Science Explains Why Stepping on Legos is So Painful

Jim Denison | Denison Forum on Truth and Culture | Monday, March 30, 2015

Science Explains Why Stepping on Legos is So Painful



"I hope you step on a Lego" has become one of the curses of our time.  You can view page after page of YouTube videos recording the experience.  According to an article in Quartz magazine, scientists now know why stepping on Legos is so excruciating painful.


It turns out, the sole of the foot is highly sensitive because of its many nerve endings.  Legos are also remarkably hard—you could stack 375,000 Lego bricks on each other before one would crack.  And of course, Legos lurk everywhere: laid end to end, the 45.7 billion Lego bricks sold in 2012 would stretch around our planet more than 18 times.


What's the solution?  Don't step on Legos.


You didn't need much education to figure that out.  In fact, your typical preschooler can tell you what you need to know about the experience.  But there's much about our world that is not so obvious.  And much about education that is vital to engaging our world effectively.  Why should Christians care about education? (Tweet this)


First, consider the impact of education on society.  Two-thirds of students who cannot read proficiently by the end of the fourth grade will end up in jail or on welfare.  Over 70 percent of America's inmates cannot read above a fourth-grade level.  Ninety percent of high school dropouts are on welfare.


Writing in The New York Times, David Brooks notes that Americans with a four-year college degree make 98 percent more per hour than those without one.  Over the course of their career, the median college-educated worker will earn half-a-million dollars more than a high-school educated worker, even after accounting for college costs.  


Second, consider the importance of education for democracy.  According to a Harvard study, schooling teaches people to interact with one another and raises the benefits of civic participation, including voting and organizing.  Student activism was essential to the success of the Reformation, 19th century democratic revolutions in Europe, and 20th century revolts against dictatorships.  In addition, educated democracies are more stable than less-educated ones.  The researchers conclude that "education causes democracy."


Many years ago, a wise mentor taught me this truth: "The Holy Spirit has a strange affinity for the trained mind."  The more prepared we are, the more usable we are.  When Saul of Tarsus was learning Greek philosophy, he did not know that he would one day quote philosophers at Mars Hill while winning intellectual leaders to Christ (Acts 17).  When Luke was learning to practice medicine, he did not know he would one day become Paul's personal physician and use his intellectual gifts to write two books of the New Testament.


Would God say you love him "with all your mind" (Matthew 22:37)?  Are you helping others do the same?



Publication date: March 30, 2015


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