Jump to content

Artists are More Important than Scientists - or Are They?


Recommended Posts

My premise is simple: If Einstein hadn't unearthed the Theories of Relativity (there are two), someone else would have - it might have been a hundred years later, but it would have happened.

But without Chopin, there are no Ballades - ever.

Plus, artists don't kill people (with obvious exceptions, the most obvious of which to remain unnamed). Still, the art itself doesn't kill people unless there's some type of freak accident; well-meaning scientists may be indirectly responsible for the end of humanity, although without them, we'd all be huddled around a fire, shivering inside a cave.

Pay close attention here, because this is important: the previous sentence is exactly why I'm not claiming that "Art" is more important than "Science" as a discipline; it isn't. I'm claiming that *individual artists* are more important than *individual scientists,* because science involves discoveries that would be made, regardless of whether or not any particular individual existed, and these discoveries usually stand on the shoulders of giants who lived before them, often being "the final increment" in a multi-century process involving millions of people - it's very rare when breakthrough discoveries are made by one individual that wouldn't have been made by someone else, and in fact, I can't think of a single example. Maybe one day, some crazy loon living on a mountaintop with a telescope will detect a meteor that will destroy the Earth, and give us time to develop a deflector beam, but I don't think anything even resembling this has ever happened. It's possible that people like these make my hypothesis false - I haven't given much thought to any particular person, so I could be proven completely wrong by a simple example.


This all made me think of a related topic: Which one work of art, or collection of artworks, would devastate you the most if it was suddenly gone?
This is not asking what you think "the greatest" work of art is (i.e., Shakespeare plays, Beethoven sonatas, Michelangelo sculptures); it's a very personal question that could involve something as simple as "The Twilight Zone," "Richard Pryor's stand-up comedy," or "Brooks Robinson's defense" - there are no right or wrong answers.

As part of the question, let's say that you are doomed to retain all the knowledge about the work, or collection, of art that you currently have, but nobody else knows it ever existed (i.e., Schoeder doesn't play any Beethoven Sonatas). And you can't cheat by re-writing something you've memorized.

Because there are no right or wrong answers, I've left this question deliberately ambiguous (with the exception of History and Science, I consider all of these forums to be representative of "art" - others may disagree, certainly when it comes to Sports, and are free to do so: There's no right or wrong discussion point (or at least there shouldn't be), and the conversation itself is of far more value than uncovering any sort of "correct answer.")

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...