“If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.”
– Albert Einstein
Perhaps Albert Einstein said this. It seems like a worthy ideal. Except it really doesn’t work out. At all.
Here are just a few straightforward, well known concepts that don’t give up to simple explanations even though we all assume they do.
e = mc^2
1+1 = 2
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Principia_Mathematica (300+ pages of proof required)
this is the color red
Simple explanations are usually very broad strokes and at a minimum only indicative of what might be going on. Any serious and remotely accurate explanation about anything is nuanced, open ended and will inevitably be amended in the future.
There’s pressure in this culture, in the US, to make everything simple. This devotion to simplicity is a trap and often a very dangerous one. It rears its head in politics, business, social situations, religion and pretty much every other facet of our culture.