Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Assessing Natural Resources and Environmental Regulations by Andrew Curry

Environmental Studies, PHS 100 
July 29, 2014
     Scientists, ecologists, environmentalists and many people concerned about our planet are constantly seeking new ways to assess natural resources in ways less damaging to the environment. Prioritizing the management and restoration of natural resources and the environment is often a difficult task, given that there are other competing priorities in today’s society. There is no single approach  or answer for conducting assessments, implementing,  restoring, or minimizing the impacts of the reconstruction. When  an approach is chosen in assessing our natural resources it must be selected, timed, and designed to meet the needs of a specific goals and the capabilities of  of completing goals for both government policy as well as the civilian sector.

    For example, minerals in soil can be indicators for deposits containing economically valuable minerals, such as gold, silver and copper just to name a few. So assessing these rare earth elements deposits are of greatest interest for both political relations and the global economy. Supported by imagery, soil conditions can be assessed before, during, and after the growing season. In this way, farmers can better evaluate critical needs such as irrigation, nutrient supply, and cultivation allowing increases in their crop harvesting and eventually profits. Capabilities for working together between farmers and environmentalists at multiple scales and across different social and physical environments are not well developed. There is such a lack of cooperation that opportunities for two-way learning between farmers, researchers and  policy makers that if they could come to a resolution farmers could develop more efficient and environmentally friendly ways to produce and harvest.

      As the human populace grows we continue to stress our ecosystem and consume natural resources at an alarming rate. We as a society need to establish guidelines and regulations in order to sustain and leave the planets to many more generations to come. I believe we have become more conscientious about the effects we have on our planets and have started to develop ways of minimizing the damage we do. One example would be the regulations we have in place for logging, as a result the logging industry has suffered tremendously. In the Pacific Northwest logging companies can only take a certain number of tress that regulations allow. In addition after taking those trees the logging company must replant up to ninety percent of what they have taken in the area. The replanting of the trees is a great way to restore our natural resource of wood and shows that companies are becoming more conscious of our resources.

     Another example of regulations would be the multiple regulations put on sea fishermen. Crab limits have been put in place as well as seasons being shortened. This has been done so that the crab population isn’t depleted and goes extinct. After all as humans a lot of us enjoy some tasty crab every now and then, I know I do. These regulations are put in place for populations and species to have time to regenerate and recuperate. Once a species is wiped out it won't come back. Everything in our system is connected, so if one species goes away for good many more could follow in the wake of its destruction. Therefore as humans we need  maybe not to create more regulations but, perhaps continue to improve on regulations constantly making them better and better in order to preserve the great creation that is planet Earth for ourselves, our children, grand children and so on.


Dematte, J. A. M., J. Morelli, E. Nelly, and R. Negrao (2000), Precision agriculture applied to sugar cane cultivation in sao paulo, brazil, in Second International Conference on Geospatial Information in Agriculture and Forestry, vol. 2, pp. 388–394, Lake Buena Vista, Florida

Shah, Anup. “Stress on the environment, society and resources?.” Global Issues. 18 Sep. 2001. Web. 29 Jul. 2014. <>.

Eileen Shaw view on Hydraulic Fracturing

Environmental Studies
Warner Pacific
July 27, 2014

            “Over the past decade, the oil and gas industry has fused two technologies – hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling – to unlock new supplies of fossil fuels in underground rock formations across the United States. “Fracking” has spread rapidly, leaving a trail of contaminated water, polluted air, and marred landscapes in its wake. In fact, a growing body of data indicates that fracking is an environmental and public health disaster in the making”. (The Cost of Fracking, September 20 2012). “Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, is the process of drilling and injecting fluid into the ground at a high pressure in order to fracture shale rocks to release natural gas inside.” (Dangers of Fracking, para 1) The fluid injected is a combination of about 600 chemicals; most of which are considered toxic, sand and water. During the process gas and chemicals seep into the ground water. Approximately 30-50% of this is recovered, but the remaining fluid is left in the ground to evaporate and it is not biodegradable; the water left behind could be contaminated. There have been over 1,000 cases of water contamination, neurological, sensory and respiratory damage. Of course there is no way to directly link it to the hydraulic fracturing. Some basic math estimates show 5 hundred thousand active wells in the United States, 8 million gallons of water per well, a well can drilled 18 times, which adds up to 72 trillion gallons of water and 360 billion gallons of chemicals that are needed to run only the current wells. It is true though, that 3 hundred barrels of gas a day are produced, but at what expense to the environment?
The northwest does not have nearly as many wells as other areas in the country. Right now Oregon does not have any current wells, but a US geothermal company is working on a dormant volcano in the Deschutes National Forest of central Oregon. In the past the Coos Bay Basin had 9 wells “fracked”, and evidently there is a potential for more. Two companies have been granted permits for the Newberry volcano. It is in the early stages of development. Washington have an exploratory well in the Grays Harbor area, it is about 22 miles east Ocean city.
The Environmental Protection Agency has areas in their agency in place to ensure the safety and compliance of the United States. These very basic steps & areas are:  laws provide authority for the EPA to write regulations, regulations explain the technical, operational & legal details to implement the laws, compliance & enforcement helps companies meet federal requirements, holds them accountable for violations and policy & guidance assist the public and businesses to understand the laws. The EPA is currently working with states to make sure that the extractions do not come at the expense of public health and the health of the environment.

