We need to make science and knowledge as wonderous as magic.
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27-12-2015, 03:03 PM
RE: We need to make science and knowledge as wonderous as magic.
(27-12-2015 03:59 AM)Reltzik Wrote:  
(26-12-2015 05:31 PM)The Drake Wrote:  I know that I am preaching to the choir, and I sound like Bill Nye. But I think Bill has a point in what he does. Raw science isn't as exciting as many would like, but the wonders that are revealed and come from it are truly magical (in a sense). We need more Carl Sagan, Bill Nye, and Neil deGrasse Tyson to take us on the epic journey. Children want to know what the magic is made of. It's up to us to show them the truth.

I actually think the opposite. The presentation of science is far too focused on the results, IMO. The results are awesome and a lot of them should be learned, but it's far more important to understand the method. Not necessarily the nitty-gritty details like confidence intervals and so on, but the more general philosophy of empiricism. Break it down into a basic game of "we're weighing two possibilities, so let's ask what would be different if one was true or the other was false, and then let's go looking for that". That's something kids can have fun with if it's presented right, and that sort of logical, evidence-based philosophy will do far more to promote science than showing a lot of pretty CGI pictures of stellar nucleosynthesis or cell mitosis. Yes, presenting the results of science is needed and does have a place, but it should be a lower priority than instilling the method.

I respectfully disagree, although I understand your point. But I don't think we focus enough on the results. The positive outcome of scientific endeavors is what gets people (children) interested. Show a kid a magic trick and he might think it's cool, but show him HOW to do it...well. Get them interested first...then show them the method.

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27-12-2015, 09:39 PM
RE: We need to make science and knowledge as wonderous as magic.
(26-12-2015 05:31 PM)The Drake Wrote:  I know that I am preaching to the choir, and I sound like Bill Nye. But I think Bill has a point in what he does. Raw science isn't as exciting as many would like, but the wonders that are revealed and come from it are truly magical (in a sense). We need more Carl Sagan, Bill Nye, and Neil deGrasse Tyson to take us on the epic journey. Children want to know what the magic is made of. It's up to us to show them the truth.
"Shock and awe" are overrated (Google "hedonic tone"). It's magical and wondrous that I am inconveniencing electrons in such a way as to produce this message, or that I can carry a phone and powerful multipurpose computer in my pants pocket. Applied technology IS magic and it IS wondrous. The problem isn't the lack of magic, it's the lack of awareness and curiosity in people.
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24-01-2016, 05:03 PM
RE: We need to make science and knowledge as wonderous as magic.
[/quote]
"Shock and awe" are overrated (Google "hedonic tone"). It's magical and wondrous that I am inconveniencing electrons in such a way as to produce this message, or that I can carry a phone and powerful multipurpose computer in my pants pocket. Applied technology IS magic and it IS wondrous. The problem isn't the lack of magic, it's the lack of awareness and curiosity in people.
[/quote]

Point taken, But I think the lack of awareness and curiosity is because there is no more "shock and awe" at least from a laypersons perspective. People take the things that science gives them for granted. Phones, computers, cars, medicine. All of the things that make life in the 21st century a lot easier than even 25 years ago. We need people like Bill Nye to blow a few things up to get someone's attention.

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25-01-2016, 05:55 AM
RE: We need to make science and knowledge as wonderous as magic.
"Shock and awe" are overrated (Google "hedonic tone"). It's magical and wondrous that I am inconveniencing electrons in such a way as to produce this message, or that I can carry a phone and powerful multipurpose computer in my pants pocket. Applied technology IS magic and it IS wondrous. The problem isn't the lack of magic, it's the lack of awareness and curiosity in people.
[/quote]

Point taken, But I think the lack of awareness and curiosity is because there is no more "shock and awe" at least from a laypersons perspective. People take the things that science gives them for granted. Phones, computers, cars, medicine. All of the things that make life in the 21st century a lot easier than even 25 years ago. We need people like Bill Nye to blow a few things up to get someone's attention.
[/quote]


Familiarity breeds contempt.

Once something becomes widespread, it becomes mundane, for better or worse. If you were to take someone in a time-machine from the height of the Cold War that was the Cuban Missile Crisis, and transport them to now they're be justifiably horrified at the current state of disrepair of America's nuclear arsenal and the complete public disinterest; while simultaneously being astounded by current smartphones that practically rival Tricorders from Star Trek.

Indoor plumbing just isn't the wonder it was a century ago. Now science is always pushing the boundaries, riding that knife's edge at the limit of human knowledge. What we need is to foster curiosity, encourage intellectual endeavors, and stop lionizing ignorance. In the nascent atomic age of the 1950's, scientists were seen as heroes and people you should aspire to be. I think that with better education and the right emphasis, we could get there again; and do so without needing to muddy the water by conflating it with our infatuation with the supernatural.

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26-01-2016, 08:42 AM
RE: We need to make science and knowledge as wonderous as magic.
how to make science more accessible

step1. create a TV show
step2. make sure people working on it actually know what their talking about and are able to explain it in simple layman language without making it sound like magical baloney
step3. make sure the show is at times when younglings are able to watch, education them is more important the education the old
step4. add in small contests for kids with chance of winning prizes that are fun but invokes their curiosity
step5. don't screw it up
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26-01-2016, 10:43 AM
RE: We need to make science and knowledge as wonderous as magic.
[Image: magic-of-reality.jpg]

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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18-02-2016, 12:50 AM
RE: We need to make science and knowledge as wonderous as magic.
(26-01-2016 10:43 AM)Chas Wrote:  
[Image: magic-of-reality.jpg]

This speaks to me because I've already been drawn in. It's already magic to me. Robots on, and satellites around Mars...MAGIC. Black holes producing gravity waves...MAGIC. High RES pictures of Pluto...MAGIC. Orbiting asteroids, chasing comets, imaging the sun, etc. etc. So how do we get Joe Schmoe to feel the awe and wonder of scientific discovery without invoking a deity ?

