Science, Worldviews and Education

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That is because there are so many things that change within this thing that we call weather, that affect local weather patterns - when a hurricane will strike or when a tornado will strike. But then Mr. Hess begins to hedge on any notion of limitations to science by suggesting that our inability to predict natural phenomena has to do with our lack of knowledge.

Lack of knowledge leads to emotional stress. I think unpredictability, however, comes because we don't know enough about Nature to predict everything about it right now. This has emotional consequences. We have emotions of fear and peace and I think that fear stems mainly out of the unknown. Man is frightened when he perceives what is going on around him and he doesn't understand it.

If events are predicted then there is a very peaceful type of feeling. I don't think that Nature is inherently dangerous or confusing either, because that is man's definition of what is maybe the unknown part of it. What's dangerous about Nature or about the natural world is that we can't predict when things are going to happen, when we are going to die, for example.

It is the above passage that Mr. Hess concludes with the statement, "Eventually, however, all Nature will be explainable. But I am an optimist as far as its understandability, as far as that is concerned. Our current state of being is that there are unpredictable events in Nature. Our ultimate state, the end point, is basically knowing very much. Weight wise, we are probably more tilted toward unpredictableness because I think that we are in the infancy of understanding the world around us. I am optimistic that we will eventually know much more. As knowledge grows, we will change the changeability and the unpredictability of Nature Mr.

Hess gives three reasons why this pursuit of scientific knowledge is important. To begin with, knowledge of Nature is intrinsically valuable. Nature is an everyday part of life and I think about it a lot and how things work and how things interact with each other. Nature is beautiful. I see it most in the way things work so well together. I think that I see beauty in Nature more with living things than with anything else.

It is the vastness of things that could go wrong in a living organism, and yet it lives. Second, knowledge of Nature is extrinsically valuable, that is, knowledge of Nature is useful. Nature is made of matter. That matter gives us the resources we need whether it is living resources or material resources. Material resources are the raw materials that we can use to build things or to develop technology. Thus, the second reason to study Nature is that the more we know about Nature, the more we can control it and use it or exploit it.

The third reason for Mr. Hess is the crown of human achievement represented by the development of our practical knowledge. The third thing is the more that we can do that, the better our lives are going to be - and, this is sort of a tribute to Man's intellect. You know, how to use what's here. Hess is aware that the practical use of Nature places stress upon Nature.

However, when asked if Nature is endangered or if it is possible to restore damage already done to Nature, he offered a rather non-environmentalist perspective. I don't think that the natural world will ever be any of these things, endangered, restorable, or doomed. It will never be endangered. It will never be restorable because there is nothing to restore. It can't be doomed because, whatever doomed means, the natural world will exist. Whether man continues to exist or not, it really doesn't matter too much. I think that the natural world will always be there, whatever form it is in.

No, Nature doesn't, as an entity, and there is no such thing as Nature as an entity, need protection. It doesn't need protection. Hess, is man's need in life. We need to protect Nature so that Nature can provide us with the materials we need. So, if you put man into the equation, like if the equation says that man needs to be on this planet, then this is what we need to do.

If we are not concerned with that, then we shouldn't really worry about what we do with Nature. Hess finds beauty in Nature, but above all else, Nature is a natural resource. I think that it needs to be protected, however, simply because I think that there is enough enjoyment in Nature itself, or different parts of Nature, that the beauty of Nature needs to be protected. I think there is a bigger story, though, about why we need to protect and know about Nature.

This is such a bigoted statement, but we need to protect the human race. Clearly, Mr. Hess has an anthropocentric view of Nature. The whole of Nature is weighed in the balance of human importance. We need to know enough about the ecosystems, so that we can say, "yes, these animals can become extinct because they are not really important. But, I also think that we also need to be realistic and know that we are not going to be able to protect all of the animals.

We need to know what animals are necessary for us to enjoy the same quality of life that we now know. But all of life is not science, scientific knowledge of Nature, and natural resources. I also have some other thoughts about Nature that are really completely separate from what I have said so far. These thoughts are extremely important because I think that there is a need in man's life for a purpose the natural world is not everything that exists. I think God exists and He is part of the natural world, but at the same time, not part of it. I think that the natural world is a subset of God, and not the other way around.

I think that Nature can remind us of the spirituality, our own spirituality It is a necessary wrench because the rest does not work without that. Hess pulls together his ideas about science, Nature, and the spiritual by saying, I definitely think that there are parts of everything that are separate from, not Nature, or the natural world, but definitely from what I perceive as what science can uncover, and maybe part of that has to do with man's need and wanting for, and maybe personal discovery of, things that are holy and sacred, or mysterious.

