Tuesday, July 29, 2014

How the Scientific Method influenced Western Civilization by Tanya Marie Cope

PHS 100A: Environmental Studies
Warner Pacific College
July 27, 2014

How the Scientific Method influenced Western Civilization
The scientific method has greatly influenced Western Civilization, though by Western Civilization, it might seem as though I mean only America, or Europe and America, so I shall be more precise:  The scientific method greatly influences most every part of the world in which humans live. The ability to provide evidence to support understanding of our world and share that evidence so that others may build upon the knowledge has been critical to the success of the modern human race.
In our textbook Environment: the science behind the stores (2013), the scientific method is defined as “a technique for testing ideas with observations” (p. 10). The process includes observing, questioning, creating a hypothesis, making predictions, testing the hypothesis, reviewing the results, and then repeating the process. By systematically ordering the process a language was created among scientists. An objective scientist could explore the world they observed and have a framework to understand what they were observing.
The process that scientists used to test their hypothesis and the evidence that came from their testing, whether it supported the hypothesis or not, could be reviewed, accepted or rejected, and furthered by other scientists. This allowed science to continue building our collective knowledge without starting from the beginning.  William Harris (2008), a contributing writer for HowStuffWorks.com with a graduate degree in Science Education, provides an illuminating example. After Antoni van Leeuwenhoek improved the microscope with updated lens-grinding techniques, he was inspired to look through the microscope after reading Robert Hooke’s Micrographia. Through a decade of observation, Leeuwenhoek was able to report to the Royal Society in London that he had discovered “little animals”, or bacteria and protozoa. In an integral part of the scientific method, Hooke returned the compliment and reviewed his peer Leeuwenhoek, thereby confirming his findings on behalf of the Royal Society. The observations made by Leeuwenhoek and Hooke were easily reproducible and inspired others to build on their discoveries. Matthias Jakob Schleiden and Theodor Schwann observed plant and animal tissue samples under the microscope and hypothesized that all living things are made up of cells. (p. 5)
The scientific method allowed any scientist, regardless of discipline, to observe a phenomenon, hypothesize on why, test its validity, and share his or her findings to be disproved or expanded upon. The simplicity of the process and the importance of the results shifted our culture irrevocably and placed a great importance on objective, reproducible results in all aspects of our society. Donald P. Hearth, former Director of NASA Langley Research Center puts it succinctly:
By drastically changing our means of communication, the way we work, our housing, clothes, and food, our methods of transportation, and, indeed even the length and quality of life itself, science has generated changes in the moral values and basic philosophies of mankind. Beginning with the plow, science has changed how we live and what we believe. By making life easier, science has given man the chance to pursue societal concerns such as ethics, aesthetics, education, and justice; to create cultures; and to improve human conditions. But it has also placed us in the unique position of being able to destroy ourselves. (preface)
Though the scientific method has enabled great advancements in society, it cannot answer all of life’s questions. Harris (2008) reminds us, “Science is also incapable of making value judgments. It cannot say global warming is bad, for example. It can study the causes and effects of global warming and report on those results” (p. 11). Though it cannot answer all of our questions, and ultimately we are still human, the value of scientific method on the human race cannot be understated.                       
In spite of the great impact the scientific method has had on all of humankind, occasionally our humanness defies a preponderance of evidence and chooses a different path. The scientific method has accumulated a great deal of evidence supporting the value and importance of vaccinations. As the World Health Organization underlines the importance of vaccines, it also underscores the importance of the scientific method, “The benefits of vaccination extend beyond prevention of specific diseases in individuals. They enable a rich, multifaceted harvest for societies and nations (Andre et al., 2008)”. The scientific method has not transformed humans into logical and objective creatures, but it has enabled us to advance the human race by furthering our understanding of our world and ourselves.
Withgott, J., & Laposata, M. (2013). Environment: the science behind the stories (5th Ed.). New York, NY. Pearson Benjamin Cummings.
Harris, W. (2008). How the Scientific Method Works. HowStuffWorks.com. Retrieved from http://science.howstuffworks.com/innovation/scientific-experiments/scientific-method.htm
Burke, J., Bergman, J., & Asimov, I. (1985). Preface. The impact of science on society. (pp. iii). Series of lectures given at a public lecture series sponsored by NASA and the College of William and Mary in 1983. Washington D.C. Retrieved from http://history.nasa.gov/sp482.pdf
Andre, F.E., Booy, R., Bock, H.L., Clemens, J., Datta, S.K., John, T.J.,…Schmitt, H.J. (2008). Vaccination greatly reduces disease, disability, death and inequity worldwide. Bulletin of the World Health Organization, 86, 2, 81-160. Retrieved from http://www.who.int/bulletin/volumes/86/2/07-040089/en/


