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Sunday, October 11, 2009

Science and Society (Summary)

Sunday, October 11, 2009 - 1 Comment

Three features have marked the marvellous development of science since seventeenth century. The first and most important of these features is the scientific attitude of mind which insists on objective reasoning. It means that we could not follow our won beliefs blindly. The second feature is the invention of scientific instruments for observations, experiments and measurement. The third feature is effective use of Mathematics.

The work of great scientist Newton demonstrates these three elements of modern science. He brought about a great revolution in science and changed old beliefs because he acted upon these three important features. He worked on such instruments as telescope and prism and then applied his Mathematical theories of scientific research.

If two scientists different from one other in all respects work in the same physical phenomena, they are sure to reach the same conclusion because their instruments will give them the same reading and universal laws of Mathematics will give the same result.

Man has been successful in solving scientific problems but is it pity that he has failed to solve numerous political and social problems. Science is trying its level best to eradicate evils of poverty and disease. It has paid a lot towards comforts of mankind, but it has its own limitations. Its methods apply only to those things which can be observed, measured and treated mathematically. It has nothing to do, with values like happiness, goodness, beauty, courage, justice, altruism, friendship, love of family and patriotism.

It is necessary to educate youth in moderns science. With out education they will find this world incomprehensible. They can not be good citizens unless they are aware of the values which underline human beliefs, motives and conduct. In this troubled period of human history, religion and humanities are as vital as science to the education of good citizens.

Science and Scientists (Summary)

A common man has no idea what Science is. According to him the subjects like Biology, Chemistry, Mathematics, Physics and Astronomy is science. He is not quite sure whether engineering or medicine is science or not. But he is quite sure that art, religion and politics are not science at all. He can not even define term science, not any scientist finds time to give the definition of term science. When a scientist says that some work is unscientific he means that it is inexact or it is badly arranged. He also means that the conclusions are not correctly arrived at or they are influenced by personal prejudices. By scientific work the scientists mean that which is as exact as possible and is properly arranged.

In fact science is vast collection of clearly expressed facts, the truth of which can be tested when one wished to do so. It is also a collection of laws and rules which express the connection between these facts. In the old days when men acquired knowledge in a careless and irregular manner and believed in other people’s statements with out testing knowledge made negligible progress. Once they began to test the facts by doing experiments, science began to progress.

The English Language (Summary)

English is not original language of British Isles but it was brought by invaders. The two German tribes Angles and Saxons. Who lived in North Germany along the North Sea coast and spoke different dialects of the same language. From these dialects descended the form of the English language that is known as Anglo-Saxon or old English. It remained the language of English from 450 AD to 1150 AD. Latter on two further invasions completely changed and modified the old English and turned it with in a period of three hundred years into a compound language called Middle English. This English had been a mixture of different regional dialects and remained in vogue up to the 15th century. However the written English of literature, journalism, public affairs and commerce has for centuries been almost uniform. An English man’s speech can tell us where he was born and brought up, but if he is well educated his writing will not betray him. What we call Standard English comes down from dialect of Middle English usually known as London dialect, the English spoken in London in the second half of the Fourteenth century.

The English spoken in and around London should become the Standard model for whole country. The court and the King’s government used the London dialect. Since the London was largest and port city of Britain its language became very popular in the sphere of commerce and trade. At first language was just spoken, but latter on two writers Chancre and Gower developed it and made it popular as a written language.

As there was no further foreign invasion the English further developed under its own impetus. There were no further changes in the language, so Middle English merged into the Early Modern English of William Shakespeare’s age and into the language we speak now.

Anglo-Saxon is now dead language but a good deal of its vocabulary has survived in one or another form to the present day. Most of the very common words in Modern English are of Anglo-Saxon origin. Nearly all the strong verbs, most of the prepositions and conjunction are of Anglo-Saxon origin. English language has also remained under French influence for a long time. French is basically a Latin language, hence the majority of English words are of Latin origin.

A language is always moving and developing. But these changes are slow in advanced societies because the invention of printing press and spread of education have fixed its traditional usages. Only changes are large increase in vocabulary. English has borrowed various words from other languages for example the word Admiral is derived from the compound Arabic word Amir-ul-Bahar meaning Chief of the sea. Similarly many other English words have been borrowed from other language.

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