Natural Gas Extraction - Hydraulic Fracturing. (2014, July 14). Retrieved, from

The Cost of Fracking. (2012, September 20). Retrieved, from

Where Does Fracking Happen? (2013, March 5). Retrieved, from

Shelly Barton-Perry's view on How Society Can Assess Natural Resources

Environmental Studies
Warner Pacific
July 29, 2014

View on How Society Can Assess Natural Resources.
            The society can assess natural resources by getting educated on the things that they can do that do not cost them a lot of money. This can be done by joining groups or organizations that help to educate the consumer on the natural resources that are available or searching on line and reading up on the various things. During the time that I have come back to school I have learned a lot on various subject in classes. One being small space gardening and what it can do for not only the consumer to grow healthy food but help the environment with being self-sustainable. This is not something that the government is involved in, but if you can build a high rise to provide clean air, food, water and a home for the people that are living there, as a world it can be done to help all of us, no policies directly involved but it will help all policies that are trying the same to help the world.
            Policy does play a central role in how we address environmental problems. (Page 164) Policies have to be made so that there is some guide line for people to follow. We have become a society of followers that need the guidance to accomplish tasks. Without guide line the entire world would be in a major disarray. No one would know what to do to help situations that happen. To me this is what has happened in the world already, for years there were not many restrictions on the pollutants that fill our air from manmade machines, now we are paying for it by having regulations in place.
            Some people may question should government have the ability to restrict development in areas where erosion, storms and flooding pose a risk to life and property. (Page 171) If they had made some of the restrictions to in these areas we would have been able to reduce the number of lives lost and property damage that has happen over the years. Look at the landslide in Oso, WA, if the building department had not issued the building permits to build the houses in the slide zone hundreds of people’s lives would have been spared and the personal property damage would not have happened. There would have been the natural damage that happened to the forest, but that is what keeps the eco system going and healthy. Polices to control some things need to happen for safety reasons, but when they start controlling your life personally that is a different story.
            Human population is higher in some areas of the world than others. What has caused them to grow fast? To me it is that we just keep clearing the lands to make more room for people and do not look at the economic effect that it has had or is having. Looking at the “One-Child Policy” that China has implemented may make you stop and think is this really what needs to be done. With the People’s Republic of China being the world’s most populated nation they had to look at doing something due to running out of room and resources. (Page 189) With this policy they are now trying to help not only to improve the lifestyle of citizens, but the health issues that the population have due to the growth. As Bill Gates stated “As you improve health in a society, population growth goes down…Before I learned about it, I thought it was paradoxical.” (page189).
            The only thing that can be done going forward is to look at the problems, evaluate them and act on the evaluation. Hopefully with our new knowledge we can only go forward not backwards for future generations.

Withgott, J., & Laposata, M. (2013). Environment: the science behind the stories (5th Ed.) New York, NY. Person Benjamin Cummings, ISBN-13:978-0-321-89742-8.