Erin Palacios' view on the Scientific Method and Western Culture

PSH100A Environmental Studies
Warner Pacific College
July 28, 2014

             Aristotle is the known as the father of science and was one of the first to realize the importance of experimental measures.  He believed that only more knowledge could be gained and that was a benefit to him and his people.  Some may say that since Aristotle is the father of science that his application of the scientific method opened the door to for many centuries to come.  Aristotle would apply the method to almost anything, including poetry and astronomy.  The Greeks were even the first to subdivide branches of science into categories, including physics, biology, zoology and even poetry. 
            Aristotle’s method was to first study what others have written about a subject, then look for a general consensus of through the writings, then to perform a systematic study of all the data related to the topic.  Shuttleworth (2009) states that Aristotle’s systematic approach was likely to be the first sign of the use of the scientific method, but Muslim scholars we the key figures around the 10th century, in the growth of the scientific method.  This started the mold and use of the scientific method. 
            Now the question comes about – what exactly is scientific method?  Scientific method is the traditional approach to research.  The method consist of six steps to observe, question, generate a hypothesis, predict outcomes, test subject, and examine the results.  The method is used to observe experiments to generate results whether they are positive or negative (Laposata & Withgott, 2014, p.10-12). 
            Western culture is described as knowledge being derived from reason and reasoning is often what is created while acting out the process of the scientific method.  Western culture began in Ancient Greece just as the scientific method did.  Western culture is assimilated with the values of independence, happiness, and freedom. 
            Currently Western culture dominates in the United States, Australia and Central European nations.  Western culture is not limited to those that are Caucasian but is open to everyone. 
            Western culture in today’s time, the 21 century, has evolved because of the scientific method.  The method is not limited to just science alone.  I recently used a form of this scientific method while problem solving an issue that I have in my office through a set of questions, hypothesis and testing.  I was able to repeat my observations, which are my problem, to my training group while my teammates questioned what else is going on.  With my team I was able to get to the root cause of my problem and forecast potential solutions to help solve my problem or make it better.  Now that I have returned from training it is my job to implement and test our predictions and report back to my teammates the success or failure of our predictions. 
            When I think about the evolution of Western culture I think of Henry Ford and the trials that he went through as the creator of Ford Motor Company.  He had to test and retest after several outcomes, followed by analyzing data and findings.  Ford was an innovator and has created a legacy.  This legacy over time has gone through various series of testing and results to make the Ford better and evolve with time and technology. 
            The scientific method has afforded Western culture the opportunity to grow and evolve.  Western culture is ever changing and growing and utilized in more than just the field of science.  Aristotle started something great in Ancient Greece and we, as the Western culture, have him to thank for this great evolution. 

