I love me some science... her, eh, not so much...
March 24, 2007 5:55 PM Subscribe
Er... so my new girlfriend doesn't believe in atoms...
posted by wfrgms to human relations (142 answers total) 63 users marked this as a favorite
Atoms. You know those squiggly little points, or waves, or clouds, or whatever that make up all matter? Yeah, she doesn't go for it. She's not even down with the periodic table.
A little background: we've been seeing each other for about two months. Everything is wonderful! It's a stellar relationship, certainly one of the best I've had, and so far we're both happy and excited by our seemingly ideal "fit". But behind all the warm hugs, kisses, and deep eye gazing there is a cold, dark realization settling in: my new girl has no appreciation for the intricate beauty of science.
I'm not a scientist, but my bookcase is crammed with pop-sci books ranging from evolution, astronomy, physics, biology... you name it, I've got it. We're talking Greene, Gould, Hawking, Sagan, E. O. Wilson, Dawkins, and others. I have a deep love and appreciation for science which goes back to my childhood. It's fundamental to my character and the fact that she is seemingly so strangely resistant to the subject bothers me greatly. My feeling is that somewhere, somehow a science teacher failed miserably in her formative years and she has been resistant to it ever since (although this is just a theory...)
Even more perplexing is the fact that she is bright, well educated (er... Art History major), inquisitive, and just an all around smart woman. She's flirting with religion for the first time in her adult life by occasionally attending services at a very liberal church. This doesn't alarm me too much because otherwise she's a classic liberal, democrat, secularist.
I haven't pushed her on the subject because frankly it is so strange to me - I'd have a much easier time dealing with a devoutly religious person. But she has (lamely in my opinion) explained that she, "just doesn't believe in that stuff." Basically I think it comes down to the fact that she is suspicious of anything she can't see with her own eyes (never mind her church going...)
In one exchange I asked if she had ever seen Antarctica. She said "no." So I asked, "But, do you believe in Antarctica?" To which she said, "Yes." And then I explained that there is almost (but not quite) exactly the same amount of evidence for the existence of atoms as there is for the existence for Antarctica. But she wasn't going for it...
Soooo I guess I'm just wondering where to go from here. Should I learn to respect our difference of opinion (no matter how incredibly glaring it is in this instance) or should I work to gently encourage her to explore science?
I'd say this question is about 40% how can I change her mind and 60% how can I cope being close to someone who doesn't go for the most basic and elegant components of classic scientific understanding.