Shaquwonna Jones' view on Assessing Natural Resources and GMOs

Environmental Studies
Warner Pacific College
July 29, 2014

            Assessing natural resources or thinking about societies role in establishing regulations to impact the culture and the lifestyle of today has not been a priority in my life. I had not given much consideration as to what should or could happen to improve the culture in my life. My area of interest is food and what needs to happen for people to have safe nutritious food like our grandparents enjoyed as children. Although in the test I found out that “our ancestors altered the gene pool of domesticated plants and animals through selective breeding by preferentially mating individuals with favored traits so that offspring would inherit those traits.” (Withgott, 2013) But many things in farming and raising livestock have changed over the years. Why can we not go back to way things used to be? It seems as though it would be an improvement compared to where the process of our food is heading with genetic modification.
            More and more foods are being genetically modified. Although genetically modified foods have a “better overall taste and quality”, there are more pros and cons of the GMO foods. (, 2014) GMO foods have benefits for those who live in an area where natural resources are not available, so foods enhanced with the modifications may be helpful. Being resistant to disease is a benefit as well. As far as day-to-day processing of foods there are cons to the modification of foods. People are more likely to have allergic reactions to foods if the animal has eaten a GMO process food like corn or soy if they are also allergic to the corn and soy product as well. GMO food as has an impact on the environment, farmers and food security.
            Assessing the natural resources when GMO’s are easily transferred is important. “GMOs cross pollinate and their seeds travel. It is impossible to fully clean up our contaminated gene pool.” (Institue for Responsible Technology, 2014) Since the seeds travel there should be a regulation for those that choose to use the genetically modified substance. Currently a farmer can be fined if GMO’s are found in his harvest due to another farmers seed travel. I believe there should be a regulation or law in place to protect the farmer who is choosing to not use GMOs. The regulation would protect the culture of organic farming not necessarily or non-GMO farming. There should be an assessment often to protect the farms. When the seeds travel and contaminate the non-GMO farm then it affects those who want GMO free foods.
            Biotechnology has become a part of our culture in the area of modifying our food and animals. Although there are many benefiting from the culture some are suffering with the effects of the modifications. As the culture of agriculture evolves and grows I am looking to see more regulations to protect us as humans. The GMO research is all new to me but it seems to be growing. Organic farming is almost uncommon these days but I am hoping that the assessments done for the organic farms should be considered for the farms that use high pesticides and herbicides to find new ways to reduce the chemicals but continue to keep up with the demand of healthy food.

 Works Cited (2014, 7 29). Retrieved from
Institue for Responsible Technology. (2014, 7 29). Retrieved from IRT:
Withgott, J., & Laposata, M. (2013). Environment: the science behind the stories (5th Ed.). New York: Pearson Benjamin Cummings.


Keith T. North view on: How Society Can Assess Natural Resources

 Environmental Studies
Warner Pacific College
July 29, 2014

                                         How Society Can Assess Natural Resources

            Assess of natural resources should be discussed in a college classroom setting, but should as well be discussed on a national level, with a national audience. Our natural resources are and have been, at a minimum, morally mismanaged by irresponsible, ambitious, profit seeking companies, who’ve had, “malicious hallucinations of the American dream.” History has demonstrated that utilizing monetarily effectiveness in managing sustainable resources is much more cost effective than a restoration of the lost resource. In one recent article released by the city of Los Angeles understood that, “materials can be recycled and reused over and over again, saving resources from going into landfills or incinerators, safeguarding natural resources, and creating a viable and profitable alternative for our trash. (Don’t waste.com2014).”  Los Angeles has proven that effective management of natural resources can provide their community value and morally acceptable dividends.

      What are natural resources? The USGS defines them as, “water, minerals, coal, oil, gas, living things, and the land itself - are this Nation's treasures.”(USGS2014). Our nation’s treasures, a true profound statement! The resources we use every day are truly our nation’s treasures. Our industrial and military domination in the world today would not be as effective without the influence of what those natural resources have provided. Authorization of consumption for these plentiful resources is a rough road cautiously traveled by our nation’s leaders. We are a nation of abundance, but we understand that an abundance of one is not enough, we must manage it.  The United States still dominates most countries in natural resources, except for Russia, but at the same time we are a nation of glutinous users.  
     In regards to oil, the world’s number one natural resource, ( states that, “as of 2010, the United States used 19.15 million barrels of oil per day — more than doubles the figure for the consumer in second place: China, with a daily demand of 9.06 million barrels per day.”
We double the use of oil compared to the next industrialized nation below us.
What can we do as a nation that will impact our culture?

     I believe we have activated the process.
1.     We have and are being convinced by our leaders that as Americans we cannot sustain this current lifestyle of use. If we don’t practice conservation of natural resources they will run out.
2.      Our Government has enacted rules and regulations that provide incentives for conversation.
3.     The American auto makers are creating an atmosphere of choice with the ability to make a difference. We have chooses now to go either fully or partly green with economical selections available for all.

            The Bureau of Land Management is the initial provider for companies and organizations seeking opportunities for obtaining the fuels of our nation’s natural resources. The bureau in the past provided these resources basically for anyone who had a financial interest in the land, over utilization and desolation of the land was not a priority. We know this as we followed the lumber industry history of logging in BLM lands. Today’s BLM is much different. The job of managing the resources continues but BLM has instituted a “Socioeconomics Strategic Plan.” It is a plan that provides dynamic involvement of the public interests along with the ability to provide the social involvement it desperately needed within its management decision core.
The BLM has a soul now!