That is sort of an unknown variable that sort of sits out there. These aren't products of man's interaction with that part of the natural world. So, there is a part of life in the natural world that is not subject to the scientific method. As a clarification, Mr. Hess says, I am talking about this unknown variable called Man and all his ideas. Divorced from pure science and pure fact there is also something called faith which is what defines sacred and holy and mysterious. Although I think we will eventually understand a great deal about Nature, I also don't think that we can ever discount the idea that there will always be a need in human lives, where things are sacred and holy, with holy perceived as mysterious, as well.

In the end, one sees that the things that are sacred and holy are the things that are mysterious, but it is science that removes mystery from Nature. There seems to be a clash here of ideas that Mr. Hess apparently feels obliged to resolve. Even if things aren't mysterious any more, I think that man will invent new things to have as mysterious.

David Mr. David is an Anglo-American, first year teacher. He completed a biology degree followed by a secondary science teacher education program. From the very start, Mr. David spoke of Nature in terms of the environment that includes humans but not the results of human actions. The natural world is the environment and world around us that is here naturally, without being affected or changed by man. The natural world is what is here that hasn't been changed or influenced by man. I think it is sort of the raw material that we've come upon in our activities So when I think of the natural world, I think it includes everything that was here, that we come in contact with, or that we are in contact with.

It's all just part of everything that is there the physical part that we see, and whatever it is that may be behind it, that is created or is driving it - all the parts of it, the parts we understand and the parts that we don't understand. David becomes quite anthropomorphic in his description of Nature.

He recognizes this and makes the point that he is speaking figuratively. Nevertheless, he comments that what it means to be "alive" is not that obvious at the molecular level.

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Nature is alive and it is always changing. It has a mind of it's own and in some ways things happen because it is alive. Just the way that the earth moves and shakes, the way that the oceans tend to move and the whole relationship between the earth and the universe. The way that living things have come out of all that, or part of it, to interact with the earth and universe. I think that the fact that it's alive really is a big part of what makes it the natural world, or at least my concept of it. I am not using "alive" in the technical living things sense, but I think in terms of how matter - Nature is material as well - interacts.

I think that it is alive in the sense that, even though it may not technically be alive, I think that when there is heat and there is energy, things are moving and flying, that in a way is a kind of life. Nature is dynamic So, it is hard to draw the line, when you get to that level, as far as what is alive and what isn't.

So, that's partly what makes it mysterious. Nature is alive and it is material. David says that Nature is mysterious; indeed, he goes on to use the Eastern concept of Ying-yang to describe Nature. Nature is orderly and chaotic, predictable and unpredictable these pairs are sort of needed in order to define each other.

It is sort of a Ying-yang relationship between the two - I would call this just the dualistic Nature of reality. A storm in the ocean might be considered chaotic, but then as you watch the ripples of the waves that are flowing away from it, there is a sort of orderliness to that. Weather is unpredictable.


You can't predict what's going to happen, but you can predict the consequences of it. The resources that Nature contains are kind of unpredictable, because we don't really know what resources are there. The fact that you use the resources of Nature means it is more predictable.

But, it is so powerful that we can't really always predict what Nature will do or control it.

Science, Worldviews and Education

You can predict that you are going to have certain consequences, however. It is also powerful. In relation to man, Nature is powerful because it controls whether life can exist on this planet or not, or any particular place. And we are real limited in our environments that we are able to occupy, and so in that sense, Nature has a lot of power over us.

Another dualism in Nature for Mr. David is the dualism of diversity and complexity that makes Nature so interesting but causes comprehension of Nature to ever recede before us. There is a lot of diversity and complexity in Nature, and there is also the fact that it is just there. It's all just part of everything that is there. You can look at it all as being part of one thing, or you can look at it all as being different and complex in different aspects of it.

It is incredibly complicated. The closer you look the more complicated it is and in order for it to function as simply as it appears to us, there must be a lot more to it than we know. I think that it is important to understand that there is more to Nature than meets the eye. It is interesting to see how Nature works and just how complicated it really is.

By observation and by looking at things and watching them over a period of time, you begin to notice patterns that allow you to make predictions. But it seems like a lot of predictions, once you make them you find that they Nature is a place of great interest for Mr. I do think about Nature quite a bit. Just wondering about how things work. When I see a bird fly around, I wonder how its eyes are so quick, how it's wings can move that fast, how quickly it perceives the world as it moves around.

I wonder where crickets come from or cockroaches But Mr. David is aware that this place of natural wonder we call Nature has been altered by humans. Hence, it is important to know as much as possible about Nature so that human behavior toward Nature is "more enlightened. And just from the basic scientific reasons, you never know what you're going to find when you go to study something. David is optimistic about the scientific study of Nature.

