Human Scientific Achievement is Greater Than the Magic of Harry Potter

And Harry raced back up the stairs and shoved the staircase back into the trunk with his heel, and, panting, turned the pages of the book until he found the picture he wanted to show to Draco.

The one with the white, dry, cratered land, and the suited people, and the blue-white globe hanging over it all.

That picture.

The picture, if only one picture in all the world were to survive.

"That," Harry said, his voice trembling because he couldn't quite keep the pride out, "is what the Earth looks like from the Moon."

Draco slowly leaned over. There was a strange expression on his young face. "If that's a realpicture, why isn't it moving?"

Moving? Oh. "Muggles can do moving pictures but they need a bigger box to show it, they can't fit them onto single book pages yet."

Draco's finger moved to one of the suits. "What are those?" His voice starting to waver.

"Those are human beings. They are wearing suits that cover their whole bodies to give them air, because there is no air on the Moon."

"That's impossible," Draco whispered. There was terror in his eyes, and utter confusion. "No Muggle could ever do that. How..."

Harry took back the book, flipped the pages until he found what he saw. "This is a rocket going up. The fire pushes it higher and higher, until it gets to the Moon." Flipped pages again. "This is a rocket on the ground. That tiny speck next to it is a person." Draco gasped. "Going to the Moon cost the equivalent of... probably around a thousand million Galleons." Draco choked. "And it took the efforts of... probably more people than live in all of magical Britain." And when they arrived, they left a plaque that said, 'We came in peace, for all mankind.' Though you're not yet ready to hear those words, Draco Malfoy...

"You're telling the truth," Draco said slowly. "You wouldn't fake a whole book just for this - and I can hear it in your voice. But... but..."

"How, without wands or magic? It's a long story, Draco. Science doesn't work by waving wands and chanting spells, it works by knowing how the universe works on such a deep level that you know exactly what to do in order to make the universe do what you want. If magic is like casting Imperio on someone to make them do what you want, then science is like knowing them so well that you can convince them it was their own idea all along. It's a lot more difficult than waving a wand, but it works when wands fail, just like if the Imperiusfailed you could still try persuading a person. And Science builds from generation to generation. You have to really know what you're doing to do science - and when you really understand something, you can explain it to someone else. The greatest scientists of one century ago, the brightest names that are still spoken with reverence, their powers are asnothing to the greatest scientists of today. There is no equivalent in science of your lost arts that raised Hogwarts. In science our powers wax by the year. And we are beginning to understand and unravel the secrets of life and inheritance. We'll be able to look at the very blood of which you spoke, and see what makes you a wizard, and in one or two more generations, we'll be able to persuade that blood to make all your children powerful wizards too. So you see, your problem isn't nearly as bad as it looks, because in a few more decades, science will be able to solve it for you."

"But..." Draco said. His voice was trembling. "If Muggles have that kind of power... then... what are we? "

"No, Draco, that's not it, don't you see? Science taps the power of human understanding to look at the world and figure out how it works. It can't fail without humanity itself failing. Your magic could turn off, and you would hate that, but you would still be you. You would still be alive to regret it. But because science rests upon my human intelligence, it is the power that cannot be removed from me without removing me. Even if the laws of the universe change on me, so that all my knowledge is void, I'll just figure out the new laws, as has been done before. It's not a Muggle thing, it's a human thing, it just refines and trains the power you use every time you look at something you don't understand and ask 'Why?' You're of Slytherin, Draco, don't you see the implication?"

Draco looked up from the book to Harry. His face showed dawning understanding. "Wizards can learn to use this power."

Very carefully, now... the bait is set, now the hook... "If you can learn to think of yourself as ahuman instead of a wizard then you can train and refine your powers as a human."

And if that instruction wasn't in every science curriculum, Draco didn't need to know it, did he?


None of the Wizards have gone to the moon. Rational Harry Potter baffles them by showing them a picture of the Earth from space.

Folksonomies: science magic reality

Draco (0.910057 (negative:-0.327300)), science (0.724901 (positive:0.255463)), Draco Malfoy (0.724138 (neutral:0.000000)), Human Scientific Achievement (0.708000 (negative:-0.217892)), Rational Harry Potter (0.707151 (positive:0.766015)), single book pages (0.686173 (negative:-0.563894)), children powerful wizards (0.670488 (positive:0.405033)), greatest scientists (0.668221 (positive:0.440306)), moon (0.633215 (positive:0.105322)), cratered land (0.620555 (negative:-0.362515)), blue-white globe (0.617129 (positive:0.385958)), suited people (0.609751 (neutral:0.000000)), human beings (0.608225 (positive:0.214064)), utter confusion (0.608127 (negative:-0.768445)), bigger box (0.607700 (negative:-0.274467)), tiny speck (0.606248 (positive:0.326606)), strange expression (0.603544 (neutral:0.000000)), long story (0.603432 (negative:-0.254284)), young face (0.601524 (neutral:0.000000)), magical Britain. (0.600027 (neutral:0.000000)), deep level (0.599743 (positive:0.620076)), Moon cost (0.599221 (positive:0.244482)), brightest names (0.599204 (positive:0.617929)), voice (0.599045 (positive:0.095859)), picture (0.598284 (positive:0.404881)), science rests (0.596695 (positive:0.256569)), science curriculum (0.596681 (neutral:0.000000)), Muggle thing (0.596481 (negative:-0.249719)), powers wax (0.593121 (negative:-0.286696)), universe works (0.590911 (positive:0.620076))

Harry Potter (0.959772): dbpedia | freebase | yago | website

 Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality
Books, Brochures, and Chapters>Book:  Wrong, Less and Yudkowsky, Eliezer (2010), Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality, Retrieved on 2013-04-08
  • Source Material []
  • Folksonomies: science humor satire fan fiction


    11 JUN 2012

     Standing on the Shoulders of Giants

    Passages that reflect the collective nature of science.
    Folksonomies: science collectivism
    Folksonomies: science collectivism