Uncommon Sense

Author: Alan Cromer
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780198024354
Size: 43.57 MB
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Most people believe that science arose as a natural end-product of our innate intelligence and curiosity, as an inevitable stage in human intellectual development. But physicist and educator Alan Cromer disputes this belief. Cromer argues that science is not the natural unfolding of human potential, but the invention of a particular culture, Greece, in a particular historical period. Indeed, far from being natural, scientific thinking goes so far against the grain of conventional human thought that if it hadn't been discovered in Greece, it might not have been discovered at all. In Uncommon Sense, Alan Cromer develops the argument that science represents a radically new and different way of thinking. Using Piaget's stages of intellectual development, he shows that conventional thinking remains mired in subjective, "egocentric" ways of looking at the world--most people even today still believe in astrology, ESP, UFOs, ghosts and other paranormal phenomena--a mode of thought that science has outgrown. He provides a fascinating explanation of why science began in Greece, contrasting the Greek practice of debate to the Judaic reliance on prophets for acquiring knowledge. Other factors, such as a maritime economy and wandering scholars (both of which prevented parochialism) and an essentially literary religion not dominated by priests, also promoted in Greece an objective, analytical way of thinking not found elsewhere in the ancient world. He examines India and China and explains why science could not develop in either country. In China, for instance, astronomy served only the state, and the private study of astronomy was forbidden. Cromer also provides a perceptive account of science in Renaissance Europe and of figures such as Copernicus, Galileo, and Newton. Along the way, Cromer touches on many intriguing topics, arguing, for instance, that much of science is essential complete; there are no new elements yet to be discovered. He debunks the vaunted SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) project, which costs taxpayers millions each year, showing that physical limits--such as the melting point of metal--put an absolute limit on the speed of space travel, making trips to even the nearest star all but impossible. Finally, Cromer discusses the deplorable state of science education in America and suggests several provocative innovations to improve high school education, including a radical proposal to give all students an intensive eighth and ninth year program, eliminating the last two years of high school. Uncommon Sense is an illuminating look at science, filled with provocative observations. Whether challenging Thomas Kuhn's theory of scientific revolutions, or extolling the virtues of Euclid's Elements, Alan Cromer is always insightful, outspoken, and refreshingly original.

Uncommon Sense

Author: Peter Cochrane
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
ISBN: 1841126101
Size: 47.78 MB
Format: PDF, ePub
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"Peter Cochrane is one of our most far-sighted visionaries, and brings brilliant clarity and focus to our understanding of ourselves and our technologies, and of how profoundly each is transforming the other." -Douglas Adams, Author, The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy In Uncommon Sense, Peter Cochrane's follow up to the radical 108 Tips for Time Traveller, Peter explains how very simple analysis allows the prediction of such debacles as the 3G auction and the subsequent collapse of an industry, whilst simple-minded thinking is dangerous in the context of a world that is predominantly chaotic and out of control. People balked when Peter suggested a wholesale move to eWorking, the rise of email and text messaging, and the dotcom regime mirroring the boom and bust cycle of the industrial revolution. His predictions of the use and growth of mobile devices and communication, or use of chip implants for humans to replace ID cards, passports, and medical records, or iris scanners and fingerprint readers - were all seen as unlikely. Today they are a reality. How then will the world react to his predictions as set out in Uncommon Sense of a networked world of distributed ignorance and sharing overcoming an old world of concentrated skill and control? To everything becoming 'Napsterised' in every dimension, where storage and processing power cost nothing, and become connected without the help of the old network companies? A world where individuals create their own networks, where laws of copyright and resale, and old business models have to be changed as giant industries are dragged kicking and screaming out of the 19th Century and into the 21st? Peter Cochrane poses and answers questions, suggests solutions, and raises red flags on issues that need to be addressed. Tables, diagrams, pictures and illustrations generously support all of the text, with the most difficult aspects illustrated by simulations and other material on a CD and links to a web site with an ongoing expansion of the themes addressed.

