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Thread: Promoting Science Literacy

  1. #1 Promoting Science Literacy 
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    Hello fellow Science admirers!


    Last edited by Kozmic Kafe; February 6th, 2014 at 10:39 PM.
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  3. #2  
    Universal Mind John Galt's Avatar
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    "Spreading the word" is a noble objective, but I have a couple of reservations. Here they are:

    1. This is a discussion forum and we generally frown upon people using it for open advertising of their product, blog, or website. Established members have often been given the freedom to mention, though not promote, their own sites. If your only reason for posting here is to make others aware of your site, etc, then we are likely to remove the links. If you intend to be a fully participating member then we are likely to guardedly accept them.

    I certainly do not wish to discourage you, but we want to avoid the 'slippery slope' effect, whereby your commendable efforts open the door for less palatable listings.

    2. I was alarmed to see you emphasise the notion that science is about knowledge. I don't know if you are aware, but this is exactly the definition used by Ken Ham, the militant Young Earth Creationist when debating Bill Nye on evolution a day or two ago. Science is much more about a methodology for acquring and verifying knowledge. I hope your efforts to increase science literacy place this fact well ahead of the knowledge itself.

    3. Your example of the ISS is not, I feel, a good one. Put simply the ISS has been an ill conceived, politically motivated, badly implemented waste of money. To have it represent the strength and value of science and scientific cooperation is, in my view an error. In contrast your use of CERN is an excellent example of what you are trying to promote.

    Finally, welcome to the forum.


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  4. #3  
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    Is that better?
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  5. #4  
    Universal Mind John Galt's Avatar
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    Well, it's a bit of overkill. You probably noted that I am a moderator. However, I apologise for not explaining that when I wear my mod hat I use either green or red font. I was trying to sound you out on what your intentions were in relation to the forum. Over 90% of members who add links in their Introduction posts are never heard from again.

    Secondly, I was genuinely interested in exploring with you how you saw science literacy, a topic I should still like to discuss with you.

    And thirdly, I really do have a personal bias against the mismanagement of the ISS project and I could probably have best left those reservations till another time.

    Cheers
    JG
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  6. #5  
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    Also, your criticisms on what Science is or isn't by comparing my desire to promote Science Literacy to a Christian fundamentalist's definition of Science is like the Pope saying Lutherans are going to hell because they aren't Catholics. Good sir, we both have the same goals in mind, no? Do you think that I get money off of my facebook, twitter, or webpage? Seriously, take a look. I don't have AdSense and never will. If someone were to ever donate any money to my cause then it'd go straight to a school or program that promotes Science Literacy.
    Please re-read what you wrote about my onus for equating Science to Knowledge. Knowledge is an amazing facet to the progress of humanity and just because one man made some argument against that, it doesn't mean that it's wrong. I could list all of the areas which Science embodies, but I can't think of an area it doesn't.
    I can't help but equate your post to the way Christian Fundamentalists argue amongst themselves on the nuances of their own religion.
    Well played and do what you must to preserve the sanctity of your forum, I won't get in your way.
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  7. #6  
    Universal Mind John Galt's Avatar
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    Kosmic, clearly we have got off on the wrong foot here. If I have offended you, then I regret that. I share your desire to promote science, but let's be sure we have the same notion of what science is.

    My intentions have been twofold:

    Ffirstly, to 'protect' the forum - its an unpaid duty I have accepted. I did not intend to imply that you were seeking to obtain money in some way through posting here. I repeat that many members, posting links to their sites are only interested in increasing visits to their sites, not participating in the forum. That runs counter to what we would like to achieve. You have largely convinced me this is not your intention. That's great. We can move forward.

    Secondly, to challenge what may have been an inaccurate perception of what science is. I repeat, science is not knowledge. I am well aware of the etymology of the word, but the current meaning of it is different.