Laposata, M., & Withgott, J. (2014). Enviornment: The Science Behind the Stories. Glenview, IL. Pearson Education. 
Shuttleworth, Martyn. (August, 2009). History of the Scientific Method.  https://explorable.com/history-of-the-scientific-method [retrieved on July 26, 2014].
Western Culture Global. (2009). What is Western Culture? http://www.westerncultureglobal.org/what-is-western-culture.html [retrieved on July 26, 2014]

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Scott Buser writes about how Interesting is to see how the Scientific Method has affected Western Culture

Warner Pacific College
July 23, 2014

            It is interesting to think of how scientific methods have affected the western culture. If we were to ask the Native American Indians how scientific methods have affected them I believe we would get a whole different perspective.
            The scientific community, the professors and the thinkers of the world have changed us from rock throwers to rocket boosters to the moon. To understand how life is made to an understanding of how life works has the ability to improve or hinder mankind. We have used science to understand the molecules, the protons and Neurobiology. We have made great advancements in curing human diseases, yet some of these discoveries have also had a negative effect on our planet.
            If we think about where mankind would be today without science it boggles the mind. Before the vehicle we have horse and buggy. In the early 1920’s the buggy pulled by horses were perceived as pollution. Their droppings were left behind on dirt roads which produced bad odor, and was unaccepted in appearance. Today, in the 21 century we have similar opinions regarding fossil fuels. Our daily mode of transportation is the vehicles we drive. Our emissions from the vehicles are viewed as harming our planet’s atmosphere.
            In the balance of science we have been attempting to lesson our footprint on planet earth. Yet with the help of science, as in the early stages of science we are beginning to understand western culture and the effects we are having on the earth. To understand the methods of science we are more apt to improve our existence on the planet.
            The Native culture believes that to heal mother earth we must first respect her. We must first address our own greed, and walk with the nature of mother earth. In the Bible you will read throughout it the importance of respect to our environment, and each other. Science has had a positive impact on improving how we survive, yet, has also had a negative impact on how we use the invention from science.
            I believe that with the understanding of how we have negatively affected our world that we could also our science to reverse all the destructions from over the last few hundred years.
            In the early days when science was being fine tuned, we started to understand how we could improve our lives; we also were learning at the same time how bad some of these new improvements could have, yet we continued to invent, ignore and hide destruction.
            I believe science is our answer to improvement, with of course human involvement with prayer, with what the lord states in his literature. Science gave us the TV, let’s turn it off and socialize with our brothers and sisters. We invented fossil fuels, let’s park our cars and exercise. Change is also part of science, humans are the only creature on our planet that has resistance to change; yet as guardians of the planet, it is we whom need to change the most for all living things to survive.

Scientific Method and Western Culture by Andrew Curry

July 22, 2014
The scientific method is a process in which critical thinking is used to test ideas with observations using a consistent series of steps. Western culture has developed into a culture based on reasoning, methodology, logic, critical thinking, and validation of the subject being discussed. Western culture has long used the scientific method dating back to the ancient Greeks. Ancients Greeks became focused innovation and invention through the use of science as well as new technologies. Using the scientific method these early scientists were able to recall past experiences, and based on those experiences makes hypotheses, gather data, and use the new data to to draw conclusions, and finally test the data repeatedly for predictive value.

Aristotle is considered to have first used what we today call the scientific method, he used measurement and observations as well as understanding that thought and reasoning must be applied with real world findings. Aristotle scrutinized everything from animal and plant species, to politics, and cultural systems already in place.

The scientific method has altered Western Culture in numerous ways. It has helped shape and mold everything we use, everything we build, everything we create. Western culture takes the newest technologies and systems we have in place and improves on them by finding better, more efficient, and environmentally friendly ways to create better products. Everything from the cars we drive, the buildings we work in, our cell phones, computers, televisions, and medical technologies have been advanced through the use of scientific method. Western civilization was the first to develop steam power. Steam was first used to power pumps, later used in engines, and finally to power factories. The cell phones we have today started as telegraphs, with inventors experimenting using clicking sounds in the form of code sent through a wire to communicate across distances that would have never before seemed possible. Later the telephone was developed using a transmitter and receiver. Cell phones evolved from telephones; wires have disappeared and cell phones can be taken anywhere to make a call or text.

