Don't Bite the Hand That Feeds You
As the name says, I do love science. It is a bit like magic that you can understand and use. There has been a lot of buzzing in my life recently with people not appreciating math and science. Like most people I have grown out of the phase where I assumed that things that seem obvious to me are also obvious to others. I moved from the west to the heartland of the bible belt my senior year in highschool. It was a culture shock to say the least and it opened my eyes to different ways that people rationalize. There was an article in the news regarding a possible satellite being sent into orbit that could be used to shine light down on the earth when a natural disaster happened. It seemed like an interesting idea, technology for the benefit of mankind rather than war. No brainer, right? Wrong. So the teacher asks those of us that agree with it to go to one side of the room and those in opposition to go to the other. I expected this to be over rather quickly, who would possibly oppose the idea. There was a small few of us that were for it and the majority was against. We had to pick a speaker and lay out the arguments. The valedictorian along with most of the kids I had classes with were on the opposed side. I had no idea at what the argument against would be and had to ask. Well, it was that only god should have the power to shine light on the earth. OF COURSE, why did I not think of that? I couldn’t believe that people I assumed were intelligent were rejecting what made it possible for them to go to school in the first place. Why do you think you are here learning instead of plowing in the fields and hunting for meat? Where do you think those fine linens that you are so fond of wearing come from? What enables you to drive around and not have your day end when the sun goes down? Why do you reject science and advancement on the basis of a definition of wrong that doesn’t even include someone being harmed? I went off for a very long time. I could feel my blood boiling at the absurd logic. My arguments were good and they ended up just saying the run of the mill statement of, “I just think it is wrong.” I came to understand that day that even people that can solve complex math problems and score perfect on all of their science tests can have no understanding of how it affects their day to day existence. If I worship anything it is scientific understanding. In every button you press on your tv flipper, in every pasteurized drink you drink, and in every website you visit, you worship it too.
I can't leave a science story with out my favorite science quote. Once again...
"The sciences do not try to explain, they hardly even try to interpret, they mainly make models. By a model is meant a mathematical construct which, with the addition of certain verbal interpretations, describes observed phenomena. The justification of such a mathematical construct is solely and precisely that it is expected to work." -- John von Neumann