Omsi

Astrology is thriving from times immemorial, playing on the hopes and anxiety of mankind to know about tomorrow. A superficial evaluation might conclude that the charges of ‘intellectual imposture’ and ‘uncritical naivety’ levied from either side are simply the millennial manifestation of the earlier ‘two cultures’ conflict of F R Leavis and C P Snow, between the late-modern divided intellectual world of the sciences and the humanities.

To determine whether students are influenced to become scientists (it’s human nature to ask questions and be aware of what surrounds you; science exercises are good starting vehicles for teachers to find out if their students are learning), it is important to let them understand the methods or processes of science through hands-on activities or laboratory work.

For example, positivist social scientists use methods resembling those of the natural sciences as tools for understanding society, and so define science in its stricter modern sense Interpretivist social scientists, by contrast, may use social critique or symbolic interpretation rather than constructing empirically falsifiable theories, and thus treat science in its broader sense.

Although both theology and philosophy suffer frequent accusations of irrelevance, on this point of brokenness and confusion in the relationship of humans to the world, current public debate on crucial science and technology indicate that both strands of thought are on the mark.

Much of ‘postmodern’ philosophical thinking and its antecedents through the 20th century appear at best to have no contact with science at all, and at worst to strike at the very root-assumptions on which natural science is built, such as the existence of a real world, and the human ability to speak representationally of it. The occasional explicit skirmishes in the 1990s ‘science wars’ between philosophers and scientists (such as the ‘Sokal-affair’ and the subsequent public acrimony between the physicist Alan Sokal and the philosopher Jacques Derrida) have suggested an irreconcilable conflict.