Science – It’s A Kind Of Magic(?)

Your ancestors called it magic… but you call it science. I come from a land where they are one and the same. If your retina has been blessed with the ‘visual delight’ known as ‘Thor’, you just might remember this quote that our bearded, ‘hammer-of-the-gods’ wielding superhero said to Natalie Portman. Asgard – a land of rainbow bridges, floating castles and magical, electrical hammers. Would we like all three of those? Sure. Can we acquire any of them? Well… Homer Simpson made a standard, electric hammer once upon a time. Yikes… I’ll leave such a weapon to the Gods! Thor’s homeland is far beyond Earth – though considering he has joined together magic and science, I think humanity wished it could be just that little bit closer. Magic and science… can we mortals really have both?

Back on planet Earth, science has always been the ‘school bully’ of our time. If ever that ‘religion’ kid were to suggest a new thesis, for example, that God created the world; well, science would put on its metaphorical knuckle dusters and knock some sense into it. ‘Now I won’t ask you again. What was it that created the universe?‘B-b-b big b-b-b bang of course!’. Science has always seemed to have its way in this world – if there isn’t an answer for something? Into the ‘Illogical Bin’ it goes. Logic just seems to be the answer for everything. Though, as the saying goes, there is always going to be that ‘new kid on the block’ who casually strolls into the mix to spice things up a little.

Enter ‘Magic’:

Woah how did you do that? Magic. Where did that come from? Magic. I just left a £20 note on my desk and now it’s gone, do you know where it went? I, *ahem* Maaaaaagic. Magic found a way to deny logic and blow the minds of all of those who bared witness to it. People no longer relied on an answer for everything, they only needed one answer. Magic. However, as we all know, the new kid doesn’t always fit in right from the very beginning. Consider this reaction, this was probably how magic would’ve started out from the very beginning:

‘Hey, Sarah, I’ve found this neat thing out called magic. You can do all these cool tricks and stuff and you don’t even need to know how they happen!‘ ‘Wow, Ashlea, that sounds awesome! It sounds a bit farfetched, though… can you show me how it works?’ ‘Sure thing – Do you see this stone? I can make it disappear!’ ‘No you can’t…’ ‘Watch me. Abracadabra!’ *Stone disappears* ‘That was cool… SHE’S A WITCH! HERESY – BURN HER AT THE STAKE!!’

Not the best start to magic, I know. Hundreds of years ago, anything that defied logic was seen as evil or some form of witchcraft. Ye Olde England would sure have destroyed all copies of ‘Thor’ (not really. If my history is correct, this alien concept known as a ‘DVD’ didn’t exist then!) if their ears received such a quote to basically combine non-logic with logic. Regardless of that, magic has become a mainstream part to today’s society. Ranging from ‘That Thumb Thing’, to David Blaine (I won’t provide an example. I think you know how insane this man is!), magic is everywhere we turn. Though, just like my cat Lily when faced with a mirror, we still don’t know what lies behind it. Why is it we love it so much?

For this young spectacle (glasses pun intended) magic is basically his life. From fighting dark wizards, brewing potions and accidentally choking on a vomit flavoured ‘Bertie Bott’s Every Flavour Bean’, I can safely say that magic is this boy’s life. Mind you, with that scar on his forehead I don’t really think he had a choice! As much as I love to watch these films and read the books, I can’t help but imagine that Harry’s magic is nothing like our own. Whilst we aimlessly pick cards out of someone’s deck and attempt to cut carrots with pieces of paper, Harry is shouting spells like ‘Expecto Patronum!’ and flying on a broom being chased by a fire-breathing dragon. If anything, his magic is exactly like Thor’s – there is logic behind it. Hogwart’s magic is in a sense their own science. They must know the formula/spell, they must know the logic behind it and more importantly – they must know when to use it correctly so they don’t blow stuff up. Harry also comes from a world where magic and science are one in the same. Why can’t we have this in reality?

I’ll admit, the closest we are to a combination of the two is Derren Brown. Whether he be convincing us that he has won the National Lottery (lucky bugger), or convincing some poor, innocent man that he has in fact about to witness the Apocalypse; he uses logic to fool us all with a trick here and a trick there. Okay, so he isn’t exactly a magician, but it’s basically the same, right? We try to convince ourselves that our brain isn’t being conned by some cheap trick; but yet again, natural selection has let us all down. Personally, I don’t feel we should try so hard to understand the logic behind magic. Surely, that’s the point? Don’t ask ‘How on earth did he pull that bunny out of that hat?!’ – just accept that somehow, this man has done a wonderful job in fooling you to believe this bunny was in that hat. Science can’t be magic, magic can’t be science. Thor and Harry Potter may come from a land where they are both one in the same – but we can just enjoy the pleasure of having them as two, separate entities. Do you know what you can also enjoy? Queen: Here is an entirely appropriate song that also allows you to strum on your air guitar – it’s a double whammy!

P.S. Due to exam time now being on the horizon, I’m afraid I’ll be reducing my posts to just once a week on the Sunday. Don’t cry, readers, I’ll increase back to two afterwards and my posts will still be of the same quality, I pwomise 🙂 *says in cute, child-like manner*

6 thoughts on “Science – It’s A Kind Of Magic(?)

  1. Hey, great post! Science is a type of magic and magic is a type of science – you have illustrated this well with wonderful pop culture examples. And I’m going to throw this in – they’re both social constructions – like religion – belief systems we create to help us understand what seems beyond us. The particular system isn’t as important as our attempts to make sense of the world. Thanks for a great Sunday morning read.

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