The primary goal of Everday Thoughts about Nature is to understand how typical ninth-grade students and their science teachers think about Nature or the natural world, and how their thoughts are related to science. In pursuing this goal, the book raises a basic question about the purpose of science education for the public. Should science education seek to educate scientific thinkers' in the pattern of science teachers? Or, should science education seek to foster sound science learning within the matrices of various cultural perspectives? By carefully examining the ideas about Nature held by a group of students and their science teachers, Cobern argues that the purpose of science education for the public is to foster sound science learning within the matrices of various cultural perspectives'. Cobern's two books, World View Theory and Science Education Research and now Everyday Thoughts about Nature, provide complementary accounts of theoretical and empirical foundations for worldview theory in science education. While many graduate students and researchers have benefited from his earlier work, many more will continue to benefit from this book.
This is the sequel to the well received "Probability's Nature And Nature's Probability which was written in depth for Scientist and Professionals. This new book has the same wonderful foundation, but has been revised and put into layman's terms so anyone can understand it. The author once believed anyone not accepting the "proven" evolutionary scenario that was ingrained during his science education was of the same mentality as someone believing in a flat earth. With continued scientific investigation, paying closer attention to actual data (rather than speculative conclusions), he began to doubt the natural explanations that had been so ingrained in a number of key areas including the origin and fine-tuning of mass and energy, the origin of life with its complex information content, and the increase in complexity in living organisms. It was science, and not religion, that caused his disbelief in the explanatory powers of undirected nature. The fantastic leaps of faith required to accept the undirected natural causes in these areas demand a scientific response to the scientific-sounding concepts that in fact have no known scientific basis. Scientific integrity needs to be restored so that ideas that have no methods to test or falsify are not considered part of science. Too often "possible" is used by scientists without considering that "possible" has a scientific definition within the nature of probability. For example, one should not be able to get away with stating "it is possible that life arose from non-life by ..." or "it's possible that a different form of life exists elsewhere in the universe" without first demonstrating that it is indeed possible (non-zero probability) using known science. One could, of course, state "it may be speculated that ...," but such a statement wouldn't have the believability that its author intends to convey by the pseudo-scientific pronouncement. This book reviews the many prevalent scenarios that are widely accepted, but need closer examination of their scientific validity. It will also examine the scientific validity of Intelligent Design (ID) as a model that can be empirically detected and examined. For example, the book uses known science (including Shannon and Functional information principles) to prove that it is impossible (zero probability) for life's complex information system to have an undirected natural source. The usefulness of the ID model for furthering scientific inquiry is also analyzed. One chapter is devoted to exposing fallacies, presuppositions, and beliefs that attempt to prevent acceptance of ID as "science."
From climate change to fossil fuel dependency, from the uneven effects of natural disasters to the loss of biodiversity: complex socio-environmental problems indicate the urgency for cross-disciplinary research into the ways in which the social, the natural and the technological are ever more entangled. This ground breaking text moves between environmental sociology and environmental geography, political and social ecology and critical design studies to provide a definitive mapping of the state of environmental social theory in the age of the anthropocene. Environments, Natures and Social Theory provokes dialogue and confrontation between critical political economists, actor network theorists, neo-Malthusians and environmental justice advocates. It maps out the new environmental politics of hybridity moving from hybrid neo-liberals to end times ecologists, from post environmentalists to cyborg eco-socialists. White, Rudy and Gareau insist on the necessity of a critical but optimistic hybrid politics, arguing that a more just, egalitarian, democratic and sustainable anthropocene is within our grasp. This will only be brought into being, however, by reclaiming, celebrating and channeling the reconstructive potential of entangled hybrid humans as inventive hominids, creative gardeners, critical publics and political agents. Written in an accessible style, Environments, Natures and Social Theory is an essential resource for undergraduate and postgraduate students across the social sciences.
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