Five-Minute Friday: Discover

Today's five-minute writing prompt appears courtesy of Five Minute Friday.

"Discover" has a lot of meanings in my world --- many of them commercial in nature --- but I'll blog about one of the more obscure ones.

When a scientist (and that's the closest description to what I am) comes up with something new, how should that process be described?   Some folks would use the word "invention"; the author put some stuff together in new and exciting ways, and the author gets credit for creating that new thing.

Scientists, though, tend to talk about "discoveries" rather than inventions.   Nobody "invented" math, or DNA, or the Second Law of Thermodynamics.   Those things were already a part of our created world.   All we do is to reveal those true things to others.   The act of revelation is creative and difficult, of course, and not to be minimized.    But in many ways, the work of the scientist is simply to bear witness to the Creator's completed work.

It's hard to discover new things, as I'm discovering right now (grumble, grumble) ... but we live for the joy of that moment where we can jump up on a table and say "hey, everyone, see what I found ...".   Or ...

The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not "Eureka!" (I've found it!), but "That's funny..."  --Isaac Asimov


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