The Science and Culture Initiative
Science is one of the many facets of human culture. It is possible to conceive of all aspects of culture, from the arts and humanities to the sciences, as ways of explaining things. Scientific explanations are about how things work in the external, physical world. Practitioners in the arts and humanities are explaining to others things that are going on in their internal, mental world – feelings, emotions, opinions, and the like. The critical difference between scientific and other kinds of explanations is that a scientific explanation must be consistent with the way the world actually is, whereas the others are simply taken at face value whether they are consistent or not. But no matter whether an explanation is scientific or not, it stems from the same place: the inescapably relentless drive to explain that is the signature characteristic of our species.
Science and technology are hugely important in today’s world. People who understand science and the scientific process will be better prepared to make critical science-related decisions affecting society as a whole as well as those affecting their own personal lives. And anyone who embraces the foundation of the scientific process, scientific thinking, in which things aren’t accepted just because someone says so but because they are supported by evidence and are consistent with the sum total of knowledge, will make better decisions whether they involve science or not.
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