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18-02-2016, 01:17 AM
RE: We need to make science and knowledge as wonderous as magic.
(25-01-2016 05:55 AM)EvolutionKills Wrote:  
(24-01-2016 05:03 PM)The Drake Wrote:  
"Shock and awe" are overrated (Google "hedonic tone"). It's magical and wondrous that I am inconveniencing electrons in such a way as to produce this message, or that I can carry a phone and powerful multipurpose computer in my pants pocket. Applied technology IS magic and it IS wondrous. The problem isn't the lack of magic, it's the lack of awareness and curiosity in people.

Point taken, But I think the lack of awareness and curiosity is because there is no more "shock and awe" at least from a laypersons perspective. People take the things that science gives them for granted. Phones, computers, cars, medicine. All of the things that make life in the 21st century a lot easier than even 25 years ago. We need people like Bill Nye to blow a few things up to get someone's attention.
[/quote]


Familiarity breeds contempt.

Once something becomes widespread, it becomes mundane, for better or worse. If you were to take someone in a time-machine from the height of the Cold War that was the Cuban Missile Crisis, and transport them to now they're be justifiably horrified at the current state of disrepair of America's nuclear arsenal and the complete public disinterest; while simultaneously being astounded by current smartphones that practically rival Tricorders from Star Trek.

Indoor plumbing just isn't the wonder it was a century ago. Now science is always pushing the boundaries, riding that knife's edge at the limit of human knowledge. What we need is to foster curiosity, encourage intellectual endeavors, and stop lionizing ignorance. In the nascent atomic age of the 1950's, scientists were seen as heroes and people you should aspire to be. I think that with better education and the right emphasis, we could get there again; and do so without needing to muddy the water by conflating it with our infatuation with the supernatural.
[/quote]

I agree on all points and I think what you are saying is similar to my own perspective. The question is how to foster that curiosity in todays youth. We've developed many of the tools that they use. And they are very adept at using them. But they have no interest in how those tools actually work.

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18-02-2016, 08:13 AM
RE: We need to make science and knowledge as wonderous as magic.
(18-02-2016 12:50 AM)The Drake Wrote:  
(26-01-2016 10:43 AM)Chas Wrote:  
[Image: magic-of-reality.jpg]

This speaks to me because I've already been drawn in. It's already magic to me. Robots on, and satellites around Mars...MAGIC. Black holes producing gravity waves...MAGIC. High RES pictures of Pluto...MAGIC. Orbiting asteroids, chasing comets, imaging the sun, etc. etc. So how do we get Joe Schmoe to feel the awe and wonder of scientific discovery without invoking a deity ?

Knowledge and education are the way as you have just demonstrated.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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18-02-2016, 08:14 AM
RE: We need to make science and knowledge as wonderous as magic.
(18-02-2016 01:17 AM)The Drake Wrote:  
(25-01-2016 05:55 AM)EvolutionKills Wrote:  "Shock and awe" are overrated (Google "hedonic tone"). It's magical and wondrous that I am inconveniencing electrons in such a way as to produce this message, or that I can carry a phone and powerful multipurpose computer in my pants pocket. Applied technology IS magic and it IS wondrous. The problem isn't the lack of magic, it's the lack of awareness and curiosity in people.

Point taken, But I think the lack of awareness and curiosity is because there is no more "shock and awe" at least from a laypersons perspective. People take the things that science gives them for granted. Phones, computers, cars, medicine. All of the things that make life in the 21st century a lot easier than even 25 years ago. We need people like Bill Nye to blow a few things up to get someone's attention.


Familiarity breeds contempt.

Once something becomes widespread, it becomes mundane, for better or worse. If you were to take someone in a time-machine from the height of the Cold War that was the Cuban Missile Crisis, and transport them to now they're be justifiably horrified at the current state of disrepair of America's nuclear arsenal and the complete public disinterest; while simultaneously being astounded by current smartphones that practically rival Tricorders from Star Trek.

Indoor plumbing just isn't the wonder it was a century ago. Now science is always pushing the boundaries, riding that knife's edge at the limit of human knowledge. What we need is to foster curiosity, encourage intellectual endeavors, and stop lionizing ignorance. In the nascent atomic age of the 1950's, scientists were seen as heroes and people you should aspire to be. I think that with better education and the right emphasis, we could get there again; and do so without needing to muddy the water by conflating it with our infatuation with the supernatural.
[/quote]

I agree on all points and I think what you are saying is similar to my own perspective. The question is how to foster that curiosity in todays youth. We've developed many of the tools that they use. And they are very adept at using them. But they have no interest in how those tools actually work.
[/quote]


Richard Dawkins Wrote:There is an anaesthetic of of familiarity, a sedative of ordinariness, which dulls the senses and hides the wonder of existence. For those of us not gifted in poetry, it is at least worth while from time to time making an effort to shake off the anaesthetic...

... it is now widely accepted that the mitochondria, along with other vitally necessary structures within our cells, not only resemble bacteria but are directly descended from ancestral bacteria who, a billion year ago, gave up their freedom. Each one of us is a city of cells, and each cell a town of bacteria. You are a gigantic megalopolis of bacteria. Doesn't that lift the anaesthetic's pall?

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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