Talk:755: Interdisciplinary

Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
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It all came apart when the biology department's killer cuttlefish murdered the committee. -Pennpenn 00:12, 16 February 2015 (UTC)

The first thing that came to mind was the scene in the original book version of Contact by Carl Sagan. I can't remember if the movie had a similar scene, but the book's better anyway. Eleanor Arroway is trying to demonstrate to someone how her faith in science is unshakable by putting her face right up next to a displaced Foucalt pendulum. She then holds absolutely still while allowing the pendulum to swing away from her, then come back toward her. By conservation of energy, the pendulum should just reach her (at most) provided she hadn't moved from her position. But it turned out she did flinch, and when her observer "called her out on it" and claimed her faith in science perhaps wasn't that strong, she argued that it wasn't that - it was just decades of scientific condition trying (and failing) to overcome billions of years of evolution (the self-preservation instinct). I think that's what this strip was referencing, more than anything else. - Deepak (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

I disagree Deepak... the experiment is independent of the scene in the book, and I think predates it. The book and the comic are both referencing the same phenomenon, but I don't see any evidence that the comic is referencing the book. 06:37, 3 May 2016 (UTC)