9 questions science has no answer for

scientific unanswered questionsScience is expected to give answers to the important and the unimportant happening around us, and the truth is that most times it does not disappoint us. But there still remain mysteries that even the greatest scientists do not have an explanation for. Here are some of them:

1. What is consciousness?

Most of us have a sense of what is consciousness, but scientists have not yet defined it or even understood it fully. There are many theories about consciousness, and some of them even refer to quantum mechanics, but none can give a clear explanation. Scientists hope that in future, by improving the synthesis of artificial organisms and robots they will get closer to understanding the phenomenon of consciousness.

2. What happened before the Big Bang?

According to some scientists, before the Big Bang there was no space or time, so the question is meaningless. Was the universe created out of nothing? Out of chaos? Then where did the chaos come from?

3. What about the growing world population?

We constantly hear discussions about renewable energy, recycling, sustainable crops… But the growing population on the planet is an issue that confuses most of us. How can the planet sustain such a population? Especially if, according to recent research, life expectancy will increase up to 120 years…

4. How many planets are there in our solar system?

Ever since Pluto was banished from our solar system and is no longer considered a normal planet, but a “dwarf planet”, many have begun to have doubts about how many planets there are and where exactly they are located. At present, the official science acknowledges “the Sun and the eight planets”, but God knows whether all this will change and whether new planets and worlds will be discovered.

5. Why is ice slippery?

Query equivalent of “why is water wet”, which, despite its seeming simplicity, has not yet got the scientific explanation.

6. Is it possible to record one’s thoughts (just like to record a TV program)?

In other words, will we be able to re-experience situations we experienced in the past? For example, to fall in love with someone once more? Will it become possible to record our dreams and follow them when we are awake? Sounds shocking and dangerous. And no answer was given for that.

7. Will humanity ever reach the stars?

In the next 100 years, as scientists say, we will manage to discover the limits of our solar system and will send astronauts and robots there. However, the question: when will each of us have the possibility to travel to the stars and visit other planets (for example, on vacation), is still open.

8. What is deja vu?

Deja vu means “already seen” and describes the eerie feeling we have when we think we re-experience a situation or an event. The psychological study provides some “naturalistic” explanations at times, but the real cause and nature of this phenomenon remains a mystery.

9. Do ghosts exist?

Science never gave a clear explanation of what exactly are ghosts or whether they exist or not. Moreover, any attempt to study this phenomenon is not taken in serious, and any idea or theory on this is considered pseudoscientific.

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Anna LeMind

Anna is the founder and lead editor of the website Learning-mind.com. She is passionate about learning new things and reflecting on thought-provoking ideas. She writes about science, psychology and other related topics. She is particularly interested in topics regarding introversion, consciousness and subconscious, perception, human mind's potential, as well as the nature of reality and the universe.

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  1. adrian sky July 29, 2012 at 10:17 pm - Reply

    if you are expecting science to “understand it fully,” it’s never going to happen given the deductive and inductive limitations built into science. It’s not about proving things right, it’s about observing, hypothesizing and then trying to falsify your predictions by experiment. If your proposal stands after a few dozen, hundred, or thousand experiments, then your hypothesis is tentatively treated like a theory. so with that in mind…
    1. You’re right that consciousness hasn’t been fully understood, and that’s the fun part. but what we know now is equally exciting, including understanding the pathways we share in common with other organisms.
    2. The easiest answer to this question can be found in Stephen Hawking’s 1988 book “A Brief History of Time,” because if I tell you the question is meaningless, you still don’t have a feel for what that implies… There is much more to it, but his book is a good beginning.
    3. This question was begun by Thomas Malthus and has been refined by environmental science ever since… the short answer is that human populations will grow as fast as their food and low death rates will allow them to. Sadly, world population studies have been marred by politics and ideologies such that it appears there is confusion about the subject. There isn’t. Go look up Berkeley’s article on the subject “The environmental politics of population and overpopulation” to get a relatively evenhanded review on the science and politics of population studies.
    4. This is not a question about science, but about policy and consistent nomenclature. Astronomers, like other scientists, could not define Pluto as a planet by fiat, but instead had to make some rules that would translate to future discoveries; none of the rules they made were able to include Pluto while not including a half-dozen other similar planetoids… we were either going to have 13 planets, or 8. A similar problem has existed in biology with the definition of “species”… which all goes to show that we can only define things to a point before it all gets fuzzy.
    5. ice is slippery because of complex thermodynamic and pressure-related interactions over electrically repulsive surfaces. Scientists know this well enough to use it and rely on it in labs and industries, but it’s not easy to break it down to laypeople much like explaining magnetism isn’t easy to explain without fudging the explanation.
    6. eventually it will be. at present, we’re too clumsy so more scientists should join in the fun!
    7. of course it will, it just depends on when it will become practical, which is another great mission for scientists to embark.
    8. déjà-vu is in your mind. but since our mind defines our reality, we keep trying to convince ourselves that there is something “otherworldly” about it that “science can’t predict”, but this question was settled 75 years ago. Look up Michael Starbird and his birthday algorithms to get an idea of how natural phenomena can appear “mysterious” and “unexplainable.”
    9. no, they do not. every FALSIFIABLE (see above) experiment done to test for ghosts has failed to either pan out, or has appeared to work, only to fall apart after attempts to duplicate it. You can try, though, as another great thing about science is you can always try to disprove what is known now, but before you do, you might want to look up Feynman’s views on science at youtube!

    • Anna July 30, 2012 at 10:09 am - Reply

      thanx a lot you are so well informed!

  2. Markei July 31, 2012 at 6:41 am - Reply

    If, as you say in number 7, “scientists say, we will manage to discover the limits of our solar system”, how then do they also explain that the universe is constantly expanding at the diminishing speed of light?
    They now know that that number is constantly changing, especially as to slowing the further away from the sun particles become.
    Einstein’s laws of Physics have been thrown completely upside-down by the recent discovery that nano-particles move faster than Einstein thought possible (the “C” in E=MC2 is now known to be a variable to diligent scientists and not a Constant as Einstein – and everyone else since Einstein – previously thought).
    Science is limited by knowledge and the manifest theories that try to explain that knowledge, which are mostly later overturned with the discovery of more involved knowledge.
    I’m certain this new knowledge will help explain things such as how a bee is able to defy known laws of physics and can fly. We can’t prove it mathematically using what we know about the “law of lift” and the formula we use to overcome the “law of gravity”, but we see the bee fly anyway so we know the science must be wrong somewhere along the line… We have used the “close enough” philosophy on a lot of science theory matters until we know better.

    • Anna July 31, 2012 at 10:43 am - Reply

      thank you for your opinion and interesting information!

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9 questions science has no answer for