Scientific Experiments I recognized:
- William Harvey: discovery of blood circulation
- Gregor Mendel: Discovery of genetics
- Marie Curie: defining radioactivity
- Ivan Pavlov: discovering classical conditioning in dogs
- Robert Millikan: precise value of electron’s charge
- Robert Plaine: starfish and keystone species dynamics
Scientific Theories I recognized:
- Plate tectonics
- Special relativity
- General relativity
- Quantum theory
- Evolution by natural selection
!: “The number 2 is a very dangerous number… attempts to divide anything into two ought to be regarded with much suspicion.” (p. 9) This quote connects to Unit 2 when we mentioned conceptual schemes and the tendency to construct categorizations as a mental shortcut. The problem with division into two is that this is bound to create conflict of some kind. For example, wars are most often fought between two distinct sides. Division into two inherently leads to polarized views and methods of thinking. This idea is of particular relevance in its similarities to the current US political climate. Our bipartisan system has led to a growing divide between Republicans and Democrats. Rather than meeting in the middle with political moderates, we have seen the rise of political extremists on both the left and the right side of the spectrum. These wide disparities lead to “gulfs of mutual incomprehension,” which is an extremely complex issue in our contemporary society that has no clear, definitive solutions.
?: Our modern society has a heavy emphasis on the importance of a college degree. This has led to a hyper competitive educational atmosphere which forces individuals to focus their studies on highly specialized areas. The concept of declaring a major is essentially declaring one’s field of specialization. Is the divide in understanding between scientists and literary intellectuals rooted in our system of education as a whole? Do the societal benefits of specialization outweigh the gap in understanding between these polar groups?