But Probably Don’t(With Apologies to Bill Bryson)
We know more about the sun than we doabout our own planet. Here’s a small sampleof some other many other things we don’tknow…
You are made up of billions of atoms that assembled in an intricate manner that willonly exist once. Why these atoms choose to do this is still a mystery –especially since the law of entropy compels things to disintegrate.
DNA contains the code used to make organicstructures. We don’t know where the code comes from.
No-one is quite sure howbig Pluto is, what it is madeof, what kind of atmosphereis has, or even what it really is.
There is still no satisfactory explanation for gravity.Scientists are now looking for ‘gravitons’ which they thinkmay explain gravity. They haven’t found any yet.
We are still not sure what makes upmost of the mass of the universe.Scientists theorise that it is madeof something mysterious calleddark matter and dark energy.We still don’t really know whatthese are.
We still don’t know how and why virus epidemics emerge and then then disappear.
We’re still not entirely sure how tornadoes form.
No-one on knows what makes amino-acids form proteins. Or how proteins form life.
Interestingly, we have no idea how many species of life there are on the planet.
We have so many atoms inside us that we have a least a billion recycledatoms from any historical person you care to mention.This includes Shakespeare, the Buddha and Beethoven,but not Elvis (he died too recently for his atomsto have recycled themselves).
Since the structure ofany atom is mostly emptyspace, held together bystrong charges,everything considered solidis anything but solid, and thingsnever truly touch. (When you sitdown on a chair, you are not actuallytouching it but levitating 1 angstrom(one millionth of a centimetre)above it. If this where not the case,everything would simply pass thougheverything else.
We don’t know about the spin orposition of atoms. When we try tomeasure the one, we affect theother. Thus we never truly knowwhere atoms are!
We are not sure what causes the global atmospheric-oceanic disturbanceknown as El-Nino.
We have only a fleeting knowledge of what liesbeneath the oceans.
We are not sure about what causes magnetic reversals. The plates of the Earth are moving in ways we don’t understand; parts of America and Africa are rising – even though they are nowhere near any active plate boundaries.
There are convection currents in the mantle that drive the crustal plates. No-oneis sure why they occur, how they happen – or even where they happen.
The history of continentaldrift is far from resolved.That are the continentswhere once part of a super-continent called Pangaeathat split up might not be true.There are mismatchedfossils and large piecesmissing from thepuzzle.(Pangaea, incidentally, was actually the second super-continent to form.)
We are not sure what comprises the layers of the Earth. We’ve donescans of certain areas and thendrilled and found entirely differentrocks – and this only a fewkilometres deep – we might be verywrong about the rocks hundred oreven thousands of kilometres beneathour feet.
If two parts of a pair of sub-atomicparticles are split and sent to oppositesides of the universe, manipulating onewill immediately affect the other.(A smaller version of this theory wasconducted in Switzerland and provento be correct.)
Sub-atomic particles can pop into existence fromnothing – most of them disappear soon afterwardsthough.
There are over 200 000 types of protein.We understand about 2% of them. Scientists estimate that there are over 100 million insects still to be found and identified.
And that’s just a small sampleof what we don’t know!There’s still so much toexplore and discoverand find out!