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25 Nov

Are there enough cows for the world to continue existing?

Datum: 2011-11-25 16:40

I love the time reserved for Q & A at the end of each lecture. 
For an hour or more, all I have heard is my own voice repeat­ing things I usu­al­ly say, and final­ly it is time for me to have some new input. 

Dif­fer­ent kind of par­tic­i­pants real­ly ask dif­fer­ent kinds of questions.

A while back I gave a talk before about 70 researchers, sci­en­tists and pro­fes­sors at the Insti­tu­tion for Micro-tech­nol­o­gy and Nano-sci­ence (MC2) at Chalmers Uni­ver­si­ty of Tech­nol­o­gy here in Gothen­burg, Swe­den. They had an after­noon devot­ed to the staff and were in for a structure-treat.

As we were approach­ing the end of the ses­sion, I received a ques­tion I have nev­er heard before which sig­nif­i­cant­ly dif­fered from ques­tions I usu­al­ly get. One of the sci­en­tists raised his hand and said:

In the Bible, it says that the world was cre­at­ed out of chaos. If we struc­ture our­selves and our lives, will the world real­ly con­tin­ue to exist?”

Absolute­ly bril­liant! And fun­ny at that!

I replied that I believe there is enough chaos left and that I feel assured when it comes to the con­tin­ued exis­tence of the cosmos. 

But it was actu­al­ly not until I had asked him to repeat the ques­tion at least twice I real­ized what he was ask­ing, since I couldn’t quite under­stand what cat­tle had to do with the mat­ter at hand. You see, I heard the ques­tion as “…the world was cre­at­ed out of cows…”.