Friday, May 4, 2012

Superconductivity and Intelligent Design

I was reading a recent article on the very cool topic of topological insulators when it reminded me of an interesting period of time.

Superconductivity, the phenomenon of complete absence of electrical resistance, was first observed by Heike Kamerlingh Onnes in 1911. The observation was readily repeatable, and Onnes won the 1913 Nobel Prize in Physics for its discovery. However, for nearly 50 years there was no theoretical explanation that really satisfied the physics community. But during the 1950s the BCS theory of Cooper pairs of electrons acting as phonons was developed that described a mechanism for superconductivity.

Never, to my knowledge, did the physics community assume intelligent design was the answer for why superconductivity existed. There was not naturalistic explanation for 50 years, yet they never lobbied for a supernatural explanation as the 'default' or inference to the 'best' explanation. I wonder why that is?

4 comments:

John said...

because they don't appeal to a God of the gaps argument? If you assume they do, then pretend to be amazed that they don't, you are only patting yourself on the back and are not pursuing truth but adulation.

David vun Kannon said...

Hi John, thanks for stopping by.

I'm not sure who the 'they' in your comment is supposed to refer to. If 'they' is the physics community, then no, I didn't assume the physics community made a god-of-the-gaps argument. I simply remarked that they didn't.

Given the low number of visitors to this blog, I can guarantee that I'm not pursuing adulation! ;-P

EastwoodDC said...

Because during that time there was no well-funded religious/political movement actively trying to insert their beliefs into public education.

I should qualify that a bit, because the theory of evolution wasn't taught in all schools for much of that time either.

David Sklar said...

Well, it's SUPERconductivity. Obviously the explanation is the rays of Earth's yellow sun.