Sustainable Logging by Matthew Rich

Warner Pacific College
Sustainable Logging

Sustainable development occurs where three sets of goals overlap: social, economic, and environmental goals. Development is a key word in that statement. In our everyday life, it involves making purposeful changes intended to improve the quality of life. Building things such as homes, schools, hospitals, power plants, factories, and transportation networks are examples of development. The United Nations defines sustainable development as “meets the needs of the present without sacrificing the ability of future generations to meet their own needs” (Withgott & Laposata, 2014). Now let us see how logging in Oregon is deemed sustainable with the future generations in mind.
The Tillamook Burn that started in 1933 and when it ended had burned in total 355,000 acres (Wikipedia, 2014). Protecting our forests can start by removing (or harvesting) them. “Management by experienced forest professionals not only decreases tragic losses to unwanted wildfire and forest health decline, but professional management supports the balance sought by Oregonians today and future generations” (Loggers, 2014). Forest protection laws help ensure that all Oregon forests operate under a common set of guidelines and practices to help assure that forestlands are sustained in a forested condition for future generations…” (Loggers, 2014).
Setting our future generations up for success by protective laws. “Effective Oregon and federal forest policies must foster landowner stewardship, business profit, and community prosperity, so we can have the three components of forest sustainability: 1) healthy forest ecosystems; 2) a thriving forest sector economy; and 3) a self-sufficient rural society and ample forest recreation” (Loggers, 2014). About 40 million trees are planted in Oregon’s forests alone.
Burning is another way to keep a forest healthy. Getting rid of all of the debris or overgrown vegetation can prevent a large scale forest fire. “Forest burning operations require a permit, written plan, reporting, and prior ignition approval from the Oregon Dept. of Forestry” (Loggers, 2014).
“Oregon's forest sector still provides family-wage employment for over 76,000 Oregonians - nearly 5.3% of all jobs, and $5.2 billion in total income” (Loggers, 2014). “In Oregon, it’s estimated that only 8% percent of Oregon’s forestland has been converted to non-forest use since 1630, while population increased tenfold” (Loggers, 2014).


Loggers, O. (2014, 01 01). Sustainably Forest. Retrieved 07 29, 2014, from Oregon Loggers:
Wikipedia. (2014, 07 03). Tillamook Burn. Retrieved 07 29, 2014, from Wikipedia:
Withgott, J., & Laposata, M. (2014). Environment: The Science Behind the Stories. Glenview, IL: Pearson.

Population and Recourse Depletion by Matthew Sluman

 Environmental Studies


The global population is 7 billion and expanding at. At the current rate that the population of humans is increasing there will be over 9 billion coexisting on our planet on our planet by 2050. This fact purposes sustainability concerns for every natural recourse from food and sustainable energy, to land use and waste. This article address some of the current issues related to the population crisis, and attempts to purpose methods of mitigation that mankind might continue to thrive on this small globe. 

