18 JAN 2013 by ideonexus

 Newton Was "Last of the Magicians"

Newton provides an example of how the idea of "science" had not yet fully emerged as something separate from religion in early Enlightenment thinking. In fact, during the seventeenth century, the word "scientist" was not commonly used to describe experimenters at all; they were called natural philosophers"^^ in an extension of the Puritan idea of the study of the Book of Nature. Science had also not fully emerged as a separate concept, but was sometimes thought of as a method or style of stud...
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There was a great deal of belief in magic in Newton's writings.

08 JAN 2013 by ideonexus

 Definition of a Naturalist

If people ask me about my worldview, I say that I am a naturalist. When most people hear that word, they think of someone who spends a lot of time outdoors watching birds and admiring landscapes—and I suppose that description applies to me. But I think of naturalism as a philosophy rather than a lifestyle. F a philosophical perspective, naturalists believe that the physical universe is the universe. In other words, there are no supernatural entities or forces acting on nature, because there...
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It is a philosophical state of mind, grounded in empiricism, in addition to being one who appreciates nature.

10 JUN 2011 by ideonexus

 The Naturalist Virtue of Leaving Nature Untouched

Of course, we can combine natural history study with gardening, hunting, owning pets, and other pursuits that keep us close to the earth. The more such activities, the better, in terms of a full, rich, characterbuilding relationship to nature. But natural history study provides training in another key environmental virtue that the others do not: leaving things alone. The sportsman’s code prohibits wasting meat from the animals killed, the organic gardener’s ethics proscribe unsustainable ...
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Take only photographs, leave only footprints.

10 JUN 2011 by ideonexus

 Teddy Roosevelt Considers the Night Sky

After an evening of talk, perhaps about the fringes of knowledge, or some new possibility of climbing inside the minds and senses of animals, we would go out on the lawn, where we took turns at an amusing little astronomical rite. We searched until we found, with or without glasses, the faint, heavenly spot of light-mist beyond the lower left-hand comer of the Great Square of Pegasus, when one or the other of us would then recite: That is the Spiral Galaxy in Andromeda. It is as large as our...
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...each night to feel appropriately small.

10 JUN 2011 by ideonexus

 A Naturalist's Code

Of course, naturalists’ activities themselves can go astray or fail to provide their full benefits. Rachel Carson warned that “it is possible to compile extensive lists of creatures seen and identified without ever once having caught a breathtaking glimpse of the wonder of life.”22 A concern to have the newest, fanciest gear has taken many a birdwatcher away from simplicity and frugality! As with hunting’s “sportsman’s code,” a “naturalist’s code” might help prevent these ...
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Would include rules about being reasonable and not spending a lot of money on fancy equipment.