Quo Vadis? Where to begin? How do we even start contemplating this vast ocean and knowledge of thought and action known as 'science'?
Science is not just a field of study but it's a way of life and thought, not limited only to the archetypal 'scientist', but extended to any rational human being. Science offers us a window of sanity and rationality through which we can make a foray into today's uncertain world. Just like politics, psychology, history and philosophy, it has its own profound place among our society. Its function may be obscured by the seemingly technical nature of its specialities. However, it has had an impact on our thoughts and way of life, mostly unconscious, that is second to none. Ordinarily, we think of science as comprising of Newton's laws, Einstein's theories, Priestley's oxygen, Faraday's electrochemistry, Boltzmann's thermodynamics, Rutherford's atom, Darwin's species, Watson and Crick's DNA, Shockley's transistor, Hawking's black-holes and Edison's light bulb. But, important as these things may be, the real value of science lies in much more. It lies in Galileo's defiance of the church, Copernicus's falsification of the geocentric universe, Wohler's proving the 'vitalists' wrong, Darwin's attack on creationism, Hahn and Strassman's discovery of fission, Madame Curie's discovery of radioactivity, and many more events that were a vehicle of social progress. Supported by other men and women of rationality, these scientists were cardinal in leading mankind out of the darkness onto the path of progress, with far reaching impact on society. Many of them had to, and still have to, contend with the most vehement criticism and opposition. However, the most significant feature of science is that it has no place for dogma, and so any opposition can never gain the upper hand. The scientist is free to do any experiment he wants, question the judgement of anyone he wants, formulate any theory he wants. This completely non-hierarchial structure of science marks it apart from any other human activity. Any wrongly asserted principle in science can never stay so for long, no matter who the originator is, and it is quickly exposed by the most infallible judge-experiment and observation.
This is a blog about science in the broadest sense of the term. It will include miscellaneous posts about recent discoveries, about historical events and facts related to science, about scientists and their triumphs and tragedies, and about the general nature and philosophy of science. Anyone is free to contribute. Just send me a mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
With that, let's say 'Carpe diem'! and go ahead...
Real tough guys - lichens
6 hours ago in The Phytophactor