reply to post by smithjustinb
In some ways this is a tough question, and in others it is simple. I believe that science is simply a tool by which ALL mankind learns about the
world around us. It is not limited to the behavior of odd chaps in labs and offices and research centres the world over after all. Cooking is
scientific, painting walls , making bricks, manipulation of metal, building bridges and houses... it all involves science, from particle accelerators
to apples and pancakes.
Lets start way back in human histories least traveled and least understood period. It is said that tens of thousands of years ago, the first signs
that humans were capable of certain medical proceedures began to come through in the evidence collected from various locations in the world. Stitching
or sealing of wounds, the use of sharp implements to assist in the removal of objects from the body after a fall, such as large spikes of rock for
example. Rudimentary by our standards, but fairly sophisticated by the standards we USED to apply to our nearly caveman ancestors.
Perhaps medicine is the route by which the aims of science are to be most clearly understood, and recognised. You see, looking after the human body
is a science. We are in essence a biological machine, and like any machine we have parts, and consume fuels. Sometimes a part fails, and sometimes the
fuel mix is not as good as it ought to be. Thats where science comes in.
When a heart fails, science can step in and say "well, I have another one right here, and if Im out, we will just put you on this machine for a bit
till we get a new one for you." Oh sure its a hell of a lot more difficult, and theres way more paperwork than I have intimated, but thats largely
beside the point in terms of what we are talking about here.
Better yet, medics and doctors can help a person maintain a healthy lifestyle, because they can ascertain the best situation for an individuals body
to be in, wether they are weak of heart, or lung, or wether they are in danger of aneurism.
So medicaly speaking, the aim of the science of medicine , is to discover the workings of the human body, in such detail as to be capable of repairng
and preventing damage to it.
When medical proceedures first came into evidence amongst hominid creatures, they were a tool that helped us prevail where less capable beasts of the
time could not. Medicine is probably one of the oldest sciences the human race knows of.
The other sciences have in thier own ways helped mankind survive also. Without homes to shelter in, without architectural physics in action, we would
never have been capable of erecting a building worth a damn, or a castle or fortress. These things have been essential to the survival of the species
in some circumstances throughout history. Physics continues to be a tool by which mankind may prosper in adversity, because it is physics which has
the most to do with our capacity to leave our home planet and move among the stars in time to come, thus ensuring the species could go on, even if the
planet gets eaten by the sun in some enormous solar explosion at the end of the suns life.
Without chemists we would wash our clothes in urine rather than washing powder, dye our clothes with bug guts and fruit juices rather than pigment
mixes, we would wander around with constantly germ ridden hands, rather than give them a good clean with an anti bacterial, and it was things like
this last which lead to massive plauges and outbreaks of what are now, extinct illnesses.
Science , in short, is a survival tool, a swiss army knife in a lifestyle. All humans do it, wether we think we do or not. Every child that learns
how to work a door handle, or tie his laces, or ride a bike. Any person who learns why good dough rises, and bad dough doesnt. All of these things,
and a billion more every day things humans do, are scientific, and our approach to life, is also. It is the means by which our species has survived to
evolve into the dominant species on this planet, and by which it assures its continuity. Without science, without the scientific approach to life, our
species would probably have never come to anything, certainly not the creatures we are today, or anything like them.
There has never been a time in history where a creature, recognisable as human in construction, had no science in his mind. Our capacity to think and
reason to the level we are capable of is what seperates us from everything else on this Earth. It is as much a part of our evolutionary make up, as
the tail bone. Unlike the tail bone however, it is still of great use.
Science has therefore, no aims of its own, but the aims of those who weild it, for it is nothing more than the oldest tool mankind has at his