At some point during the 18 century Thomas Malthus purposed that the growth of the population would over whelm the earths food supply and ability to sustain human life (Malthus,2014 p.1). His views are supported by Paul Ehrlich in his 2012 article entitled Nature. Ehrlich claims that our current model of sustainability is a “recipe for national disaster, and it is global suicide” (Ehrlich,2014 p.1). In 1984 China addressed its own population density crisis by imposing a one child policy on all of its urban population and the same on its rural population unless the first born child was female. In which case, the family was offered a second chance amongst the present population to rear a male. 
China’s methodology of sustainment purposes new sustainable issues for their populous, such as, there are not enough females in the nation to support the growing population of males in the country. The result is risky sexual practices amongst the bachelor populous, and there are not enough people in the younger generation to support the aging population in the near future.  In addition abortion and the murder of female infants pose horrific humans rights issues (Environment, 2014 p. 198-200).
On the surface it appears that Malthus and Ehrlich are correct. The growth of the human population is growing at an out of control rate, and the earth’s ability to sustain life as we know it is impossible. What can we do about it?  Should we take the value of human life into our own hands and determine the human value by the quality of one’s life? Is family planning and abortion truly the answer to this conundrum? Perhaps we should start offering suicide pills to the elderly and call it death with dignity. Maybe we should exterminate any child at birth that shows any sign of defect. Maybe we should line up every indigent third world demographic and shoot them. Instead of mass graves perhaps using their bodies to fertilize our gardens would be the best use for them.
The above reprehensible statement is unconscionable, but is more or less is what is being purposed by scientists and economists in the dooms day prophecies of Environment The Science Behind the Stories. The book claims that family planning is working to help mitigate the population crisis.
The truth is that the earth is full of untapped renewable recourses and untouched lands throughout the earth are plentiful. It boils down to perspective and creativity. Yes we do have to take some new approaches and rethink agriculture waste and energy, but it can be done and we can have fun doing it. 
 The proposal is basic and simple. First the greatest and most abundant source of energy and power in our world is the sun. It is not renewable it is a constant, and reliable. For our survival we must harness its power completely. For by it we can evaporate our oceans and create aqueducts in remote locations and turn desert lands into inhabitable oases. Using solar energy we can create hydroponic farm houses in those remote locations. We can create ecosystems and fish farms that feed the vegetation that produces our crops. The inhabitants of the earth in which we consider uneducated and indigent can farm those lands and through that production become educated and gain adequate health, but we must all work together as a team. By it we can feed all of the nations of the world. Conceder the cost of development, and consider the cost of human loss if not. By this method we can create great cities and commerce. No family should ever have to choose abortion over love.  
Science is doing much to create new methods of harnessing the earth’s resources (Listverse, 2009, p.1). It is conceivable to think that we can control and create our own atmospheric pressure and create new energy through it. We can build gigantic solar panels and create storm systems from which we can contain the energy those storms create. We can harness tidal power and wave power, and with the synergy of participating nations we can do it in a manor not only respectable to our environment but in ways that produce the optimum for all living organisms to thrive. 
Farfetched the reader says? No not only is it possible, it is our right, our obligation, responsibility, duty and God given privilege. If it were not for pride and greed our scientist would see this through and put these tactics into motion. As a race we are so consumed with our own profits we refuse to see what is staring right in front of us.
As a Race we are easily succumbed by the path of least resistance, it easy to blame shift and point fingers. So, let’s kill off all those who, in our finite estimation, bring little or no value. We do things like kill off all of the buffalo and salmon and ruin the sacred lives of those indigenous people and creatures that we value less. In the name of progress and industrialism we destroy land air and water. It is our job to build it, protect it and manage it by God’s first commission to Adam. Tend the garden observe and name the creatures.
Is it any different now, than any other time in history? Have we truly advanced and evolved? We often see in in the wake of our aftermath the destruction of our choices and spend countless generations trying to repair the damage in vain. 
Many people are quick to point out man’s faults they are ever armed and prepared with statistics and offer us motivation through fear of a dooms day event. Men like Malthus and Ehrlich offer up problems without solutions. Yes our environment is changing. But the human mind is resilient and capable of adapting to changing environmental challenges and population increase. Killing off our future generations and reducing the sage population with all the wisdom they have to share is not the answer. I will let the reader decide is human life, the lives of other organisms, and the health of the environment intrinsic value or instrumental value. Is one really separate from the other? And who is the reader to decide, who is man to determine the value of anything he does not fully understand? Did we create it did we establish the foundations of the universe and the earth and all of its inhabitants. Can we create life? Perhaps we should allow the creator to determine value and through true reverence support the maker in his endeavors and do as he has ask us to do by taking responsibility and care for that which is weaker than ourselves and in that perhaps the world will prosper in peace.    

Works Cited

Ehrlich, Paul Dr. (2012). The “Sustainability” Paradox–Interview with Paul Ehrlich, Retrieved 2014

Laposata Matthew, Withgott Jay. (2014). Environment The Science Behind The Story. Pearson Education Inc. 208-2011 Glenview Illinois.
Malthus Thomas, (2014). Thomas Robert Malthus. Wikipedia, Retrieved 2014  