    Now as to facts: you used the same definition of science as used by Ken Ham. That is a fact. Ham was wrong. If you insist that science is the knowledge rather than the methodology, then you are wrong too. Of course the knowledge has been employed in a vast range of ways in technology and medicine to improve our lives, and - for me the more important - it has revealed awe inspiring insights into how the world operates. But those are the products of science , not the nature of science.

    Now you appear to be online at present and may repsond to this promptly. I am about to fly out of Dubai and shall not be online again until at least 3.00 pm GMT. Any delay in my response does not indicate a lack of interest in your ideas, or respect for you. I am sure you appreciate that it is wholly possible - indeed necessary - in science, to disagree with the concept without reflecting on the holder of the concept.

    Again my regrets if I have caused offense. I look forward to continuing discussion.
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  8. #7  
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    Ok, all is well, except I want to continue this discussion of Science. I understand what you are saying, but Science and Scientific Method have two separate things. You stated that Science is a methodology. Below are the definitions of Science and Scientific Method from Merriam-Webste. Definition of SCIENCE

    1: the state of knowing : knowledge as distinguished from ignorance or misunderstanding


    2 a : a department of systematized knowledge as an object of study <the science of theology>
    b : something (as a sport or technique) that may be studied or learned like systematized knowledge <have it down to a science>


    3 a : knowledge or a system of knowledge covering general truths or the operation of general laws especially as obtained and tested through scientific method
    b : such knowledge or such a system of knowledge concerned with the physical world and its phenomena : natural science


    4: a system or method reconciling practical ends with scientific laws <cooking is both a science and an art>


    Definition of SCIENTIFIC METHOD

    : principles and procedures for the systematic pursuit of knowledge involving the recognition and formulation of a problem, the collection of data through observation and experiment, and the formulation and testing of hypotheses.



    Knowledge is gained through Scientific Methodology. The goal is not the method. The goal is knowledge.
    Ergo: Science, through the use of of various methods, is knowledge.
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    Kozmic Kafe
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  9. #8  
    Life-Size Nanoputian Flick Montana's Avatar
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    The goal isn't the method, but science is not knowledge, either. Science is the structure of how we apply our knowledge in an attempt to gain more knowledge. Science is a framework, a foundation, for logical thought. You're suggesting that science, by definition, is the destination. I posit that science is the vehicle by which you arrive at your destination.
    "Sometimes I think the surest sign that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us." -Calvin
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  10. #9  
    Brassica oleracea Strange's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kozmic Kafe View Post
    3 a : knowledge or a system of knowledge covering general truths or the operation of general laws especially as obtained and tested through scientific method
    b : such knowledge or such a system of knowledge concerned with the physical world and its phenomena : natural science
    I don't object to that definition as long as it isn't considered the only definition. And it des have the problem that what is considered to be "scientific knowledge" changes over time. (But then, the scientific method has evolved over time as well.)
    Without wishing to overstate my case, everything in the observable universe definitely has its origins in Northamptonshire -- Alan Moore
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  11. #10  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope cosmictraveler's Avatar
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    By teaching students about critical thinking at their schools would be a very good way to begin to understand science.
    When the power of love overcomes the love of power the world will know peace.
    Jimi Hendrix
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  12. #11  
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    The goal isn't the method, but science is not knowledge, either. Science is the structure of how we apply our knowledge in an attempt to gain more knowledge. Science is a framework, a foundation, for logical thought.
    My view is that we should avoid any definition or description of science that would allow a "backpack" view of science.

    It's a description my husband scornfully uses about parents' and politicians' (and too many teachers) notions about education. That you just move through the years collecting the necessary bits until your backpack is "full" of a certain level of "knowledge".

    Science can suffer from the same naive notions. Scientists don't possess a bigger and better assemblage of scientific facts and rules than other people. That's not what science is about. What they do have is a fairly broadly prescribed set of approaches and processes which can deal with an incredible variety of data and problems.
    "Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen." Winston Churchill
    "nature is like a game of Jenga; you never know which brick you pull out will cause the whole stack to collapse" Lucy Cooke
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