Division Of The Sciences Essay, Research Paper
Title: The Division of the SciencesCategory: Personal EssayDescription:Body of paper:As children, many of us have put together jigsaw puzzles. While in the box, it might seem inconceivable that all these tiny pieces can fit together to form a coherent picture, but we all know they do. Being the intelligent humans we are, we don t simply try to fit the pieces together randomly but we sort them into categories: corners, edges, and middles. Most people then assemble the corners and edges first and work their way into the center. After the frame is developed, we no longer search for a piece by shape, we look for the picture on it. By the time there is only a few gaps the puzzle looks more like a single picture rather than corner, edge, and middle pieces. And as the last piece is put into place we know our job is finished. Categorizing not only speeds up and simplifies the completion of a jigsaw puzzle but can also speed up and facilitate our understanding of the universe. As a result we have Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Psychology, and the many other sciences. But in order to see the big picture we need to fit the pieces together. Meteorology is a fairly young science. Our understanding of weather patterns is not as complete as most of us would like (anyone who has ever left their umbrella at home would likely agree). One astronomer studying solar flares once wondered if these flares affect the weather on Earth. He started gathering data on solar flares and found they occur in 22 year cycles. But due to the infancy of meteorology there was lack of accurate weather data to compare with. It so happened that a botanist knew of this man’s work and suggested to him studying tree rings since they keep perfect weather records over the years. The rings in tree trunks can give information on how dry or wet a year was, average temperature, and many other facts. Together astronomers, meteorologists, and botanists set out to find similarities between solar flares and weather patterns and discovered that there is an overall weather pattern that cycles every 11 years. It was then proven that this 11 year cycle is directly related to the 22 year cycle of solar flares.
There are many examples of how seemingly unconnected sciences are really interwoven. Combining sciences can even result in a new science such as Nanotechnology. Nanotechnology incorporates Quantum mechanics (the study of elementary particles) and electronics. Electronic devices can now be made so small that quantum effects must be taken into account. Even astronomy, which deals with the very large must now rely on Quantum mechanics to explain the beginning of the universe when only elementary particles are believed to have existed. Categorizing the sciences undoubtedly makes understanding the universe easier but it can also make it more difficult. Scientists too often become so involved in their work that they forget that they are only working with a few pieces of a much larger puzzle. When one steps back and takes a broad look at all the different sciences a semi-complete picture of the universe begins to form. The picture has some holes in it but instead of assigning the holes to a particular science to fill, maybe it should be a group project. It is human nature to try to understand the unknown. Human nature also compels us to be efficient and resourceful, but one should never trade one for the other. Humans may classify to better understand a certain subject but the classification should not take priority. We then forget why the classification system was used in the first place. Classification results in a effective method for understanding, but when relied on too heavily can be detrimental. When classifying, one must remember when most people look at a completed jigsaw puzzle, it s a picture they see, not a bunch of pieces. This paper was written by Jason Vint and they can be reached at Vintster@aol.com.