Advisory Board

Professor Julian G. Franco

The article The Physics of Giants and Dwarves: What we know about the existence and viability of drastically scaled creatures said

Not everything goes in Nature. There are some things conceived by our imaginations that we can actually prove to be impossible. In this knol I exemplify that contention by showing how we can use the scientific method through our knowledge of physics and biology to conclusively prove the impossibility of the existence of human-like creatures that are much larger or much smaller than we are. In doing so I will also discuss various aspects related to our understanding of scale, from the microscopic to the astronomical. I will end up the knol with some philosophical implications related to my main conclusion.
I often hear people argue with seemingly convincing logic that the fact that we haven’t seen something doesn’t mean that it cannot exist and that it might someday suddenly show up. They say that the world is so mysterious and relatively unknowable that pretty much anything goes. This reasoning is applied, for instance, to the weird and exotic creatures that humans throughout history have conceived in their imaginations and have claimed to have seen occasionally. The scientific method and our knowledge of the laws of nature can be used to disprove the existence and viability of these creatures.

Julian G. Franco, M.S. was the author of this article, is an Mprize 300 member, and teaches physics at Miss Hall’s School, a Western Massachusetts boarding school.
Julian’s overarching interest is to know the answers to the questions that have bugged him since childhood; i.e., the most fundamental questions of humanity: Little things like, where did everything come from and what is the origin of the universe/multiverse? (to a good extent unsolved), where did all life in general and humans in particular come from? (to a good extent solved), will the current scientific and technological exponential growth continue its pace leading to an inevitable singularity, or will it break down before getting there, perhaps due to self-destruction? (clueless), et cetera.
Julian earned both his undergraduate degree in physics and a master’s degree in experimental condensed matter physics from the University of Delaware.
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