The Science of Magic | Teen Ink

The Science of Magic

November 17, 2007
By Anonymous

Human culture has always asked the question, is magic possible? I feel that if we reinstate the definition of magic as, “The action of powerful forces that cannot be explained through science,” I would argue that yes, not only is magic possible, but it happens all the time. I feel this way because the world is filled with invisible forces that nobody can explain, such as gravity, magnetism, electricity, or practically any fundamental force. Also, it seems very possible and even logical that monsters, ghosts, and mythical beings exist. Lastly, our own emotions and minds control patterns of society, and are far more wild, unpredictable, and powerful to have anything to do with science.

When any force on earth is broken down into its most basic mechanisms, one will always run up against something that cannot be explained through science. For instance, magnetism, gravity, electricity, heat- do scientists know what any of those actually are? I’ll take heat as an example. Scientists know it’s produced when particles rub together, but that’s only why it happens, not what that discharge produced actually is. How about a nuclear explosion, one of the most powerful forces on earth? No one can deny that it works, and it works because a split atom is trying to get back together. But why are the atom’s parts doing that? What is it that binds them so tightly? Science has never found an answer, and probably never will. Here’s that definition of magic again. I’m saying that definition is, “The action of powerful forces that cannot be explained through science.” Isn’t everything we do linked in some way to a fundamental force? It cannot be denied that under this definition of magic, magic exists.

Myths and legends include mention of magical or supernatural beings. If one balances the proof for and against many of these creatures, such as ghosts, fairies, and the Loch Ness monster, you might find it very difficult to come up with a case to prove their non-existence. For example, the idea of ghosts seems logical enough. Almost all cultures have theories to explain who they are, how they are made, and everything in between, and none of these theories are that far-fetched. They deal with our spirits, our egos: the idea that the part of us that thinks and feels is separate from our bodies, a concept that almost all cultures have considered at some time. Furthermore, what proof do we have against ghosts? Practically none, and still most humans will refuse to believe in them for their entire lives. Human perception of the “way things work”, a.k.a.: science, is so limited. Our planet is like a grain of sand on a beach, and our knowledge of our own earth is only a little bigger than our knowledge of the universe. How can someone possibly say that
something doesn’t exist, just because they can’t see or touch it? Taking that into consideration,
how can anyone hope to irreversibly prove the non-existence of, well, anything? For those with an open mind, or willing to put aside prejudices, does it not seem likely that they just need to open their eyes a little wider to find magic?

And, lastly, another source of unexplained power, a source much closer to each of us, is the human mind. Human consciousness is truly a complex and mysterious force. It cannot be proven through science that human consciousness, or “ego,” a sense of “I”, exists, and yet no one needs any proof to know that theirs does exist. I’m talking about emotions, ideas, imagination- concepts that couldn’t be farther from the realm of particles and fundamental forces. Not only is this an unexplained source of immense power, this power affects, and even controls, not only art and culture, but every aspect of society. That includes even the most scientific and logical of matters. For example, the Toronto Stock Trade, a place ruled by numbers, can still be changed significantly by a shift of interests, a protest, a death. So now I’m talking about an immense power that affects and controls every aspect of human society in some way, a power that is way beyond the field of science and reason, and much more into the field of chance, irrationality, instability, and constant change. Does that not make human consciousness and ego sound exactly like magic? I think so.

Taking into consideration what I have said, it seems very likely that magic exists. The world is already full of unexplained forces, even in the realm of science, that could easily be defined as magic. Besides that, if one were to turn to the realm of magic and magical beings from stories, myths, and legends, one might find it difficult to prove anything non-existent. Finally, human emotion is a powerful, complex, and unpredictable force that affects and controls human society, that cannot be proven through science, and that exactly fits the definition of magic. I am secure in my statement that yes, I believe that magic is possible.

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