A while ago I offered readers the chance to ask tricky questions of cosmologist and author Marcus Chown. The questions were exactly what I would expect of my astute and intelligent readership. Read on to find out what Marcus has to say in response.
OK. Marcus, we hear from scientists so often that “you’d have to know maths to be really able to understand the theory”. Frankly, this always seems a bit feeble. Maths is just a way of expressing reasoning. I suspect what it actually means is that many scientists are not actually able to explain the concepts they deal with but are content to leave this mystery at the heart of what they do and ‘merely’ manipulate the ideas mathematically, almost mechanically. Do you feel there is any truth in this?