Jared Walker's view on Assessment of Natural Resources

     How we as a society assess natural resources is constantly evolving.  
     Two hundred years ago society's "need" for natural gas was very small.  As time has gone on, the industrial revolution has created higher demands of certain natural resources because they are used to "fuel" our society.  If natural resources like gasoline and natural gas went away tomorrow our society would be in utter chaos.  We are so reliant on these finite resources.  There is an environmental movement that has been going on the last decade that preaches that we are a consumer society and that we should be ashamed by how we live and that we should make changes to make our world a better more beautiful place to live. I think this is an admiral idea and as a believer in the Word of God I believe that we should be good stewards of what God has given to us, as stated in 1 Corinthians 4:2 "Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful.”(NIV)
     I have some issues with this movement that has largely become the overwhelming voice of our society though as noble as I think the general idea is. Now since this is an opinion paper I am going to write what I have heard and seen.  This might come off as painting our society with broad strokes, but I do believe it is the overwhelming group of society that I speak about. One respected observer estimates that humankind “has consumed more aluminum, copper, iron and steel, phosphate rock, diamonds, sulfur, coal, oil, natural gas, and even sand and gravel over the past century than over all earlier centuries put together,” and goes on to write that “the pace continues to accelerate, so that today the world annually produces and consumes nearly all mineral commodities at record rates” (Tilton 2001, p. I-1).  Although this is true, this respected observer left out a huge part of the issue, which is: Even though the mining of tin, copper, iron ore, lead, and zinc between 1950 and 2000 used up much more than the known 1950 reserves, the known supplies of these minerals were greater in 2000 than in 1950. (Natural Resources)

     I believe that the "other-side" of the story is not spoken about enough.  The fact that we are continually discovering more "finite" resources than we had known before or the fact that our society is continually innovating ways to recycle waste, increase gas mileage, etc.… When it comes down to it I believe that as people we should have a conscience about how we live our lives, I do not think we need what we have now which is "society's conscience".  I believe that most of these ideas are being pushed on us for someone’s profit.  Take for example gasoline.  It is constantly stressed upon us that gasoline is a finite resource and that is why big oil companies can charge so much for it.  Another example is recycling.  I recycle, I believe in recycling, but when I see that our society is shifting and there are more costs associated with recycling and composting now, it makes me feel like I am being manipulated.  

     Moving on to the role of the U.S. Bureau of Land Management in the economic development of our society.  I believe in small government.  I am thankful for a government to keep us safe, but when I read about how much land the government is in control of and the fact that they are the ones regulating land and how it is being used, yet they are also profiting from it, I feel like I am being manipulated! (DOI:BMI: Energy) Who else is profiting from us stressing about limited resources? Government.  What is the matter with having a free market where the government has regulations limited to safety?  It appears that with the way land management is set up now that we need someone regulating the government.  It does not seem like there involvement in regulating land is always in citizen's best interests. 

"1 Corinthians 4:2." The Holy Bible: New International Version, Containing the Old Testament and the New Testament. Grand Rapids: Zondervan Bible, 1978. N. pag. Print.

DOI: BLM: Energy." DOI: BLM: Energy. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 July 2014.

"Natural Resources." : The Concise Encyclopedia of Economics. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 July 2014.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

The Scientific Method and how it’s use has influenced “western culture” by Mark Combe

Warner Pacific College
July 28, 2014
            This essay discusses the scientific method and how it’s use has influenced western culture. I have referenced multiple sources in order to learn more on this subject.
            I remember learning about the scientific method in grade school. I thought it was completely boring and useless, and because of my very conservative Christian upbringing, I saw science as more of an enemy rather than a community of people who simply wanted to figure out more about the world we live in.
            Our assigned book (Withgott & Laposata, 2014) says “Science is all about asking and answering questions.... The effective scientist thinks critically and does not accept conventional wisdom from others. The scientist becomes excited by novel ideas but is skeptical and judges ideas by the strength of evidence that supports them.”  I found this to be worded wonderfully. I think this way of thinking is the foundation of the scientific method. In order for what we know about the world to be accurate, there needs to be accountability, and that is where the scientific method comes into play.
            The scientific method has multiple steps; Observations, Questions, Hypothesis, Predictions, Test, and Results. Going about everyday tasks and implementing this method would be a great idea I presume, because being accurate and honest in everything really saves so much headache and ultimately provides a better way of life. In science, one inaccuracy could lead to so much more work down the road and in order to be efficient and effective, using the method is crucial.
            A 6th grade teacher posted an article on She brought up these following points on why practical knowledge and the use of the scientific method has benefited western culture:
-the simple act of washing your hands can prevent you from getting sick, which people didn't know before the theory of germs
“- sickness is preventable/treatable in general, rather than e.g. being caused by the devil
- when choosing to smoke or not to smoke, you can take into account the scientific evidence that smoking increases your chances of getting lung cancer
-  any superstitious/cultural belief that actually has a negative effect on your life if you believe in it, such as missed opportunities due to the belief that men are superior to women “
She makes valid points and causes me to reflect on the fact that knowledge is not something to be feared, because we can make so many beneficial decisions in life but first we must be informed.
            Growing up around a farm acquainted me with the use of herbicides and pesticides and they’re affect on our environment. I remember feeling very ill after being sprayed by pesticides as a mean trick from a neighbor. I was young but I remember thinking that if that “stuff” made me feel sick, why do we spray it on our food? According to, “There exist several sources of environmental contaminations which can impact wildlife species. Agrochemicals are routinely used to control weeds and insects on crops and gardens throughout the U.S. and Nevada. During the application process and subsequent to it, non-target organisms can come into contact with these agrochemicals either through direct spraying, or ingestion of the chemicals through food and or water. Another important source of environmental contamination is from anthropogenic origins such as mining.”
            Like I wrote earlier, I used to see science as a threat more than a benefit, but I know that the scientific method is necessary to ensure a healthy and sustainable environment. I am very excited to learn more about this method’s many applications and environmental science in general, so that I can be a part of the solution.
            Withgott, J., & Laposata, M. (2013). Environment: the science behind the stories (5th Ed.). New York, NY. Pearson Benjamin Cummings. ISBN-13: 978-0-321-89742-8

