant minds on the job nature still eludes us and there are several questions that still remain unanswered. Here are few scientific debates that are still left unsettled.
- Are viruses living or non-living?
- What is death?
- Brontosaurus Vs Apatosaurus
- Geometry of the universe
- Do aliens exist?
Are viruses living or non-living?
For over the last millennium the scientific community has been pondering about this question and has constantly changed its stand on what viruses actually are. Initially, considered as poison, then as life forms and even biological chemicals, the virus has held many statuses.
The very nature of these creatures or bio-chemicals or lifeforms, whatever you may choose to call them, has scientist around the globe baffled.
Viruses are capable of reproduction but only by inducing the host cell’s reproduction capabilities to reproduce its DNA or RNA and make more viral proteins.
Even though they need other bonafide living organisms as hosts to survive they sure have come a long way having survived the natural selection.
What is death?
This is a rather simple question to explain right? Not for the scientific community.
You may say that when the heart stops beating the person is to be considered dead. But what about the ‘beating heart cadavers’? Their brains are dead but the organs within the body are functioning at their full capacities.
Medical technology has proven time and again that it can go a long way in keeping certain organs going. So is it when the heart stops beating or when the lungs stop pumping or when the organs are completely damaged and the person needs to be kept on life support?
Traditionally, for being classified as dead, a body needs to be off life support and should have a complete respiratory and circulatory failure.
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Brontosaurus Vs Apatosaurus
The Brontosaurus, A.K.A. the thunder lizard Vs Apatosaurus is a famous palaeontology debate that has been going on since 1903. Initially, in 1877 palaeontologist Othniel Charles Marsh, dug up bones of a dinosaur that would be named Apatosaurus. Two years later he dug up a set of bones and called it Brontosaurus due to certain differences with the remains of Apatosaurus.
In 1903, another palaeontologist, Elmer Riggs concluded that these were remains of the same animal and were in fact two different versions of the Apatosaurus. He was also able to convince the entire palaeontology community of his theory.
But recently, the palaeontology community in the UK and Portugal have come to the rescue of the Brontosaurus and have brought forth evidence that confirms that the Brontosaurus and Apatosaurus are two distinct dinosaurs.
Geometry of the universe
Most of the scientific community based on evidence, acquired through experiments, suggest that the universe is infinite. But in theory we can only see part of the universe i.e. only within the sphere cantered at Earth and that too within a radius of the distance that light travels in the 13.7 billion-year age of the universe. The rest of the universe is said to to invisible to us.
So, if we can’t even see the rest of the universe, how can we be sure whether it is finite or infinite?
Do aliens exist?
This is a question that has been in the domain of conspiracy theorists for years. But in recent times Frank Wilczek, a Nobel Prize–winning physicist at MIT, has pointed out to several planets outside our solar system which have the environmental properties similar to that of Earth.
But the confirmation of life on these planets is still to be ascertained.