In an interview with Television Four, British evolutionary biologist and noted atheist Richard Dawkins explained that the main reason that many scientific concepts are difficult to understand is that the human brain did not evolve to understand science.
Dawkins began by noting that some people, including Charles Darwin’s infamous “bulldog,” T.H. Huxley, have described science as “organized common sense.” But, he said, “in some ways it’s deeply paradoxical [because] it departs from what the human mind is equipped to understand.”
“Since Huxley’s time,” Dawkins continued, “things like relativity, things like quantum mechanics — they are deeply counterintuitive.”
“As Huxley and Darwin would have argued, the human brain was equipped by evolution and natural selection to survive on the African plains, and to be efficient on finding shelter and avoiding being eaten. These are all things that require an understanding of medium-sized objects moving at medium speeds.”
“Our brains were never equipped to understand what happens when things move at the speed of light — relativity — or when things become exceedingly small — quantum mechanics. These are very, very counterintuitive.”
“Science requires a suspension of common sense,” he concluded, “because it’s very far from common sense.”
Watch the video Television Four on YouTube below.