Sunday, May 18, 2014

The Science You Need to Flourish

     The first paper I ask my students in Environmental Studies PHS 100 is to write about the relationship between Western Culture (WC) and the Scientific Method (SM). In this paper I expect students to define WC and to explain what the SM is. Then I expect them to see why they are intrinsically interconnected and why we couldn't have the modern society that we have today without having means to find what is the truth about the reality in which we all live.

     The first thing we find when looking for definitions of WC is about its origin in Greece where Greek philosophers used reasoning to find the truth about reality. We could argue that this was not the base for eastern philosophies were insight about physical reality came through meditation. A later development of the "logical" reasoning was the development of the SM where experimental or experiential knowledge was used to understand nature and thus be able to control it. The best and simple example of this is the knowledge developed around gas behavior (in particular steam) that was the base for the industrial revolution.

     Knowing how things work, how nature works has been, is, and will be of such an importance that one can't disregard the impact in our society's wellbeing. Of course these ideas, the use of the scientific method is not by any means exclusive of the physical sciences one can find examples in other areas of human endeavor such as business or social work; but the physical sciences represent the best examples of how our society has moved and progressed to have better technologies and improving the standards of living in our society.

     Looking at those who have flourished and created empires in the business world we find that most of them were producing a new product, a new way of doing based on a more profound knowledge of our society. Perhaps in some cases this knowledge was not apparent or exterior but was intuitive. I am thinking now of Mark Zuckerberg creator of Facebook or Jim Wales co-creator of Wikipedia.

     Now at Warner Pacific College we are focusing on helping our students to "flourish." We are doing everything possible to enable them to lean in a way that they can become the leaders that our society needs. We need to help them understand the world and help them to use the knowledge acquired about the world so they can innovate and create, in a word: Flourish.  

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