Science is for everyone, kids included

Now, I want to tell you a story about seeing differently, and all new perceptions begin in the same way. They begin with a question. The problem with questions is they create uncertainty. Now, uncertainty is a very bad thing. It's evolutionarily a bad thing. If you're not sure that's a predator, it's too late. Okay? (Laughter) Even seasickness is a consequence of uncertainty. Right? If you go down below on a boat, your inner ears are you telling you you're moving. Your eyes, because it's moving in register with the boat, say I'm standing still. Your brain cannot deal with the uncertainty of that information, and it gets ill. The question "why?" is one of the most dangerous things you can do, because it takes you into uncertainty. And yet, the irony is, the only way we can ever do anything new is to step into that space. So how can we ever do anything new? Well fortunately, evolution has given us an answer, right? And it enables us to address even the most difficult of questions. The best questions are the ones that create the most uncertainty. They're the ones that question the things we think to be true already. Right? It's easy to ask questions about how did life begin, or what extends beyond the universe, but to question what you think to be true already is really stepping into that space.

3:29 So what is evolution's answer to the problem of uncertainty? It's play. Now play is not simply a process. Experts in play will tell you that actually it's a way of being. Play is one of the only human endeavors where uncertainty is actually celebrated. Uncertainty is what makes play fun. Right? It's adaptable to change. Right? It opens possibility, and it's cooperative. It's actually how we do our social bonding, and it's intrinsically motivated. What that means is that we play to play. Play is its own reward.

shan palmer