Such study is intrinsically worthwhile and by itself no threat to Nature. So, you can study [Nature] in many ways, and it is so amazing and interesting, to see and to experiment, that any curiosity that we have about it is a good enough reason to go and study it. There are aesthetic reasons. It is just pleasing to see how Nature works. I think that scientists are most involved in the study of Nature, as far as observing and trying to measure what is going on in the world, in turn to predict how things will change and what will happen.

I think that is one of the functions that science really fulfills as far as a human enterprise. The studies themselves, I am optimistic about. About how the results of scientific studies are used, Mr. David is less sanguine. How the studies are used, they are subject to all the human shortcomings and problems, but as far as doing the studies I am optimistic.

I think that we have always got more to learn and that we can learn a lot from Nature. The scientific study of Nature is also important for practical reasons because we are materially dependent upon Nature. Because of our dependence on Nature, just our existence, we need to study Nature, to learn more about it. We need to understand how things work in Nature because it is an important resource for us, to get our water, energy, food, and materials for making things from Nature. The resources that Nature contains is kind of unpredictable, because we don't really know what resources are there, that we can use.

But, self-interest adversely affects Nature. Nature must be protected, therefore, because of our dependence upon the resources of Nature. It needs to be protected Man has an impact on the natural world. Although I think everybody has a sort of innate appreciation for life and for the natural world, when people have self-interest at stake, they tend to meet their own needs.


There is more to Nature than this, however. I like the word beautiful. I think that there is a lot of beauty in Nature, even though it is not always beautiful to man.

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The whole aspect of Nature, and I guess that I have an instinctual connection to that, that it is sacred, and just deals with something very special, you have to respect it. I think that beauty is the more aesthetic reason to appreciate Nature and I think that aesthetics can provide reasons for studying Nature, too. Well, I enjoy Nature. What is Mr. David describing here? Is he expressing vague personal feelings? Is he talking about an important experiential aesthetic aspect of Nature? Are these essentially religious ideas? David says that he is talking about all these things. Some people might say they see the work of God in Nature, that is to say that you see something beyond the work of man, that's even at a higher level, and to appreciate that is one of the aesthetic things that we like about Nature.

I have an instinctual connection to sacredness of Nature. It just deals with something very special about Nature, and you have to respect Nature. These ideas are religious and philosophical and emotional, all three! David hedges on any commitment to a traditional theistic view of religion and Nature. He places his personal emphasis on scientific ways of knowing.

I look at the natural world as something that is physical, more physical, and it is happening around us, but if there is a God behind it, that is creating it, then that might be something that is at a different level, that I don't understand in my own reach. From what we know about energy and physics and everything, I think that there is potentially other realities or perceptions, or things that are happening, that are beyond this natural world that we are perceiving. But there could be something more. David seems concerned that there must be some purpose in all of Nature - he is not an absolute Darwinian.

I think that there could be things that I just don't know about. I do think Nature is more than material. I think that there is something driving Nature and causing it to evolve the way it has changed, and to say that Nature is only the stuff that you are looking at, is I think that there must be some purpose for things to become what they become, in terms of living organisms, and what is driving it, I don't know.

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However, he wishes not to make too much of a point about purpose. To say that everything is driven by a purpose is, I think, sort of a human perspective. I think that it is an assumption to say that everything results because of a purpose. I think that is possible that things happen because of chance, too.

Purpose sort of denies the whole role of fate and chance, that things can happen just because they happen to work out that way! David thinks that most everyone shares his aesthetic, quasi-religious view of Nature. I think that people have real strong emotional ties to Nature, in a lot of ways. There is a lot of variations on how people consider it to be sacred or holy, but I think everybody does, in some sense. Just about everybody has some connection to that, although I think that when people have self-interest at stake, they tend to ignore those aspects of the natural world, to meet their own needs.

In the end, Nature for Mr. David is, Living, mysterious, and exciting.

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It's mysterious and we don't understand it, and it's exciting. I tend to look at the natural world as being mysterious - that there is a lot that we don't know about it. It is exciting. I guess just because it is interesting to see how Nature works, and just how complicated it really is.

Jackson Ms. Jackson is Anglo-American. She majored in physical science education and she teaches physical science courses at the high school. She has had several years of teaching experience. Ms Jackson was quite clear about how she viewed Nature. She also adds that Nature is orderly, even though at times it seems complex, and this orderliness of Nature allows science to predict events and behaviors.

Scientists express the orderliness of Nature through "laws of Nature. The orderliness of Nature means that you can approach Nature with logic and in fact "that Nature is not difficult to understand. For instance, I am not a real biology type person, but I like watching those shows and they show patterns of things having these five sides, so if you are to get a new plant, then you could categorize it because of those sides if you are going to I think that is what I'm thinking of when I think orderly I think logical.

