As the young baseball season builds up a good head of steam, I thought that now would be a good time to ruminate on the idea of curses in baseball and how they originated and the raw science behind them.
Science, it sometimes seems, is nothing more than the belief that the universe is comprised of a succession of infinitely smaller particles rotating around relatively bigger ones. The word science descends from the Latin words for knowledge and cognizant, scientia and sciens, and as such, a scientist attempts to predict the behavior of systems using a series of principles built upon mathematical theory and experimentation. As with its philosophical cousin, religion, science would not exist without the inquisitive nature of humankind to fuel it with questions.
Why are we here? A religious person might ask. Not to be outdone, the scientist will counter with How are we here? And, as one would expect, the popular answers are diametrically opposed. Why: the will of a superior being. How: the evolution of an inferior one. Both may ask: What does any of this have to do with baseball?
So, while scientists toil away on the formulation of a Unified Theory of Everything that will unite the macro and quantum worlds, and religions hold fast to preserving mysterious non-answers in lieu of incomplete ones, perhaps the time has come for humankind to focus on a different set of questions, and in doing so, will provide the answers we apparently need to explain our universe. Figure 1.1, to the right, illustrates the effectiveness of this technique in the recent discovery of a unified theory and the answers we as humans have sought our entire existence. The main question: Way to the Chicago Cubs always lose. Enlarge the above image for the answers.