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Quoted with thanks from anonguest:

I strongly believe that the 'lesson' to be learned from C.P.Snow's 'The Two Cultures' still has not been learned to this day.

From C P Snow (via Wiki):

A good many times I have been present at gatherings of people who, by the standards of the traditional culture, are thought highly educated and who have with considerable gusto been expressing their incredulity at the illiteracy of scientists. Once or twice I have been provoked and have asked the company how many of them could describe the Second Law of Thermodynamics. The response was cold: it was also negative. Yet I was asking something which is the scientific equivalent of: Have you read a work of Shakespeare's?  I now believe that if I had asked an even simpler question – such as, What do you mean by mass, or acceleration, which is the scientific equivalent of saying, Can you read? – not more than one in ten of the highly educated would have felt that I was speaking the same language. So the great edifice of modern physics goes up, and the majority of the cleverest people in the western world have about as much insight into it as their neolithic ancestors would have had.

This would be a very good thread.

I'm not sure how long such a thread would last before being banished to off-topic, but it would (in my personal opinion) appeal greatly to almost every single poster on this forum, including (but by no means limited to) the dreamers, the scientists, the educationally elite, the common sense spammers and the two minute Google warriors, as well as the glorious people who just come here to chat and learn and share. At the end of the day, it comes down to two things, one* of which is a definition of entropy. I suspect that nearly everyone one this site could cobble together a description of entropy, but that nobody could define it, apart from the resident specialist scientists, who never seem to be able to describe anything in a way that could be understood (and agreed upon) by anybody else, including other specialist scientists.

*The other thing is something that I don't understand at all.

I don't understand how a closed system can exist.

But I'm working on it.

Edited by Timm
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