Uncommon Sense: The Heretical Nature of Science by Alan Cromer

By Alan Cromer

Most folk think that technology arose as a typical end-product of our innate intelligence and interest, as an inevitable degree in human highbrow improvement. yet physicist and educator Alan Cromer disputes this trust. Cromer argues that technology isn't the ordinary unfolding of human power, however the invention of a selected tradition, Greece, in a selected old interval. certainly, faraway from being common, medical pondering is going to this point opposed to the grain of traditional human concept that if it hadn't been stumbled on in Greece, it may well no longer were chanced on in any respect. In Uncommon Sense, Alan Cromer develops the argument that technological know-how represents a notably new and diversified frame of mind. utilizing Piaget's phases of highbrow improvement, he exhibits that traditional considering continues to be mired in subjective, "egocentric" methods of the world--most humans even at the present time nonetheless think in astrology, ESP, UFOs, ghosts and different paranormal phenomena--a mode of suggestion that technological know-how has outgrown. He presents a desirable rationalization of why technological know-how all started in Greece, contrasting the Greek perform of discussion to the Judaic reliance on prophets for buying wisdom. different elements, similar to a maritime economic system and wandering students (both of which avoided parochialism) and an primarily literary faith no longer ruled by way of clergymen, additionally promoted in Greece an aim, analytical frame of mind no longer discovered in different places within the old international. He examines India and China and explains why technology couldn't improve in both nation. In China, for example, astronomy served purely the nation, and the non-public learn of astronomy was once forbidden. Cromer additionally offers a perceptive account of technological know-how in Renaissance Europe and of figures comparable to Copernicus, Galileo, and Newton. alongside the best way, Cromer touches on many interesting subject matters, arguing, for example, that a lot of technological know-how is vital whole; there are not any new components but to be found. He debunks the vaunted SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) undertaking, which expenditures taxpayers thousands every year, displaying that actual limits--such because the melting aspect of metal--put an absolute restrict at the velocity of house shuttle, making journeys to even the closest famous person all yet most unlikely. ultimately, Cromer discusses the deplorable kingdom of technology schooling in the United States and indicates numerous provocative concepts to enhance highschool schooling, together with a thorough idea to provide all scholars a radical 8th and 9th 12 months software, doing away with the final years of highschool. Uncommon Sense is an illuminating examine technological know-how, packed with provocative observations. even if difficult Thomas Kuhn's thought of clinical revolutions, or extolling the virtues of Euclid's Elements, Alan Cromer is usually insightful, outspoken, and refreshingly unique.

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For example, it lacked any understanding of how variations in organisms arose and how they were inherited. The genetic theory of Gregor Mendel (1822-1884) didn't become widely known until forty years after the publication of Origin, and not until the work of Crick and Watson in the 1950s was the molecular basis of Mendel's genes finally deciphered. Yet even today there is no theory of evolution, no set of rules that says under what conditions this or that will happen. Natural selection is a very general explanation of how evolution occurs, but not when or why.

Echoes of madness resound in the lament of the prophet Jeremiah: I am a laughing-stock all day long, they all make fun of me. " For me, Yahweh's word has been the cause of insult and derision all day long. I would say to myself, "I will not think about him, I will not speak in his name any more," but then there seemed to be a fire burning in my heart, imprisoned in my bones. (20:7-9) 01AC4F18-1AC1-4473-A540-EC06E0C45BEA All the spiritual leaders of the literate world—Moses, Buddha, Jesus, Muhammad, Smith—have based their teachings on personal visions they believed to be of supernatural origin.

Maybe we got to where we are by such a tortuous path that its likelihood of being repeated elsewhere is very small. To get some insight into these questions, we'll review in Chapter 3 the current knowledge of human evolution and what it tells us about who we are and why we are the way we are. In particular, we are looking for the environmental factors that favored an increased brain size. 3 From Apes to Agriculture The Origin of Species (Darwin, 1859/1979) is the most influential book since Newton's Principia.

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