Prelim Development of Research Topic

The debate between science and faith: evolution/creationism, the “God particle” etc

Science and faith always appear to knock their heads against each other.  Science uses facts and data, while faith relies on belief.  Take for example, the solar system.  At one point, it was believed that the Earth was the center of the universe, not the Sun (Heliocentrism).  Just as England proposed a separation between church and state, science often challenges faith.

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Many ideas of science are what have driven society forward.  Science is proof, evidence of the theoretical.   On the other hand, faith relies on people and a united belief.  Hard evidence is not necessary for belief, and when science and faith become mixed, the result is messy.  What science believes, and what faith believes are two different things.  Another example would be how alchemists appeared to use “magic” when in fact they were using science in an attempt to turn lead into gold.

Sources I would consult would be textual and online sources, citing texts such as Darwin’s theory of evolution and how it was accepted by the scientific community and religious communities.

Militarizing science and education – spies, engineers and code breakers

During WWII, it was the radar that helped the British intercept a planned German invasion from France, known as Operation Sealion.  Without scientists, and the militarization of science, the UK could have easily been invaded by Germany and the outcome of the war would have been very different.  Wars are not won by men alone.  It is advanced by science and which side has the upper hand in order to prevent potential threats from happening.

So, how much is too much?  When does spying become ‘creepy’?  There are many benefits to spying, such as intercepting potential threats, but it can also be an invasion of privacy to the public.  Spying on the public is a growing concern, especially after leaks by Edward Snowden.  The public is becoming increasingly where of government spying, making science become a burden.  Militarizing science has its pros and cons, but when do the cons outweigh the pros?

The types of sources I would consult would be documentations of how spying has developed and changed over the years, in addition to interviews and other online resources.

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4 thoughts on “Prelim Development of Research Topic

  1. It’s an interesting subject, the relationship between wars and science. Science has made war much more strategic and full of ambiguity as opposed to when it was just rows and rows of men shooting at each other back in the days of the American Revolution!

  2. I was really tempted to pick science v. religion as well! You seem to have divided science and faith by proof v. belief. But, I think that science can also be viewed as a belief, almost a faith in the researches and discoveries that scientists have made. Interestingly, both can be viewed as faiths, just in different people and things. One of the topics I chose was how science is a social convention, and by that, it says that science “relies on the people and the united belief”, as you commented about religion. There’s quite more similarities between science and religion philosophically that are really interesting! The chart also up interesting thoughts… Science could also be a question of why (why does a certain system works this way? Why do we experience certain phenomena? etc.) and religion could also be a question of how (how did we get placed on this earth? how should we live our lives? etc.).

  3. It’d be really neat to see what types of things are considered to be “potential threats.” At what point does a potential threat become a concrete concern? How does technology used by the military keep them from developing? Surveillance is such a touchy business!

  4. I’m also considering choosing the science vs. faith topic, and In addition to the questions you’ve posed, it might be interesting to go into what happens (or historically has happened) when people try to “prove” their faith. That’s another aspect of the debate that further complicates it.

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