"Just a Theory"

Well – other than my wife, all your eyes here are the first ever to see this poem I just wrote and will publish right here just for this forum.

It’s not completely original, though. My late mother-in-law wrote a poem many years ago titled “Just a Farmer” (which you can view here to see where I got my inspiration), and I based the structure of this one on that. So here it is …

“Just a Theory”

“Just a Theory” you said,
and I laughed ‘cause I knew
All the things a good theory must be able to do.
It must take all the data, making sense of the most;
Beat out all contenders, or it will be toast!
It’s resilient to stretch and explain even more,
always growing in scope, but still true to its core.
It must weather the anomalies, the outlier grist;
bending as needed for those that persist.
And if it can’t bend, and exceptions grow stronger,
The writing may be … on the wall: ‘not much longer!’
But theories don’t die, just to leave empty space,
Their use will remain till one better’s in place.
In the absence of that, it remains there un-beat;
And misfits just mean: it’s science incomplete!
But if your world’s tidy; not one thing unnerving?
That only shows …
…that you’ve stopped observing.

by Mervin Bitikofer, February 13, 2017
based on “Just a Farmer” by Helen Coon.

I edited the last three lines to more clearly deliver my intended thought.


Pretty good. Your poem reminds me of Oort Kuiper, the only guy I know who made some good science raps.

Hmmm. Setting this to rap could be interesting. But it’ll probably remain a visual for me. Thanks for the encouragement!

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