Whether people realize it or not they use the scientific method every day, numerous times a day. It can be used in something as simple as determining what pizza you will order. First, you can recall past experiences of what pizzas you did or did not like from a certain pizza chain or the other. Second,  you may decide you will try a new pizza and enjoy it because you liked the other pizzas that you previously ordered. Third, you order the pizza and eat it; this is gathering your data. Fourth, you decide whether or not you liked or disliked the new pizza. Lastly, you can test the new pizza several times in order to get a good perspective on whether you truly like or dislike it.

The evolution of these devices and technologies have come about as result of the scientific method being improved on over time until newer,  and better products and technologies are created. The scientific method will continue to bring about new methods and technologies by building off what is already in place; while hopefully doing so in more environmentally sustainable ways to leave the planet a better place for generations to come.
 Martyn Shuttleworth(Aug 18, 2009). History of the Scientific Method. Retrieved Jul 23, 2014 from Explorable.com:https://explorable.com/history-of-the-scientific-method
  Hills, Richard L. (1989).Power from Steam: A history of the stationary steam engine. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.ISBN0 521 34356 9.

Keith T. North's view on 'Science Method that Has Influenced Western Culture'

Environmental Studies

Warner Pacific College
July 22, 2014

                                    Science Method That Has Influenced Western Culture

            This particular topic has a magnitude of variations that has impacted every American in a way that the question should read, “What science method hasn’t influenced western culture!” We have grown so incredibly fast these last few decades with science breakthroughs that choosing one is very difficult. From reaching the moon and traveling in outer space to DNA discovery, all of this in my short life period but we are required to choose one. I believe one major scientific discovery was oil, or actually the refinement of gasoline. Gas has transformed a once quiet unassuming nation into the greatest industrial anarchist and richest nation to ever exist. I am speaking of the United States, the fundamental partner in the western culture progression.

            (Inventers.com) describes gasoline as “Gasoline produced by distillation, the separating of the volatile, more valuable fractions of crude petroleum.” As our culture progressed and increases of efficient motors were introduced, complex chemical scientific processes were necessary. One such process was “defined” as cracking. One such type of process was called Catalytic cracking. (Dictionary.com 2014) defines cracking as “The reduction of the molecular weight of hydrocarbons by a catalyst, accomplished in a petroleum refinery by a type of chemical reactor.” I am unaware of the exact science of how cracking is performed but having been employed in refinery plants in the south, I have observed how complicated the chemical process can be. Cracking or refinement of gas has impacted many of us. It has allowed us to drive cars that deposit much less hydrocarbons in the atmosphere and provide for cleaner breathable air. Refinement aka cracking of oil has provided fuels that deliver humans with everyday routines they have been accustomed to and rely on.  We have come so accustomed to gas that even with the shortage of oil we still need it! Americans and the western culture have become overly reliant on fossil fuels, gasoline in particular. Our glutton dependence on gas has transformed this nation into a culture of petrol thirst. We need gas to sustain our everyday lifestyle. Our existence as we know it, without gas, would not survive our present day lifestyle or as a human race. Imagine if we lost the ability to utilize gas as a daily commodity, our society, as we know it, would come to a polarizing standstill.

            The impact of gasoline, and the science that aided in its creation, had a profound impact on our society. Imagine what our world would be like without gas? Would you drive a horse to your office? Would you walk to work? Would we go back to a society of hunters and gatherers? We can only imagine. What is our future? (Post carbon institute 2010) describes what is required, “Lloyds Insurance and Chatham House issued a report called “Sustainable Energy Security: strategic risks and opportunities for business”, which argued that “energy security is now inseparable from the transition to a low-carbon economy and business plans should prepare for this new reality.” We need to prepare now for the ultimate ending of fossil fuels and transform the science to a sustainable society.


