This paper reflects the research and thoughts of a student at the time the paper was written for a course at Bryn Mawr College. Like other materials on Serendip, it is not intended to be "authoritative" but rather to help others further develop their own explorations. Web links were active as of the time the paper was posted but are not updated.

Contribute Thoughts | Search Serendip for Other Papers | Serendip Home Page

Biology 103
2003 First Paper
On Serendip

Science and the Judicial System

La Vita

Science and the Judicial System are two concepts that at face value seem to be very distinct and unique in their own nature, but at their cores they share interesting similarities and connections. They each propose a different way of understanding how we comprehend and place order. In this paper I'll address my understanding of both concepts, analyze their theories, backbones and failures, and then bring them both together through connections hopefully to support my idea that they are both inextricably connected to what we call life and its relationship to the human mind.

Science is a controversial subject very much like Judicial System. Although Science is largely composed of observation, experiments and their results, it raises controversy because imagination and perspective play a key role in those interpretations. As we know that imagination and perspective vary with each person due to education, background, and experience; how is it possible that we can assign a concrete truth to such a varied conceptualization. Thus, we cannot formulate any concrete truth. In this sense I see Scientists more as Philosophers. Another issue I find when dealing with traditional scientific theories is that Science often fails to provide theories and explanations for phenomenon's that hold truth and validation in both a scientific context and the context of the human mind. I feel that Science often caters to a "black and white" way of formulating answers; it fails to recognize the gray areas. Often times people try to find the most common and accepted ways to support their theories and in doing so they adapt to the standard and more traditional ways of viewing the world. This leaves less room for creativity and exploration of the mind when trying to formulate "truth". "A body of assertions is true if it forms a coherent whole and works both in the external world and in our minds." Roger Newton (1)

The Judicial System poses a similar problem to that of traditional science. I believe the laws in tour justice system are far too clear cut. There are a lot of gray areas when it comes to crimes committed, political decision making, and societal issues. I feel our constitution, which is what our laws are based on, is too limited and that poses a problem because a lot of the pressing issues in our society such as abortion and gun control lie on right and wrong border lines. It's hard to come to a resolution because of the strict and limited language of our laws and also because of the fact that there's more to these problems than laws; they involve emotions, perceptions, culture, and perspectives; none of which are taken into consideration in legislation. The controversy with Pro-Life or Pro-Choice is controversial and complex because there are so many ways to examine the issue, all of which have valid points depending on which light you're looking at it under. Abortion is both a societal issue as well as a political issue. It involves high sensitivity because of the direct connection to our emotions and personal values. Politics and laws also play a major role in this debate because so many of them have been passed concerning this issue. The Government on many levels is dealing with the issue of abortion. The courts, federalism, judicial review and the separation of powers are all involved in and dealing with this issue. In 1973 the Supreme Court declares abortion as a constitutional right. (2) At the same time it's illegal by law to kill someone, and a fetus is alive if we biologically consider a cell to be alive. So this case really depends on how one looks at it. This poses a problem because an agreement and a middle ground are almost impossible to reach because people specifically those with opinions about it, can only see the credibility in their value and position. So, in this case the right or wrong depends highly on personal perspective and values.

Gun control is deeply rooted in controversy. There are two conflicting sides those in favor or gun regulation and against it. It's an issue for our nation as a whole but it stem from the division of this country's mixed cultures. Those who have grown up in a culture where hunting is a family and cultural tradition are strongly against gun control, but for people who didn't grown up with hunting as a sport don't see the same value. This conflict is rooted not only in value but also politics.

Both science and the judicial system produce gray areas when trying to understand and rationalize. Science and the judicial system are inextricably connected to life. We systematically try to put life in a box to create order, order insures a comfort, and that comfort often gets in the way of open-mindedness. The human mind by itself is a convoluted vast universe. We as scholars, scientists, and human kind need to understand and that by assigning truths, right or wrongs we are limiting the extend of our intellectual capacities.


1)The Truth of Science, Physical Theories and Reality, An article from Harvard University Press

2)An Overview of American Abortion Laws, A thorough explanation of the laws concerning abortions

| Biology 103 | Course Forum Area | Biology | Serendip Home |

Send us your comments at Serendip

© by Serendip 1994- - Last Modified: Wednesday, 02-May-2018 10:53:20 CDT