Love and science don’t mix. Or do they? Can you be too smart for love? TBS spoke to some members of the scientific community to find out.
Love, as Plato said, “is a grave mental disease.” But is it a treatable condition? Or are we collectively beyond help? In an effort to find out, we spoke to some members of the scientific community to get their thoughts on love.
As my lecturer always put it (he was married twice) in matters of love, follow the law of conservation of mass.
Essentially the law means that the atoms cannot be destroyed or created, just change. They don’t grow, there’s just less of the original – T South, chemist
I’ve been there before, but there’s a lot that doesn’t make a lot of sense. There’s a lack of tangible rules and definition. When it goes right or wrong, there’s no real way to measure it – R Taylor, geologist
I would, but I’m worried about the increase in mass – anon
Well, there is no solution. Everyone goes through it, and at some point, has the same reaction. (TBS: Which is?) Well, probably similar to what Oppenheimer felt. (The father of the A-bomb) – Dr Ngo, biomolecular chemist
Personally, I’m open to the idea of it, and I can understand why people pursue it. But I don’t think it exists. To give yourself, and have the requisite amount given back? Affection sure, and I’ve been affectionate, but as far as love existing in the traditional sense? One flick of the mind and everything is fine forever? No. I see it happening around me, but not in a realistic sense. Books, movies, junkies, sure, but not in anyone I know. All I see is the personal destruction wrought when reality doesn’t meet expectation. I feel like the idea of “love” is a pretext leapt upon when its awful realisation arrives, and a reason to stay together is needed. I wouldn’t say I’m too smart to fall in love, but I’d definitely think twice – Ming
You can place yourself above it, but I don’t think you can be too smart for love. Intelligence is not transferable to feeling – Ali
I’d rather know your atomic number (haha – don’t print that) – anon
Honestly? Love, for me, is all. I consider myself a logical person. I like knowing what things mean, and where things fit. I’m a deeply regimented person in life, but I treasure the way that steers me away from what I know. Sometimes, you just need to not have control, you know? – Peta, biologist
In conclusion, I hoped to find a universal answer, but I discovered there is none. Everyone I spoke to seemed to agree it existed on a certain level, which is true for us all. What I found interesting, though, is that I felt an unspoken schism between the logical (science) and the illogical (love). No-one said so out loud, there was nothing overt to indicate it, just a vague maze of pauses over the phone, fingers cracked and chairs shuffled in. I barely scratched the surface and could only presume to know how deep the struggle could be, if I loved. But what is certain is, like the rest of us, the symptoms of the love disease are purely subjective.
You could be a Plato or a Peta.