27 JUL 2018 by ideonexus

 Norman Borlaug, Giga-Lifesaver

In the 1950s and ’60s, another giga-lifesaver, Norman Borlaug, outsmarted evolution to foment the Green Revolution in the developing world.21 Plants in nature invest a lot of energy and nutrients in woody stalks that raise their leaves and blossoms above the shade of neighboring weeds and of each other. Like fans at a rock concert, everyone stands up, but no one gets a better view. That’s the way evolution works: it myopically selects for individual advantage, not the greater good of the ...
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09 SEP 2016 by ideonexus

 Childhood Fascination with What Adults Consider Mundane

If you know kindergartners, you know that a thread on the carpet can become one of the most fascinating objects on the face of the earth. The child will pick it up and run her fingers the length of it, scrutinizing every centimeter of that thread. She might hold it up in the sunlight to get a better look and then lay it on her lap to continue the intense observation of the thread. Those who are sitting close to the thread scientist may notice this intriguing object and want in. So they’ll ...
Folksonomies: cognition learning
Folksonomies: cognition learning
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31 MAY 2015 by ideonexus

 The Point

Behold yon miserable creature. That Point is a Being like ourselves, but confined to the non-dimensional Gulf. He is himself his own World, his own Universe; of any other than himself he can form no conception; he knows not Length, nor Breadth, nor Height, for he has had no experience of them; he has no cognizance even of the number Two; nor has he a thought of Plurality, for he is himself his One and All, being really Nothing. Yet mark his perfect self-contentment, and hence learn this lesso...
Folksonomies: perspective dimensions
Folksonomies: perspective dimensions
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13 OCT 2013 by ideonexus

 Galileo and the Altar Lamp Pendulum

IN 1583 Galileo Galilei (1564–1642), a youth of nineteen attending prayers in the baptistery of the Cathedral of Pisa, was, according to tradition, distracted by the swinging of the altar lamp. No matter how wide the swing of the lamp, it seemed that the time it took the lamp to move from one end to the other was the same. Of course Galileo had no watch, but he checked the intervals of the swing by his own pulse. This curious everyday puzzle, he said, enticed him away from the study of medi...
Folksonomies: history invention
Folksonomies: history invention
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The puzzle and the pendulum time piece.

16 AUG 2012 by ideonexus

 Benjamin Franklin on Future of Science

The rapid progress true science now makes occasions my regretting sometimes that I was born so soon. It is impossible to imagine the Height to which may be carried, in a thousand years, the Power of Man over Matter...Agriculture may diminish its Labour and double its Produce; all Diseases may, by sure means, be prevented or cured, not even excepting that of Old Age, and our Lives lengthened at pleasure even beyond the antediluvian Standard. O that moral Science were in as fair a way of Improv...
Folksonomies: prescience optimism
Folksonomies: prescience optimism
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An optimistic vision of the future of man and a lament that he won't be able to see it.

08 JUN 2012 by ideonexus

 Wonder at the Age of the Earth

The great age of the earth will appear greater to man when he understands the origin of living organisms and the reasons for the gradual development and improvement of their organization. This antiquity will appear even greater when he realizes the length of time and the particular conditions which were necessary to bring all the living species into existence. This is particularly true since man is the latest result and present climax of this development, the ultimate limit of which, if it is...
Folksonomies: evolution prescience
Folksonomies: evolution prescience
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Lamarck believes we will marvel at the time it took us to get here, and wonder at the future apex we might reach.

07 JUN 2012 by ideonexus

 Reason Requires Experimentation

Reason must approach nature with the view, indeed, of receiving information from it, not, however, in the character of a pupil, who listens to all that his master chooses to tell him, but in that of a judge, who compels the witnesses to reply to those questions which he himself thinks fit to propose. To this single idea must the revolution be ascribed, by which, after groping in the dark for so many centuries, natural science was at length conducted into the path of certain progress.
Folksonomies: experimentation reason
Folksonomies: experimentation reason
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The observer must be actively engaged with nature, interrogating it, rather than playing the passive pupil.

17 MAY 2012 by ideonexus

 Benjamin Franklin's Forsight

I always rejoice to hear of your being still employed in experimental researches into nature, and of the success you meet with. The rapid progress true science now makes, occasions my regretting sometimes that I was born so soon: it is impossible to imagine the height to which may be carried, in a thousand years, the power of man over matter; we may perhaps learn to deprive large masses of their gravity, and give them absolute levity for the sake of easy transport. Agriculture may diminish it...
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He sees the future of science and the possibilities, but laments that it will not change the morals of man.

16 MAY 2012 by ideonexus

 Pendulum Moves East to West

The observations, so numerous and so important, of the pendulum as object are especially relevant to the length of its oscillations. Those that I propose to make known to the [Paris] Academy [of Sciences] are principally addressed to the direction of the plane of its oscillation, which, moving gradually from east to west, provides evidence to the senses of the diurnal movement of the terrestrial globe.
Folksonomies: physics pendulum
Folksonomies: physics pendulum
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Demonstrating the rotation of the Earth.

16 FEB 2012 by ideonexus

 Copernicus' Hypothesis

After I had addressed myself to this very difficult and almost insoluble problem, the suggestion at length came to me how it could be solved with fewer and much simpler constructions than were formally used, if some assumptions (which are called axioms) were granted me. They follow in this order. There is no one center of all the celestial circles or spheres. The center of the earth is not the center of the universe, but only of gravity and of the lunar sphere. All the spheres revolve about...
Folksonomies: history science hypothesis
Folksonomies: history science hypothesis
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That the Earth revolves around the Sun.