Serendip is an independent site partnering with faculty at multiple colleges and universities around the world. Happy exploring!

Reply to comment

Anna G.'s picture

Reading through the posts

Reading through the posts that others have left, two thoughts in particular resonant with me. Angel discusses one of the things that I think is most vital in accepting scientific query. This is the rejection of the thought that perhaps if we discover the truth about everything, we’ll find we are boxed in; that life is dull, and that the rainbow, once unwoven, is no longer beautiful. I think this class has made it pretty clear that the rainbow, once unwoven, is not in anyway less beautiful, in fact it is more so. Like the rainbow, we have spent time this semester looking at processes in the brain. But has this demystified the brain? Reduced it to boring and predicable cables? No, in fact, we’ve discussed some pretty outrageous things that the brain does, things we never would have expected nor even though possible. Learning that so much goes on in the brain has merely expanded the query for knowledge, and immeasurably increased my respect and admirable for the mass of cells that sits protected in my skull, composing what is me.

 

The other post that I thought was definitely true was Jackie’s. She talks about how this class made us re-evaluate the very process of living. In our everyday lives we see things that need processing. While before we simply let our brain do this processing, now our I-function is aware (well, more aware) of the brains actions. It makes you stop and wonder if the things you act upon are really things you want to act upon, or things you’ve simply become accustomed to. One instance I can recall was in Orgo Lab. Jackie and I were writing down observations, and one was that the oil was yellow. It was after the class where we discussed color and vision, and we both looked up and said, “Well…it appears as if it is yellow….so it must be giving off the average wavelength of about 570 nm.”

 

Overall, I think this class was very important because it made us realize the fact that our brain is really just a storyteller. While I disagree with the claim that science isn’t after truth; it is, just a relative truth that our human capabilities limit, this class has made us all very cognizant of the fact that we know things we don’t know how we know, and that we don’t actually know things that we think we know.

 

I think the major take home message for me from this class was that I have a lot more thinking to do on how I define reality and truth. I’m a person who tends to believe that there are concrete truths, and while we may be limited in how we can approach and understand them, that they exist. I’d like to know how the brain works, how it functions, and I believe that one day its functioning can be explained. However, this will leave us in a more precarious place than we are now in trying to define reality and free will. While I do believe in free will and reinforcing behaviors though our brain, I think that when more becomes elucidated about our brain, that we will have to make an even clearer distinction on how we choose what we choose to be. I don’t believe this is cause to concern however, but merely a challenge to set out upon, and this class has really been a runway for the acceptance and understanding of this kind of thought.  

 

Reply

To prevent automated spam submissions leave this field empty.
1 + 1 =
Solve this simple math problem and enter the result. E.g. for 1+3, enter 4.