Religion always has strongly encouraged an escapist path from the drudgery of reality and still does so with consequences that makes that whole endeavour futile. Science, especially the one foraging and exploring the edges of our understanding, could easily be seen as having the same effect, and many call it ‘the new religion’. Rather than getting despondent or irate about human stupidity creating wars, global injustice or ecological destruction (and sadly, both religion and science are contributors to these afflictions), it’s alluring to get dazzled by concepts of grander schemes.
But there’s probably more to creating them than just being fugitives from a world of adversity and misery; somehow we strongly feel there has to be more to life than what we seem to know – otherwise we might as well let the corks pop and party ourselves into stupor and oblivion.
The BBC Horizon documentary “What is Reality” shines a torchlight on some of the answers that frontier scientific approaches like quantum mechanics, cosmology or string theory provide to us wondering what else there could be. And while the form of the program’s presentation is often pop-sensationalist, the content, while just skimming the surface of course, is coherent, intelligible and easily accessible. Listening to people like Anton Zeilinger, Seth Lloyd, Max Tegmark or Lenny Susskind not only strengthens my feeling that my sensual perception and cognitive processing make me see only tiny parts of that vast incomprehensible cosmos of reality, but it also makes me wish for having the copious mathematical mind to be part of their quest … sigh!