The Scientific Underpinnings of Norse Myth

Note how the world, according to Norse belief,  began–sparks from Muspelheim, the land of fire, met ice from Niffelheim, the land of cold frost, and there the world was created.

Heat on one side, cold on the other.

A heat source and a heat sink and everything we know in between.

That’s the basis of thermodynamics right there and thermodynamics is at the heart of every dynamic process in the universe.

Now consider the Norse end of the world–burned by the fire giant Surtr? A “heat death” to the universe?

Okay, they got a little confused about what is meant by a “heat death” but “heat death” is still a term that could be applied.

Clearly modern physics confirms Norse theology.

Now, the above is meant as humor but there is a bit of bite to it.  If I took the time, I could probably find quite a bit, or more than a bit, more from Norse belief that can be tied to modern science.  All it takes is a little creativity, a modest knowledge of modern science, and the willingness to ignore or wave away anything that doesn’t fit.

Think about that before you put forward your own belief as being “scientific” or “confirmed by science” or anything of the sort.  And that’s not just religious beliefs but political, social, economic, or any other sort of belief.

At it’s core, science is less about asking “how do I show that I am right” so much as asking “how do I know if I am wrong” and meaning it.  Ask “what must never happen if my idea is wrong” and check to see if it ever happens.  Ask “what must never happen if my idea is right” and check to see if ever doesn’t happen.

If you can’t come up with something that, if it happened, or if it failed to happen, or if it happened at the wrong time or in the wrong amount, would not lead to the conclusion that the idea is wrong then the idea is not science.

This is called falsifiability and any idea that cannot be falsified were the right circumstances to occur–where there’s no place where we can say “if we see this, or don’t see that then our theory is wrong”–is not science.

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2 thoughts on “The Scientific Underpinnings of Norse Myth”

  1. Thanks! Yes, falsifiability is the key test of a “scientific” theory. One of my most held beliefs is that, for normal folk, socialism fails.

    There are some small socialistic communes that don’t fail. Like monasteries. But they’re not self-sustaining. Those with children, fail.

    I’m so annoyed at US/ OECD intellectuals who support socialism, and the now-rapid decline of Venezuela should be a weekly headline story.

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