Science and Cultural Influence by Deborah Levi

PHS 100A Environmental Studies
Warner Pacific College
July 28, 2014

Science and Cultural Influence

            Withgott and Laposata (2014) define the scientific method as a “technique for testing ideas with observations” (p. 10). Scientists use this method to identify results and realities through measurable relevance. “Truths” are established through a process of observation, hypothesis formation, experimentation design, hypothesis testing, and possible conclusions (Helmenstine, 2014). Knowledge is gained through critical thinking (Withgott & Laposata, 2014) and is applied in all facets of the natural and social world.  Formulated from Greek philosophers and founded on the assumptions of Aristotle, the scientific method still exemplifies the basic notion that humans are thinking beings and can formulate answers through methods (, 2003). Western culture is highly influenced by the scientific method to the utmost foundation of its creation. In this paper, I will discuss the scientific method and its influential use in western culture and I will include my thoughts on the definition of western culture.
            Luckily for western society, science has come a long way since the seventeenth century. No longer do we think the earth is flat or the world only exists for as far as our eyes can see. We now know eating watermelon seeds will not produce a watermelon growing in our stomachs or that running outside with a wet head will give us a cold. All of these “truths” at one point were dispelled by a method of scientific design. The scientific method is implemented as a tool to dispel myths and deduce knowledge through reasoning.
            Reality is relative to cultural beliefs and customs. The reality that the world was flat became a scientific “truth” through the available means of scientific discovery of that time. Columbus had good reason to believe the earth was indeed round but convincing others would prove to be difficult. He would use the scientific method to prove his assumptions. The earth was observed to be flat due to the assumption that one could not see farther than the edge of the ocean, a ship would disappear as it reached the edge in the distance, monsters were lurking in the depths and no one had a different answer. Upon these observations the hypothesis was created that the world was flat and ended at the horizon edge. Columbus conducted experiments by enticing sailors and their ships to sail towards the horizon to find if the hypothesis was correct. He concluded as the ships neared the perceived end of the earth the sailors would see a continuation of ocean and the ships would reach Asia safely. For the few who were brave enough to sail the conclusion was correct and the earth was proven to be round. Of course, the earth was known to be round since Greek times but due to the cultural influences of Columbus’ time the earth remained flat until the scientific method was implemented. The use of the scientific method continues to shape and mold the western culture in present day. For instance, “many scientists are motivated by the potential for developing useful applications, whereas others are motivated simply by a desire to understand how the world works” (Withgott & Laposata, 2014, p. 9). Humans are reasoning beings and as such humans rely on scientific tools to create meaning and knowledge.
            To define western culture is difficult. Western culture is individualism, scientifically based, right to happiness, and having the ability to obtain and thrive (Western Culture Global, 2009). But western culture is not only in the western world. The culture can be adopted through-out the continents; it is evident in other countries besides the United States. Western culture is a state of mind; a way of living through constant development and forward movement. Western culture has been influenced by the scientific method in every aspect; in the beliefs, values, and knowledge of the people. The culture is a science based society implementing scientific concepts to decipher and solve complexities of life. The method western culture uses to heal, nourish, believe, survive, and operate is through a scientific construct. Western culture heals and medicates by scientific design; the use of the scientific method is significant to the discovery of healing methods, medicines, and cures. The method is used in farming and agricultural arenas for enhanced efficiency and higher volumes. Religious realms are affected by the scientific method in explaining evolution. The ways in which we live and thrive are all facets discovered or somehow touched by the scientific method. Western culture is steeped in science; it is the foundation in which the culture is built.
            The scientific method is a foundation for the existence and fortitude of the western culture. Westerners rely on the basic tenant that humans are reasoning beings and therefore can deduce knowledge through a method of scientific design (, 2003). Western culture is influenced by the scientific method in all facets because it is the method in which the foundational “truths” are established and re-established.

