Follow up Web pages for Oregonians for Rationality booth
Explore some routes to better understanding of math and science. Look for ways to make the science that was learned useful. Check out what physics education research has been doing.
Much of the pioneering education research has been carried out by the Physics Education Group (PEG) at the University of Washington, Seattle. PEG
on this site
The Route to Magic Thru Math
Science is not what it seems at first glance
“We can, and we must, do better,” says Dr. Seuss.
In one large study, all the science textbooks examined failed to reach “a level that we could call ‘scientifically accurate.’” Decades earlier, all the science textbooks submitted to the California State Curriculum Committee were “universally lousy.” Among hundreds of students who passed the course, 95% believed the opposite of one of Newton’s laws of motion to be true.
We can do better, say the many researchers who have sought solutions to the puzzle of misunderstandings of elementary science. Heavy-duty mental weight lifting is part of the answer.
Math and science break out of bonds evolution has tied us with when it limited our perceptions and mental skills to certain human limits. We can stretch those limits. We are beginning to learn how. The more we stretch, the better.
|"failed to reach a level..."
Study led by John Hubisz MORE
to do better.
Philosophers have important things to say.
Slip-ups of logic are common: we need to seek logical consistency.
words we choose must be understood: they
must have real-world meanings that all agree upon.
real-world objects referred to must have material substance: mere
wishes and wispy fictions must not be accepted as real.
must be testable: scientific procedures
must be applied because they are the best we have found — by far!
must refer to the welfare of self and others:
harm must be avoided.
Expanding the knowledge and understanding which is at the edges of human comprehension is a community project.
Follow those guidelines, and our new knowledge and understanding will make us more successful in our interactions with the world. Don't follow them and we invite disasters.
Besides, this kind of learning is fun, satisfying, healthy, and productive.
"Physics underlies all phenomena, therefore physics can explain everything." Claims sufficiency on the basis of necessity. New Age view
Energy in science is very different from energy in common usage.
magical pyramids, astrology, perpetual motion, . . .
The advances of science are in the real world and can affect it; the advances of pseudoscience are in the dream world and don't do anything verifiable in the real world. Relevance & Irrelevance
When we do those things that work in the real world we must consider all the effects they have, including those on others (people, creatures, etc). Ignoring the effects on others is unethical oversimplification.
Expanding human knowledge
is more difficult than an isolated person can know. It takes a community
to correct errors and invent and evaluate the groundbreaking new ideas.
This is a brief synopsis of a few of the points in an article by Mario Bunge in Skeptical Inquirer:
Mario Bunge, “The Philosophy behind Pseudoscience,” Skeptical Inquirer, July/Aug, 2006. Mario Bunge is a leading philosopher of science who addresses logic, semantics, ontology, epistemology, ethics, and sociology.
How can we reveal the misunderstandings of science?
How can we reveal oversimplifications and the effect they have on our decisions?
can we reveal the effects of attending to irrelevancies
while ignoring what’s relevant?
How can we reveal failures to recognize and apply mathematical techniques that solve the problems we are trying to solve?
How can we reveal the consequences of using one-dimensional reasoning when the multidimensional is needed to solve the problems?
How can we reveal the dangers of the ‘”centrisms”: ego-, ethno-, anthropo-, etc.?
How can we reveal those “undeniables”?
These are some of the questions currently being examined on explorepdx.com.
Everyone’s contribution is welcome,. From the index page, go to “Da Vinci Days.”
Measure your shadow, not the temperature
Anthropcentric? Envy the bird brain: