What is Science? | Introduction To Science | Basic Facts Everyone Should Know | LetsTute
Our home planet earth, has more events occurring
on it than we can imagine. These events involve, the living organisms, inanimate structures
; things which we can see , those which we cant. Events that amaze us (and those which
terrify us (The very formation of our earth was another massive event.
These events bring with it a large number of questions that arise out of curiosity to
explain or understand the world we live in, the world around us. If you have ever wondered
whats going on. how these events take place or. why is it so, well then..you are not alone.
These questions run in the minds of billions of people every second, every day. The answer
to all these questions is simple and lies in one word. SCIENCE.
Now your next question is What exactly is Science?? Let us understand . Science, is
an Answer. It is the knowledge we get when we ask questions So if this is you , why do
all your belongings or anything that you throw up in the air , fall to the ground ? the answer
or science behind it is no big deal its Gravity. You see the earth has an attraction to all
objects, known as gravity & this invisible attraction is what keeps us on earth and not
float away in air. The funny thing is that.gravity was always
there, since the beginning, but it was only understood and explained until not very long
ago by a veeeeery inquisitive person who asked a lot of questions. He was very convinced,
that an apple doesnt fall far from the tree. and thats because. it fell on his head. That
person was Sir Isaac Newton. So gravity existed even before the apple fell on newtons head,
but it was understood and explained only when newton decided to ask What, How & WHY. So
you see science involves you ..well not just you, me and everything around us. But, we
only understand it when we follow our curiosity and ask questions..a loooot of questions and
try to find answers to them. But. many a times, one question can have more than one answer.
So, there is often more than one theory to explain the science behind each event. Its
a lot like a maze. At the center is the event occurring and the questions related to it
and the various paths to the center are the answers to it. Based on our understanding of all events in
the universe, we can classify science into three main branches: Physics, Chemistry and
Biology. Let us look at what these branches are and
how they work in the making of something as simple as lime juice when you are thirsty! Now lets look at this animation slowly and
more carefully and understand where these branches come into play
This is where physics gets into character. Physics is concerned with the force with which
you hold the spoon and the motion involved while stirring the juice fast or slow. It
is the branch of science that deals with all types of matter in and beyond the universe,
their nature, their properties, and all causes and effects of manipulating them.
Then comes the part where all the ingredients start getting mixed to give us lime juice.
This is called Chemistry. It deals with the reaction between two or more types of matter
to form a new type of matter. For example: When hydrogen gas and oxygen are mixed together
in an appropriate ratio, well get H2o which is also called WATER. Interesting !! Isnt
it? And finally theres Biology. Biology is concerned
with how your body can extract the benefits from the juice. It is concerned with all living
matter in the universe like plants, animals and micro-organisms, their life processes
and their relationship not only with one another but also with the environment in which they
exist. If you have been observant, you would have
realized that all of these branches, though differently listed, work together in making
lime juice. The togetherness of these branches is not only in the case of simply preparing
a lime juice, but also in the case of evvvvery event that we see, perform or experience in
our lives. Yes they are like friends who work in harmony.
Now, whether its Physics, Chemistry or Biology lets have a look at the two main categories
of Science: One is based on asking questions about the origin of what, how and why things
happen, as discussed earlier like Sir Isaac newton. This is termed as Basic science, where
you find crazy scientists experimenting in the laboratory like in the movies.the only
thing is.. they are not crazy. Basic science always follows a cycle: Lets see what Basic Science is using the saame
example of lime juice. The first step in the cycle involves asking
questions about the origin of lime juice, for eg: what are the ingredients used to make
lime juice, what can be used to dissolve lime juice ingredients and how much of those ingredients
can be used? Could the lime juice do well to the body if consumed?
The next step involves making an assumption or a hypothesis about the origin of lime juice.
For Eg: We could use the juice of lemons to make lime juice, the lime juice may taste
a lot better if we used sugar and salt. It could be that half a glass of water could
be sufficient to dissolve all the ingredients. After we have made the assumptions, they need
to be verified by experimenting – i.e we must try making the lime juice based on our assumptions
and test to see what we assumed/ predicted is true or rather false.
After performing the experiments successfully a conclusion is made where verified facts
are established i.e in this case one can say that the lime juice is made only of juice
extracted from lemons, it does indeed taste good with sugar and salt, that half a glass
of water is sufficient to dissolve all the ingredients and that drinking lime juice does
good to the body. Basic science always follows this cycle.
Fun fact: Do you know that all the facts that are there in our educational/ text books have
undergone this cycle of research before it is printed ???? Lets move to the second category of Science
that involves determining the various utilities of the now prepared lime juice.
The answers might be Making fruit juice concentrates, marinating fish before frying, curing indigestion,
reducing blemishes on skin. This category of science is called The Applied
science that simply looks at the various uses of what is already established.
Simply put, Basic science is concerned with knowing something and applied science is using
what you know. Applied Science depends on Basic Science and vice versa.
Well so far we have seen that science can be all fun and games. So its about time we
ask the most important question of all is science always this good or does it also have
a not so good side to it ??????? To understand that, let us look into some
examples: Lets take nuclear energy for instance:
1) It can be used to make Nuclear power which can act as a substitute for electricity and
which can be much cheaper or it can be made to make nuclear bombs which can have devastating
effects, 2) Technology/pollution -the cellphone- Yes
it is true that the advent of the portable phone also called the cell phone has made
our lives a lot easier by allowing people over long distances to communicate more effectively
and faster. But do the benefits really outweigh the risks that cellphones are likely to cause
to our body like the high probability of brain tumors.
3) Genetic engineering/opposition: Though genetic engineering is concerned with trying
to improve existing plants and animals in terms of obtained and derived products. It
disturbs the natural ecosystem best suited for the original type of organisms.
The question here is not about science being good or bad. Because now we know science is
knowledge. And knowledge is never bad per se. The real question we must ask ourselves
before we utilize science should be are we using science for something good or something
that will cause harm. Science has the power to both destroy and
heal. But, it only depends on how you view it and more importantly, how you use it.
We do have a choice! If science is pursued with a generous and
compassionate heart, it can change our world in more ways than one.
The true potential of science is beyond our imagination. But then we can always start,
by letting the scientist in us, ask these three fundamental questions WHAT, HOW & WHY.,
Do like this session and post your comments about the best use of science. Share it with
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learning and challenge everything.