. . . I don’t get that number 3 on that list is in some sense ultimate. Replication is only part of the game. What about modification with purpose. Are you familiar with the work on artificial life going on today? What about genetic engineering? These would seem to go beyond mere replication.
It would seem that you are baiting your scientist friends to discuss this subject with you. Just might work…
I’m not sure what got into me last night, but you’re right, Maggie. Baiting was exactly what I was doing. But look at the above quote from Guest (whoever he or she is). That’s an insight that would not have come my way had she not gotten a bit impatient with my mock-pomposity. But I trust she knew that I was being a bit off-the-wall. I promise not to do it again in the future (at least not so blatantly).
Of course science has accomplished astounding results and scientists are probably (in my opinion, at least) the brightest humans on earth. I hope no one takes my critiques of science as an insult to their intelligence. But there will always be room for improvement. What I’m getting at is important for several reasons, one of which I will try to explain now.
Children, especially the hyperactive ones, tend to need context and background meaning in order for science subjects to seem compelling enough to cause them to want to listen carefully to complex notions their teachers are trying their best to explain. If a junior-high teacher one day starts trying to explain how chemical formulas get assembled, or orders the class to memorize some theorems, or . . . you name it. Without a compelling context, many students will start looking out the window. If you lose them even for the first hour, very often you’ve lost them forever. Where does this context come from? It seems apparent to me that science-teacher training could focus more on history and philosophy.
Thanks much for the additional comments, Maggie. You make a lot of sense, as always -Dave