Culturing Science – biology as relevant to us earthly beings

The Trajectory of Biology, Pt. 1: an introduction

Early in the month, Nick Merkelson, a cultural heritage studies graduate student writing at Culture in Peril, challenged me to think about whether humans have the capacity to fully understand a system on the large-scale, whether cultural or biological.  And while I, no philosopher, cannot address that question directly, have ever since had my mind set on the field of biology as a whole, and what “Biology” means exactly.

Sure, it means the study of biological systems.  But beyond that.. can we really generalize?  Can we even generalize based on purpose or intent of the study of biology?

The intents I will focus on are understanding and creation.  Studying biology for the sake of simply understanding how it all works, versus studying biology to create medicine, or reduce climate change, or benefit mankind in some way.

I will spend the next week or two exploring different ideas about where the purpose of science stands, how it got there, and predictions on where we are heading.  I’ll probably raise more questions than I answer, but, hey, isn’t that what science is like anyhow?

Written by Hanner

March 27, 2010 at 6:00 pm

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