Even when Ms Jackson talked about the beauty of Nature, she continued to speak of science and the order and logic of Nature. I think Nature is beautiful. I think about Nature everyday in one way or another. If it's not the laws of Nature, driving with my kids and I am pointing out the moon to them in Arizona the sunsets here are the most beautiful sunsets, and I know why we see those sunsets, but it is just nice to enjoy them.

I also think that science is beautiful in the fact that you can repeat patterns and that you can find these things that are logical and I just like that. That appeals to me. Because of the physics and the refraction of light you can understand a beautiful sunset. She admits that some people do find Nature confusing and even frightening. She attributes these emotions not to any complexity in Nature, but to the frustration people feel over why it is that some suffer at the hands of Nature. Nature is not always peaceful things like earthquakes are things that we can maybe predict but not control, maybe minimize damage.

Things like, maybe something falling out of the universe, the sky, like a meteor. Things that are frightening and they're dangerous because they could hurt people. They are powerful enough to have that kind of effect, and I think that the confusion comes from the fact of why, especially when someone that you like is hurt.

If it is a devastating thing, you just wonder why that happened. So, an earthquake is not confusing in the sense that it happened, because you could be able to predict that, but just Oh gee Predictions about Nature, finding out about Nature and studying Nature are "what scientists do. Lots of scientists are doing that. I think little kids do it, and I don't know if they really add to our understanding [of Nature] , but I think that it is a natural thing for kids to do to just start looking at the world around you, and then taking things apart at your house, and finding out how they work.

So, I think that it starts with kids Ms Jackson at one point mentioned that a scientist uses experiments to study Nature and in the above excerpt, she expresses the idea that one learns by "taking things apart. I think we have that base of knowledge, so I think, I feel that we know an awful lot.

There are, however, some limitations to our scientific knowledge according to Ms Jackson. There are limits to knowledge We don't know a lot about genetics How can we find out if you are going to have a disease or even if you are alive, are you going to be predisposed to having cancer or to having diseases I am a fan of Star Trek. It would be nice to know that we could have space travel and that we could actually achieve that These are not limitations to the power of science but that our domain of knowledge is as yet still limited.

In completing the above thought, Ms Jackson shows her optimism for science. And I think that we have the space shuttles that go out, we have the satellites that go out and we try to learn more about space, but there is still a lot that we don't know, but based on what we do know, we have a direction that we can go in. And why do we study Nature? What is the purpose of our investigations of Nature?

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  8. Ms Jackson has clear answers. For one thing she is personally enthusiastic about science, twice referring to herself as a scientist. I think that it is exciting to study Nature. It is very diverse in terms of, if you look at the chemistry of it or the physics of it or the biology of it or the enjoyment of it, just how those things tie together.

    For another reason, science and the study of Nature support the human use of natural resources. We use the resources of Nature. We use trees. We use coal. We use oil. We eat plants. This is why we study Nature, because It's the things that we use. It's the things that we interact with I think that a lot of things that we make This is more for the laws of Nature, like radio waves, TV waves.

    That is why it is important to understand how things work in Nature For Ms Jackson, Nature seems to be the domain of resources for human beings and science is the method by which those resources are discovered, extracted, processed and utilized. But, she is not unaware of the pressure these types of activities place on Nature.

    We're exploiting [Nature]. We're not either using what we have properly. We're over-using other things and obviously pollution is a problem. Resources are exploited. Nature is polluted and endangered because of those reasons. Ms Jackson makes the important note that scientists are not to blame for the exploitation of Nature. Peter Kakol - - Philosophy East and West 52 2 Science and Worldviews in the Marxist Tradition.

    Matthews - - Routledge. Sacred Science? An Enduring Philosophical Agenda. Worldview Construction as a Philosophical Method. What is a Worldview? Cognitively Unnatural Science? Wageningen Academic Publishers. Thought Experiments in Science and in Science Education. Mervi A. Hirvonen - - In Michael R. Added to PP index Total views 19 , of 2,, Recent downloads 6 months 4 , of 2,, How can I increase my downloads? Sign in to use this feature. Applied ethics. History of Western Philosophy. Normative ethics. Philosophy of biology. Philosophy of language. Philosophy of mind. Philosophy of religion.

    Science Logic and Mathematics. The former worldview is consistent in many respects with assumptions that are grounded on positivism, whereas the latter worldview provides an alternative understanding of NOS, which is predominately based in the techniques of hermeneutics and historical sciences.

    In addition, we outline the heuristic power for the NOS field that may accompany a potential shift from a homogeneous view of NOS to a view more informed by the specificities of any particular science or scientific field. Volume , Issue 4. The full text of this article hosted at iucr. If you do not receive an email within 10 minutes, your email address may not be registered, and you may need to create a new Wiley Online Library account. If the address matches an existing account you will receive an email with instructions to retrieve your username.

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