Impossible – A Word Without Meaning
Merriam-Webster’s online dictionary defines “impossible” as: ” incapable of being or of occurring or felt to be incapable of being done, attained, or fulfilled.” It’s a word that is frequently used by many people. Yet, as history has shown us, time and again, many things that were once considered “impossible” have become not just possible but commonplace.
Before the Wright Brothers developed the first gas motorized and manned airplane in 1903, these comments were made:
“Heavier than air flying machines are impossible.” Lord Kelvin, president, Royal Society, 1895
“Flight by machines heavier than air is impractical and insignificant, if not utterly impossible.” Simon Newcomb, Director, U.S. Naval Observatory, 1902
After aerial flight was proven to be possible:
“The aeroplane is the invention of the devil and will never play any part in such a serious business as the defence of a nation.” Sir Sam Hughes, Canadian Minister of Defence, 1914
“By no possibility can the carriage of freight or passengers through mid-air compete with their carriage on the earth’s surface. The field for aerial navigation is then limited to military use and for sporting purposes. The former is doubtful, the latter is fairly certain.” Hugh Dryden, 1908
“The [flying] machines will eventually be fast; they will be used in sport but they should not be thought of as commercial carriers.” Octave Chanute, 1910
Regarding space travel:
“I am bold enough to say that a man-made Moon voyage will never occur regardless of all scientific advances.” Lee De Forest, “the father of electronics”
“There is no hope for the fanciful idea of reaching the Moon because of insurmountable barriers to escaping the Earth’s gravity.” Forest Ray Moulton, astronomer, 1932
“Space travel is utter bilge.” Richard Woolley, Astronomer Royal, 1956
As we all know today, on July 21, 1969, Neil Armstrong became the first man to walk on the moon.
As for computers, something that we all take for granted today:
“There is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home.” Ken Olson, president, chairman and founder of Digital Equipment Corp., 1977
“I think there is a world market for maybe five computers.” Thomas Watson, chairman of IBM, 1943
People who use the word “impossible” only demonstrate their lack of vision and limited imagination – and to some extent, their arrogance. For anyone to assume that what they know now is all there is to know is arrogant. There is only one thing that is certain and that is that we know so very little.
That does not mean that I believe that people should believe everything they hear. I believe in being open-minded, not gullible. For instance, I believe that it’s possible for people to possess certain psychic abilities. The human mind is something that we do not fully understand yet and there have been numerous studies that support the existence of telepathy, ESP, remote viewing, and telekinesis. But I don’t believe that every person who calls themselves a psychic is genuine. Psychic mediums in particular bother me. I have a difficult time believing in a medium who starts off a reading by asking a person whether their deceased loved one’s name starts with a “K” or a “L”. If they are capable of receiving messages from a departed loved one, I would think that the first name of the person they have contacted would be the one piece of information that comes in crystal clear. But unlike James Randi, I’m not willing to label all of them frauds. I am still searching for that one gifted person who will be able to tell me something specific and relevant without asking me any questions. I am keeping my mind open. (This post originally appeared on my website – http://www.iamscorpio.net)