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U.S.

History – WEB
Web activity
Science and History

1. Briefly describe in your words what the Scientific Method involves.


The scientific method has always been, in my opinion, not just a way to conduct experiments or
disprove or prove a hypothesis, but a way of elevating one’s perception. It is a way of thinking as
much as it is a way of “doing”. A very good friend once told me when I was still learning how to
play guitar, in response to the following questions my young little brain eagerly asked: “When will
I be done?” and of course the following was more of an attitude than a question “I already know
all that stuff”…..
She asked me, “How am I supposed to teach you anything if you already assume that you know
the answers? We are never done, and there is always something more to learn.”
The scientific method is an organized approach to knowledge. Epistemology is my favorite branch
of Philosophy, because as the scientific method assumes the same for the exterior world,
Epistemology assumes for the interior world; never take what you know or what you think you
know for granted. Sir Isaac Newton’s genius was not in “discovering” the law of gravity, if you
were to have asked any child of that century what would happen if the apple fell, they could
easily answer you. It was that Newton questioned the very nature of what we held to be constant
or what we take for granted. Why does the apple fall from the tree…it seems that most if not all
science begins with a question, an observance, and a desire to view something from an objective
point of view.
2. Discuss why science has been under attack since the 1960s.
The creation of the Atom Bomb and Nuclear technologies is a huge reason why science has come
under attack and during the era that it did. The cold war cost millions of dollars and did not
produce nearly the result that the Government had hoped, the rejection of the mechanizations of
War that came with our entry into Vietnam, a resurgence of Native American beliefs – Nature
worship and a genuine concern for the nation’s resources were all reasons that science began to
come under scrutiny. The publication of the book, Silent History, changed the way people viewed
technological advancements and their affects on human beings. The book talked about the
common pesticide DDT and was partially responsible for the ban on DDT and the creation of the
Environmental Protection agency in 1970. Additionally, film added to the mistrust and anti-
science movement. Three films came out in the sixties, The Planet of the Apes, The Time
Machine, and Dr. Strangelove (or How I stopped worrying and came to love the bomb) all was
indicative of American’s critical view of Science.
3. How can anti-science threaten the economy and other aspects of American life?
The very first thing that comes to mind, in terms of how anti-science beliefs can hurt or threaten
the American economy and other aspects of modern life is Global Warming. It was, after all,
Science that first brought the issue into light – even if it is science that many believe has been
the cause. If we do not have an understanding of how global warming trends affect us, or how we
may stand to counteract the effects of the Industrial Revolution (which seems to have more to do
with what capacity technology is used, rather than the science behind many modern inventions)
– how are we ever supposed to stop the catastrophes that Global warming has to offer us?
Another way is through medical technology and the advancement of stem-cell research. Other
countries have truly cornered the market on research and development because they do not
possess the fears and religious bias that the U.S. has towards the research and the very real
medical applications that it may hold for many terminal and incurable disease. Additionally, here
are those that can benefit from gene therapy in Cancer, Diabetes, and Neurological disorders.
Then there is the piece de resistance, HIV. While we have begun to see slight declines in the
numbers of those infected, there have been increases in HIV amongst groups that had previously
thought themselves immune, such as married couples and heterosexual women.
4. Can science and religion co-exist? Why or why not?
It has long been held that Religion cannot exist with science on its heels or that
Science is going to be responsible for the eradication of religion. My question to
those that believe this is: Why can there not be a logical explanation of God? Why
must God be wrapped up in a lie in order for it to be persuasive, applicable, or any
less powerful? Just because there is an explanation of Evolution does not mean that
there wasn’t still a creator, it may not be the one that we had previously thought of
nor would it be a God that deems that Mankind is the height of its intention for life
in the Universe. Once one sees the simplicity and beauty through which the
Universe functions, the seemingly impossible odds that life (let alone Human life)
exists at all, is there no room to have a sense of the divine? Many scientists
believed that knowing how a thing worked was simply another way of
understanding God. Personally, I think that Science and religion can coexist only if
Religion can make a leap of faith (something that they have asked followers to do
from the beginning) – one that requires the restraints of assumption to be removed
and allows religion to evolve just as science and mankind have evolved.