Serendipity, the Little Creature of Accidental Discovery

I have a bad feeling about growing up. Or, rather that image of growing up that translates into putting aside games, animations and movies. That image that means no sense of wonder and imagination. I already had made a post about how games could be useful as technologies some time ago, but something happened that made me come up with another argument in defence of imagination.

There are numerous videos about games, Sci-fi movies and animations, and comic books and anime on YouTube, and I follow some of them. Sometimes however, when a particular video about, say, a certain Sci-fi subject (game, movie or animation) is published, some commenters keep saying “This is pointless, you people should grow up” or simply “get a life”.

Aside from the fact that even games have proven to be useful, there is one notion that should make us reject this mindset of growing up, and that is scientific “serendipity”: the sweet little creature of accidental discovery…

The discovery of Penicillin for example is one of those happy accidents in science, the discovery of X-rays was also a serendipity. But my favourite example of these accidental discoveries is the discovery of chemical structure of Benzene: Friedrich Kekule found the structure in a dream, in which he saw Carbon atoms going in a circle and forming a ring.

Benzene (Source: Wikipedia)

The most important thing that gives serendipity wings is our own imagination. If we keep rejecting dreams, we may never find out new things. This I believe is what gives credit to this statement from Einstein: “Imagination … is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world.”


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Dear fellow Homo sapiens, or if you prefer conscious mammals! And of course, friends nonetheless: I created my blog in order to speak my very weird mind, mostly about three subjects (as I identify myself and my state of mind with them): Atheism, as I was born in the Middle East and saw and felt the affects of Islam; Homosexuality and equal rights, as a gay man who has tasted the Homophobia and also Sexism in that society; and Liberalism and political philosophy, which I think is a good ground for secular values and criticism of fundamentalism. If you wish, visit and join your state of mind to mine. I hope they don't short circuit!

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