Science Doesn't Care WTF You Believe In
“Ms. Allie, you’re making me sleeping!”
“Excuse me, what?”
“Sleeeeping,” she exaggerates while beginning to fake snore and gesture with her hands in prayer position on the side of her head, signaling that she’s sleeping.
I couldn’t help but laugh.
“Come on, science is fun! Okay, let me put this in other terms:
“If we put one plant in the shade and one plant in the sun, what would be the difference in how the plants grow? What would happen to the plant that gets no sunlight?”
I showed them the photo of the two different plants in their text book.
“That plant is sad…and that plant is happy!” they exclaimed.
Yes. That is true.
In the midst of another hurricane about to hit the Dominican Republic this Thursday, a 7.1 earthquake hit Mexico City this afternoon. The second earthquake Mexico has experienced in the last few weeks.
Either I don’t hear about any international news when I’m living in the comforts of my Michigan home, I’m having some bad luck on the Caribbean, or climate change is surpassing our efforts to understand its complexity and detrimental effects.
I was a science kid. The world around me made sense. Real life experiences could be explained.
All of my questions could be answered, or at least I could form a hypothesis about them. Why are there seasons and why doesn’t my family in Mexico experience snow like we do in Michigan?
Why do germs exist?
Why doesn’t the United States use the metric system?
Now this is a question we may never know the answer to.
What has happened to curiosity?
Has our curiosity been crushed by our desire to fit into a political organization or a religion? Crushed by our desired to listen to politicians and church leaders and our uncle who has never picked up a book, and not the world’s scientific leaders who have hypothesized, tested, tried, and concluded thousands of experiments?
Our desire to fit in has ruined our sense of curiosity. It has ruined our need for exploration and finding answers to the world around us.
Our inability to think for ourselves, question, but also trust, has killed a lot of things.
We don’t have to get climate change. We don’t have to know the laws of physics, or every part of a plant’s cell (although I’ll always remember that the mitochondria is the powerhouse of the cell), but we do need to think for ourselves and question what’s going on in the world around us.
It’s as simple as “this plant is sad and this plant is happy.” If a 1st grader who’s first language is not English, gets that, then adults should.
Why has their been 4+ hurricanes in the last month? And the earthquakes? And the ridiculous change in weather. If we were curious and asking why these things were happening, doing our own research, reading unbiased reports and making a solid conclusion as to whether or not we believe climate change is a contributing factor, we might not be in such a bad place.
But we are.
And it’s because we’re lacking the curiosity and understanding of our world.
Science isn’t all numbers and graphs and metrics.
It’s about the world around us. It’s about people. It’s about humanity.
And aren’t you curious about humanity? About yourself? The future of your family?