Helmenstine, Ph. D, A. M. (2014). Scientific method steps. Retrieved from:     on July 25, 2014. (2003). Medicine men and the puzzling placebo [web feature]. Retrieved from:     on July 25, 2014.
Western Culture Global [website] (2014). Western culture knowledge center: What is western             culture?. Retrieved from:              on July 25, 2014.

Withgott, J., & Laposata, M. (2014). Environment: the science behind the stories (5th Ed.). New             York, NY. Pearson Benjamin Cummings.

Melissa Bishop's view on Scientific Method and Western Culture

 PHS 100A Environmental Studies
Warner Pacific College
July 27, 2014
Scientific Method and Western Culture
            Science is a core value and belief system of Western culture. Scientific knowledge has been made possible by reason and logical problem solving. This has marked the history of science, which has in turn grown roots in the history of Western culture and its development. The scientific method is a formula that helps the process of understanding the world in which we live in. “The scientific method is a technique for testing ideas with observations. There is nothing mysterious or intimidating about the scientific method; it is merely a formalized version of the way any of us might naturally use logic to resolve a question” (Withgott, J & Laposata, M, 2013, p. 10).  The knowledge and processes we as a society have gained from science has put us ahead in many ways, but I believe some of these practices have left us searching for the answers to big questions without thinking outside of the scientific box. “Compare Western science with traditional knowledge. Whereas Western science favor’s reductionist, mechanistic and quantitative methods, traditional knowledge observes natural phenomena from a global point of view” (Laccarino, 2003, Table 2). The scientific method starts with observation, which is the oldest way to solve a problem.
             The scientific method is a six step technique that helps scientist and people alike solve problems or prove their specific hypothesis. This is a simple way to lay things out in order to piece together the questions and answers the world is searching for. Observation is where these questions start once a phenomenon or issue is presented. We use observation to establish a problem, assess safety or the situation, and to see how the natural orders of things work or are working. Once a person or group has been able to observe the situation it is a natural response to have questions about why and how things are the way they are. “Curiosity is a fundamental human characteristic” (Withgott, 2013, p. 10) and we see this play out in everyday life. I think that every idea starts with a question. In our culture we have learned how to question things and not just take things at face value. Through questions our curiosity drives us to seek for answers and truth. 
            “A hypothesis is a statement that attempts to explain a phenomenon or answer a scientific question” (Withgott, 2013, p.11) which gives us a place to start researching and deducting. When a scientist makes the hypothesis then predictions of the outcomes are produced. Predictions can be tested by several different techniques, and the hypothesis is either found to be true or can be disputed. To test these predictions experiments will need to be performed to gather evidence. “An experiment is an activity designed to test validity of a prediction or hypothesis” (Withgott, 2013, p.11), and from there data needs to be collected in order for the person or persons to analyze the finding which leads to the results or outcomes. This may appear to be a clear cut way to come to logical explanations, but many times “the scientific method loops back on itself, often giving rise to repeated rounds of hypothesis revision and new experimentation” (Withgott, 2013, p. 11). Many different tests and retests may have to be administered throughout this process until a scientific answer is agreed upon and retested by peer reviews. Repeatability and reliability is critical in order to give the world the most accurate answers to world’s big questions. 
            It is important to have a way to find the truth and not rely on one person’s opinions and beliefs. A person’s reality can be skewed by many different things, but the facts are hard to dispute once they have been properly tested and retested. “The defining feature of the scientific revolution lies in how much scientific thought changed during a period of only a century, and in how quickly differing thoughts of different natural philosophers condensed to form a cohesive experimental method that chemists, biologists, and physicists can easily utilize today”(Kent, J. 2006). Western culture has made great strides to improve the world we live in, and is making even more changes and discoveries that are needed to continue to make the world a cohesive place for all humans, animals, plants and the planet itself. There is so much left to learn, and I think that we can move towards observation of non-westernized cultures for some of the answers we are searching for to enhance the longevity of the planet and overall health of its people. 
Kent, J. (2013, January 10). The impact of the scientific revolution: A breif history of the experimental method in the 17th century. Retrieved from OpenStax-CNX WebSite: Retrieved from the OpenStax-CNX Web site:
Laccarino, M. (2013, 1 3). Science and Culture. Retrieved from EMBO report: DOI: 10.1038/sj.embor.embor781
Withgott, J. &. (2013). Environment the science behind the stories. Boston: Person Education.