Teaching And Learning About Climate Change

Author: Daniel P. Shepardson
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1317245245
Size: 80.85 MB
Format: PDF, Mobi
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Responding to the issues and challenges of teaching and learning about climate change from a science education-based perspective, this book is designed to serve as an aid for educators as they strive to incorporate the topic into their classes. The unique discussion of these issues is drawn from the perspectives of leading and international scholars in the field. The book is structured around three themes: theoretical, philosophical, and conceptual frameworks for climate change education and research; research on teaching and learning about global warming and climate change; and approaches to professional development and classroom practice.

The Truth Of Science

Author: Roger G. Newton
Publisher: Harvard University Press
ISBN: 9780674910928
Size: 76.96 MB
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Examines the aims and tools of science for creating theories and explanations of phenomena, with an eye to answering the question of whether or not science actually leads to true comprehension of reality

The Demon Haunted World

Author: Carl Sagan
Publisher: Ballantine Books
ISBN: 0307801047
Size: 60.35 MB
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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A prescient warning of a future we now inhabit, where fake news stories and Internet conspiracy theories play to a disaffected American populace “A glorious book . . . A spirited defense of science . . . From the first page to the last, this book is a manifesto for clear thought.”—Los Angeles Times How can we make intelligent decisions about our increasingly technology-driven lives if we don’t understand the difference between the myths of pseudoscience and the testable hypotheses of science? Pulitzer Prize-winning author and distinguished astronomer Carl Sagan argues that scientific thinking is critical not only to the pursuit of truth but to the very well-being of our democratic institutions. Casting a wide net through history and culture, Sagan examines and authoritatively debunks such celebrated fallacies of the past as witchcraft, faith healing, demons, and UFOs. And yet, disturbingly, in today's so-called information age, pseudoscience is burgeoning with stories of alien abduction, channeling past lives, and communal hallucinations commanding growing attention and respect. As Sagan demonstrates with lucid eloquence, the siren song of unreason is not just a cultural wrong turn but a dangerous plunge into darkness that threatens our most basic freedoms. Praise for The Demon-Haunted World “Powerful . . . A stirring defense of informed rationality. . . Rich in surprising information and beautiful writing.”—The Washington Post Book World “Compelling.”—USA Today “A clear vision of what good science means and why it makes a difference. . . . A testimonial to the power of science and a warning of the dangers of unrestrained credulity.”—The Sciences “Passionate.”—San Francisco Examiner-Chronicle

The Geography Of Thought

Author: Richard Nisbett
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 1439106673
Size: 43.36 MB
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A “landmark book” (Robert J. Sternberg, president of the American Psychological Association) by one of the world's preeminent psychologists that proves human behavior is not “hard-wired” but a function of culture. Everyone knows that while different cultures think about the world differently, they use the same equipment for doing their thinking. But what if everyone is wrong? The Geography of Thought documents Richard Nisbett's groundbreaking international research in cultural psychology and shows that people actually think about—and even see—the world differently because of differing ecologies, social structures, philosophies, and educational systems that date back to ancient Greece and China. As a result, East Asian thought is “holistic”—drawn to the perceptual field as a whole and to relations among objects and events within that field. By contrast, Westerners focus on salient objects or people, use attributes to assign them to categories, and apply rules of formal logic to understand their behavior. From feng shui to metaphysics, from comparative linguistics to economic history, a gulf separates the children of Aristotle from the descendants of Confucius. At a moment in history when the need for cross-cultural understanding and collaboration have never been more important, The Geography of Thought offers both a map to that gulf and a blueprint for a bridge that will span it.

Connected Knowledge

Author: Alan H. Cromer
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
ISBN: 9780195102406
Size: 18.45 MB
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Explores the differences between scientists and science educators and offers advice for developing science curricula and applying physical science principles to the social sciences

Sense And Goodness Without God

Author: Richard Carrier
Publisher: AuthorHouse
ISBN: 9781452059266
Size: 44.56 MB
Format: PDF, Kindle
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If God does not exist, then what does? Is there good and evil, and should we care? How do we know what’s true anyway? And can we make any sense of this universe, or our own lives? Sense and Goodness answers all these questions in lavish detail, without complex jargon. A complete worldview is presented and defended, covering every subject from knowledge to art, from metaphysics to morality, from theology to politics. Topics include free will, the nature of the universe, the meaning of life, and much more, arguing from scientific evidence that there is only a physical, natural world without gods or spirits, but that we can still live a life of love, meaning, and joy.