Western Culture and the Scientific Method by Shaquonna Jones

 PHS 100 Environmental Studies
July 22, 2014

            The Scientific Method has been used for years and is a traditional methodology to research. It is used often in day-to-day life as well. “The scientific method is a techniques method for testing ideas with observations.” (Withgott, 2013) The method of science had multiple steps that sometime require repeating. The steps are observation, questions, hypothesis, predictions, test and the results. The repetition comes in the latter steps: prediction, test and results. In these different steps of the scientific method involves many variables that play a role in the outcome or the desired outcome. The implementation of the scientific method has influenced the western culture.

            In the western culture the scientific method has broaden the knowledge of many people on many different levels. The western culture in my opinion is a culture that is being influenced to growing to new heights as technology and science is progressively influencing the path socially and culturally. The culture has continually growing and changing. The method of science or experimenting is as well. There have been so many things revealed due to the scientific method that has allowed the culture to grow. Not only grow but to pass on knowledge that has been gain through the experimenting, testing and failed attempts of experimenting. Understanding why things happen in the world is something people question often and this method has answered questions that have come up over the years. The western culture has been enhanced scientifically with Aristotle’s contribution in the development of “measurements and observations” to Roger Bacon’s development of “hypothesizing and experimenting” the western culture has been forever changed in the way observations are processed. (Shuttleworth, 2014)

            The first step is simply making an observation. We make observations every day that cause us to question, which is the second step, or peak out curiosity. When we observe something we automatically ask questions. Children are great at observation and question asking when something sparks their interest. Children are mini scientist. I have a six year old who makes observations and follow his observations up with questions very often. He seeks understanding in all things. A popular question of his is “why does it rain or where do clouds come from?” Asking questions is important to a scientist. The questions lead to developing a hypothesis. The hypothesis is the answer to the logical question. The logical answer that I give my son in response is to look it up and see what scientist say or what a specific book/website has for an answer. Of course he has his own predictions, step four in the process. His predictions are based on what he has learned the book or website we find the answer on and he will remember the answer until he hears or learns something different. While flying to our vacation destination this summer he was able to see the cloud up close which began a whole set of new questions and observations. In the predicting and testing phase is where children have the most fun because of the ability to guess and test their guesses. I believe this is why science so popular in elementary school. Children are curious and when they can see action behind something they are curious about it excites them. The predicting and the testing phase is where things can also go wrong which may result in starting over or rethinking the hypothesis.
            In the application of the scientific method obviously scientist are not the only ones that put the method to good. In the “day-to-day problem-solving doesn't require such formality. But it does require a logical approach and a progression of thinking that results in a testable hypothesis.” (Harris, 2008) Reading about the scientific method has heightened my senses to being aware of when it is being used around me or in the world today.

Works Cited

Harris, W. (2008, 1 14). How the Scientific Method Works. Retrieved from HowStuffWorks.com: http://science.howstuffworks.com/innovation/scientific-experiments/scientific-method8.htm
Shuttleworth, M. (2014, July 21). Explorable Psychology Experiments. Retrieved from Explorable Psychology Experiments: https://explorable.com/history-of-the-scientific-method
Withgott, J., & Laposata, M. (2013). Environment:the science behind the stories (5th Ed.). New York: Pearson Benjamin Cummings.

