|Science is recent in human history.
Millennia passed by before humans discovered these well-kept secrets of
nature, these patterns of nature that Nature forgot to give us perceptions
of--even though many other creatures
see things we knew nothing about.
The knowledge of science, and the thinking that "sees" that knowledge, has a lot of power--and as long as we know little or nothing of it we will see those who can use it as "magicians" because magic is that which "is seemingly beyond human power."
The patterns of science are abstract patterns, but this merely means that we have to extend our perceptions to see them, with mathematics usually part of our tool kit. Mastering math is a little harder (but a lot simpler) than memorizing a lot of facts, rituals, and academic lore. Educators have greatly improved on the techniques for mastering math and science. But their techniques involve some effort, some hard mental workouts...Forget cramming. Get used to heavy thinking...to puzzle solving; to the work and to the joy of surprising discovery. Eureka!
We all can develop our science-seeing intellectual powers, not by listening to explanations in lectures, but by "active mental engagement."
Discover the route
|that which seems to be beyond
Becoming a better magician
that goes through
|man's deepest understanding
of the patterns of Nature
...and of the patterns of patterns of patterns of patterns...
But it's not that drudgery, the "math" that turns everybody away.
It's Keith Devlin's kind of math!
and then, understand deception
|deception is another route
to magic -- perhaps it's the entertainer's magic
...but perhaps it's the magic which usually fails, self-deceptive magic.
Science lets those
who understand something of science do things that seem beyond human power.
Calculate the operation of rocket engines that will take a vehicle to Saturn, inject that vehicle into an orbit that passes through the Cassini ring gap, and then drops part of that vehicle onto Saturn's moon Titan.
Newton's three laws of motion, dating from the 1660's, have the directions, if not the technology, needed for this task.
seemingly beyond human power.
Meriam Webster Dictionary
|Newton's laws of motion are learned by millions,
but something is odd about most of that learning. It's usually metaphorical,
not mathematical; mysterious, not intuitive; learned, but not quite understood.
Using that learning usually seem to be a bit beyond human power.
Newton discovered routes from the metaphorical knowledge to the mathematical knowledge and so set the course for science. Those of us who came after Newton need to retrace those routes if we are to wield the power of the science seen by Newton. We reshape our thinking.
a step beyond metaphor and simple human language. It deals with patterns
at a deeper level of abstraction.
|Law # 1: An object retains
its velocity or remians at rest until a force acts upon it to change its
The opposite, "motion implies a force" is believed by about 95% of those who have passed an elementary physics course.
Law # 2: F =
dp/dt -- usually learned as the approximation,
F = ma
where a is the acceleration associated with the force,
(p is momemtum = mv)
Law #3: To every action there
is always opposed an equal reaction; or, the mutual actions of two bodies
upon each other are always equal, and directed to contrary parts."
|If you know it, you can repeat it on a
school exam. But if you understand
it, you can recognize when you need to use it:
...And you can use it.
If the science remains invisible,
we might discover pseudoscence instead.
recognition of multiple influences and their correct interrelationships;
for example, it requires that we not improperly invert implications.
Law #2 requires the concept of the derivative, the extrapolation to an unattainable limit of a ratio; it also requires some sense of vector and multidimensional spaces.
Law #3 requires recognition of complementarity, separability in some sense but inseparability in some other sense; it also requires a good sense of multiple dimensions and influences.
Some frequently missed concepts
from APS*, via Larry Learner, thru Jerry M.
|A body maintains
Its rest, or straight-line motion
Unless net force acts.
|F equals p-dot.
That is all you need to know.
Use it with wisdom.
|To ev'ry action
There's an equal reaction
have a peculiar undeniability
that tells us they have answered some question in a very special way.
They have some "buzz-saw certainty," like the answer to Martin Gardner's buzz-saw puzzle.
|He considered this puzzle to be especially illustrative of the missed logic of pseudoscience.||A series of certainties of increasing abstraction.||Why we think this is important.
Who we are.