Pamela Fox Journal #1 on Frankenstein “The ambition of the inquirer seemed to limit itself to the annihilation of those visions

on which my interest in science was chiefly founded. I was required to exchange chimeras of boundless grandeur for realities of little worth.” As a young learner, Frankenstein varies between first wanting to read the then discarded theories of old philosophers, because he didn’t know they were shunned, and then discarding them himself when a scientific man contradicted them, and then regressing to studying those discarded theories again, in hopes of achieving unknown scientific grandeur instead of simply agreeing with contemporary thought. It seems that many humans experience that same feeling – that same conflict – with scientific theories. As intellectuals, we want to embrace the new widely-supported theories because, well, they are widely supported. If the genius believes it, so should I. But as dreamers, we still want to retreat to indulging in the denounced theories of the path, because of the mysticism they hold. This is evident in modern society’s proliferation of TV shows whose premises rely on unproved mystical theories, like “Crossing Over,” “Unsolved Mysteries,” “Pet Psychic,” etc. Even though the evidence behind our widely supported theories is much more convincing than the evidence – if there is any – behind alchemy, mysticism, or supernatural powers, we’re still more obsessed with the latter. Our boredom with modern theories would make sense if these theories declared the world was simply put together in an obvious and simple way. Creationism essentially is the theory that says this – that there is a 7-step process to making a universe. But to keep creationists excited, they add in the possibility of heavenly miracles. Modern scientific theories, however, are exceedingly complex and mind-boggling, and involve concepts that humans centuries ago would find difficult to believe. So why, even though it is a scientific theory that tiny radiation waves can travel millions of miles across the universe, do we find the notion of person-toperson ESP so much more exciting? It seems like an historical thing – centuries ago, we decided what concepts we would forever be obsessed with and

fascinated by, and no matter whether it never went unproved, we would retain our fascination. We may fall asleep during a string theory lecture, but we may never tire of hearing ghost stories. It may also be a matter of simplicity. Because these fantastical beliefs were conceptualized before we developed a complex science and math, they’re much simpler. Hence, they’re easier and less intimidating for a layperson to grasp. The last explanation is that many of these mystic theories are very people-oriented, and people are very people-oriented, so they gravitate toward these theories that put them at the center of the fantasy. I, personally, am a huge believer in current scientific thought. After all, if the geniuses believe it, so should I. But I’d still rather watch a show on ghosts than string theory. Oops. 