Philosophical Multicore

Sometimes controversial, sometimes fallacious, sometimes thought-provoking, and always fun.

Is Science Relevant? Silly Textbook

Posted by Michael Dickens on September 10, 2009

I was just reading my chemistry textbook (actually I should be doing my chemistry homework right now, shh, don’t tell anyone) when I realized why some people don’t think that science is relevant to their lives. There were a couple of pictures, with captions.

Figure 1

Carolyn is testing various food products claiming to be “sugar free” for the presence of sugar. If the test reagent turns from blue to red after reacting with the sample, sugar is present.

Figure 2

Monica and Desmond are experimenting to determine how to get the largest volume of popped corn from the fewest kernels. They hypothesize that if the volume of popped kernels increases, then soaking the kernels in water should increase the popped volume of a fixed number of kernels.

Sure, that’s great and all, but really, who cares? Why don’t you have some REAL examples of people doing REAL science? How about someone calculating the accuracy of Milankovitch cycles by calculating the correlation between the earth’s orbital fluctuations and the global temperature? Or how about someone using a particle accelerator to try to verify the existence of quarks? But no, you have to have a picture of someone popping soggy popcorn. That’s just great.

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2 Responses to “Is Science Relevant? Silly Textbook”

  1. phynnboi said

    I can’t tell if you’re joking or not. The point was to show that science isn’t the exclusive domain of genius researchers working on astronomical problems that require billion-dollar instruments: Laypeople can do science, too, and just because it’s small doesn’t mean it’s not science.

    • True. But they could at least show the type of science experiment that someone like Newton or Galileo would do. Those guys didn’t have much in the way of budget. Of course, they weren’t chemists either.

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