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   The following is told by astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson¹:

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   “Knowledge of physical laws can, in some cases, give you confidence to confront surly people. A few years ago, I was having a hot-cocoa nightcap at a dessert shop in Pasadena, California…”

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“Ordered it with whipped cream, of course. When it arrived at the table, I saw no trace of the stuff. After I told the waiter that my cocoa had no whipped cream, he asserted I couldn’t see it because it sank to the bottom. But whipped cream has a low density, and floats on liquids that humans consume. So I offered the waiter two possible explanations: either somebody forgot to add the whipped cream to my hot cocoa or the universal laws of physics were different in his restaurant. Unconvinced, he defiantly brought over a dollop of whipped cream to demonstrate his claim. After bobbing once or twice the whipped cream rose to the top, safely afloat.

   “What better proof do you need of the universality of physical law?”

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   Let’s never minimize the regularity, and predictability, that science offers us in understanding the world around us. Of course, this also implies recognition of those occasions where science is uninformed about certain occasions where standard “metersticks” are too crude to use to recognize and measure some honest observations.

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   ¹ Neal deGrasse Tyson, Astrophysics for People in a Hurry (Norton, 2017, pp. 46-47). We recommend this book for people who wonder how science goes with everything else, and what true science knows and does not–at least yet–know.