Friday, May 30, 2014

Future Perspective by Renee Pinkerton

Environmental Studies
PHS 100A
May 29, 2014
 Connecting and Considering

There are times I find that daily living can exist in a vacuum of sorts. I take care of myself and my family with the resources that are available. I know that there are big issues out there in the world that need to be addressed like education, poverty, healthcare and the environment but who am I to tackle such huge issues? This past year has brought forth opportunities for me to consider and make some changes as I live on this earth.
My adult son and I were driving home as I noticed a billboard that stated, save the environment, stop eating beef.  I cynically looked at my son and said what in world does eating beef have to do with the environment? My son proceeded to enlightened me of the impact upon the environment due to the grossly large stock yards necessary to provide beef and dairy products for today’s consumers. In order to provide the land necessary for livestock some countries have chosen to use forest lands and others have allowed over grazing. Livestock on an intensive scale in industrialized countries has become a major source of pollution of water and the atmosphere (FAO,2013). I had never really considered how the environment was being impacted by our food choices
A documentary was shown in a class, Food Inc. produced by Robert Kenner in 2008. It asked the question do you know what you are eating and where your food is coming from.The documentary talks about how food production has been impacted by the fast food industry. The modern food industry is about doing things faster, fatter, bigger and cheaper and no one is thinking about the impact it is having on our health system (Leake,2010). Wendall Berry states that people are fed by the food industry that pays no attention to health and are healed by the health industry that pays no attention to food (Eytan, 2013). I had never really considered how our food and health were being impacted by today’s efficient but not so effective lifestyles.
A customer comes into the store and tells me his story about the way his health has been impacted by the gluten in wheat that has been genetically modified. He tells me that the modifications were done to help wheat grow quicker and to be resistant to environmental harms. The new modified wheat has developed a protein that has impacted many in a negative manner. I start doing some research on my own and make some changes in the way we eat from the findings. I had never considered that efforts to resolve hunger may result in doing more harm than good.
A clip from the sci-fi movie Soylent Green (1973) shows a world in  2022 that has been depleted of all natural resources and what awful measures humanity will resort to, to survive. Today we still have many attempting to prophesy about future catastrophes as a result of misuse of the world’s resources or ways that the predicted population growth of nine billion by 2050 will not be sustainable (Rupp, 2014). These efforts are done to call others to wake up and purposely create fear. I do know that fear can cripple a person.
Fear evokes what is call survival brain and it can have three primary outcomes (Laton,2005). Freeze we become overwhelmed and feel we are paralyzed to do anything about the circumstances so we live as a victim of our circumstances. Flight we run away from the problem and find a small community were we can live making the best life we can without thinking about others. Or we can respond to the fear by fighting back. Fighting back seems to be the best response to the fear that is evoked but it must be a rational response to a real problem.
My ultimate goal of attending college is to attain a degree in mental health and/or human development. Issues of the environment and food supply are critical to our mental and physical health. Studies show that the impact of not having the basic needs of humanity met is grave for ones future and creates a high cost upon societies. This generation is responsible to address serious concerns and to do what we can to make sure future generations have the opportunity to live responsibly and well.
How do we responsibly respond to the fears for the future? First we need to recognize that were are not powerless to make changes. As consumers and citizens we have loud voice and industry will respond to persons who persevere in discussion for the good of humanity. David Platt in his book Radical Together uses this powerful illustration.
      Atop the Andes Mountains, the rays of sun strike ice, a single drop of water forms gradually joining with other drops to become a steady stream. Hundreds of miles later, the mightiest river on earth: The Amazon, flowing in the Atlantic Ocean at a rate of seven million cubic feet per second, the Amazon is more powerful than the next ten largest rivers combined.
(2011 p.1)
As we connect with others on the path set before us we become a mighty force for change. As we become aware of things to consider we need to respond to the circumstance by gaining knowledge and doing the things we can to impact for good. We are without excuse in today’s world to be ignorant of circumstances that cause concern. I am hopeful for the future even with all the concerns that arise because concerns do arise, and because people arise to speak and act on behalf of humanitarian issues.

Eytan, T. (2013) Comparing US food system and healthcare stats. Retrieved from: http://www.foodtechconnect.com/2013/11/12/comparison-us-food-sytem-health-care-stats/
Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (FAO). (2013). World agricultural: towards 2015-2030, and FAO perspective. Retrieved from: http://www.fao.org/docrep/005/y4252e/y4252e05b.htm#TopOfPage 
Kenner, R.(2008) Food Inc. Participant Media
Layton, J. (2005). How Fear Works. HowStuffWorks.com. Retrieved from:  29 May 2014
Leake, L. (2010). Some highlights from food inc. documentary. Retrieved from: http://www.100daysofrealfood.com/2010/04/28/some-highlights-from-the-food-inc-documentary/

Platt D. (2011). Radical Together. Multhomah Books. Colorado Springs, CO.