Class 10: Science…

28 03 2010

Above are some pictures I took by the lake.  I was so excited to get some good pictures of the turtles that live in the Guilford lake.  Sometimes they are hard to get pictures of because as soon as they hear you walking they jump in the water and swim away (pretty fast for a creature notorious for being slow).  Also for our visual journal, in class today we made Fundred Dollar Bills.  If you want to know what those are, check out this link: (

For class today we had to read two articles and one chapter from another book by Howard Gardner.  The articles are “The Structure of Scientific Revolutions” by Thomas S. Kuhn (, “Breaking the Galilean Spell” by Stuart A. Kauffman (, and “Albert Einstein: The Perennial Child” from Gardner’s book Creating Minds.  Also for today’s class we had a guest speaker, Gilbert Bailey, another Guilford alumni who came to speak about his vocational journey.  And in addition to class we were required to go to a physics lecture on Friday afternoon by the Guilford alumni Viktoria Jane Greanya  called “Faith in the Future: Intellectual Curiosity and Exciting Mysteries”.

I guess I will respond to these all kind of mixed up in a paragraph.  My favorite article to read was “Breaking the Galilean Spell” Kauffman talks about the limits of the scientific reductionist world view which is something I have struggled with.  I appreciate his argument about the inherent creativity of the universe and how the future cannot be predicted even using science.  Kauffman says, “Emergence is therefore a major part of the new scientific worldview. Emergence says that, while no laws of physics are violated, life in the biosphere, the evolution of the biosphere, the fullness of our human historicity, and our practical everyday worlds are also real, are not reducible to physics nor explicable from it, and are central to our lives.”  His conclusions remind me of phenomenology that Abram discusses.  In Kuhn’s article he talks about scientific paradigms and how there are different ones and how first you have one and you use it to solve scientific problems but then you find holes in it where it doesn’t explain everything, and then you have to switch to a new paradigm.  What I find interesting about this is the idea that we as humans cannot so simply explain natural phenomena.  Many people who are unfamiliar with the complexities of the sciences, a category in which I admit I fall, assume that it i, for one, unified, and that “science,” as if it is one singular thing, is completely objective and outside of humanity and its biases.  Finally from what I got reading part of the Einstein article, is that he was an awesome individual and made a major shift away from the Newtonian paradigm into a new paradigm concerning physics: the Einstein theory of relativity.  I admit I didn’t get to the part where Gardner explains what his theory entails.  Sorry Maia, I promise I’ll read it in the summer!

Anyways, in conclusion, I really liked Kauffman’s article, so much so that I want to reread it this summer to try and more completely digest all of its implications.

Oh! I almost forgot.  On Friday we went to a physics lecture as a part of the Guilford Alumni Physics Lecture thing.  I can’ t remember too much about what she said, but it was really cool to hear her speak and to see her excitement about what she was doing.  It was interesting that with all the differences in what she studied at Guilford and what I did, we seemed to have a lot in common about our relationships with our teachers and our outlook on what’s important in life, which is also how I felt listening to our guest speaker in class that week, Gilbert Bailey.




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