What is Science?

Eleven 2-hour classes.

These days, many prominent thinkers are convinced that science is the most powerful tool humans have ever developed for solving problems and uncovering the nature of reality. In facing the ravages of the coronavirus or the mystery of life’s origins, these scholars insist that our best bet is to look to science for answers. At the same time, however, others argue that we have good reasons to be suspicious about science and the technology it continually spawns. According to this view, humanity’s greatest threats — atomic weapons, genetic engineering, artificial intelligence, and global climate change — are all direct results of science. So, is science one of humanity’s greatest assets or one of its biggest dangers? Might it somehow be both?

To explore this riddle, we will begin by looking at the history of science, examining the goals — and miraculous achievements — of its founders. We will then explore how science’s methods and conclusions have evolved up until the present day, paying special attention to the great revolutions in scientific thinking. Throughout, we will support students in coming to their own conclusions about the immensely powerful and potentially problematic aspects of science. This, we hope, can help students determine what role science should play in their personal lives and also in the next chapter of the human journey.

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Course Content

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Milestones in the Evolution of Science
Deeper Questions
Not Enrolled

Course Includes

  • 11 Classes
  • 11 Exercises