1. Introduction; Science, Scientists, Technology
When I read sentences of number 92 in the Metamorphosis of Plants, written by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, including "..., but it takes an act of reason rather than observation to find the connection between the seeds, which are actually fertilized and separated from the parent plant by the reproductive process, and the gemmae, which simply grow...", I was reminded of the book of Critique of Pure Reason, by Immanuel Kant.
We may think scientific logics and related terminologies should be different from metaphysics, but, when we carefully look into the processes from observation to the final products, they are very similar or almost the same. This is a way for me to write this book with great portion of my attentions being in terminologies. Moreover, Aristotle said philosophy is nothing but IDEA (i.e., idea), and Einstein defined science as creation of new concepts and ideas, with freely minds. Thus, we will discuss these more in details later, but, there seems great similarity between philosophy and science.
Aristotle said he wanted students for his university, who knew geometry; after a long time, Goethe mentioned his university wanted students who could observe the Nature. Then, I personally want to have students, if I have my university, who want to be Genius Scientist; here, genius scientist is defined by me, as scientist who can make a new scientific concept (instead of solving difficult and complicated mathematic problems) for happiness of contemporary people.
I would tell all the efforts in their universities may be related to certain identities with students and scholars, to be made, through creation of concepts and ideas. Thus, we may have to ask ourselves what our identities should be.
One day, the God (or principles to create the Earth or the anything, depending on religion) gets complains from living organisms on the Earth, except with Human. More than anything, they appeal their sufferings resulted from Human. The God gives all the voting rights to all the living organisms, including human, other animals, protozoa, bacteria, and even plants, to ask them which species should vanish from the Earth. The God do not announce the results of the votes and keep silence. After traveling to the Mars, the Jupiter, the Saturn, the Uranus, the God command the scientists in the Earth to make scientific concepts related to the solutions to the problems within 100 years, from December 25, 2015.
Our present crises may lie in either environment or even human being ourselves. What if our actual crisis lies in humanity? Then, we may have to ask again ourselves whether we have any tools, in terms of academics, science, or engineering, to solve the problems.
When we were in childhood, the time was long. At least we feel that way. But, we reflected yesterday, sometimes it was nothing, thus, we can not remember any of those memories. When two friends go to a theater, the one may say it is long in playing time, meanwhile, the other says it is very short. Why do these happen in our minds? Does the time actually vary with different persons? This goes beyond the scope of our discussion.
When we conceive the time difference, there might be reason(s). We live this world by looking, talking, breathing, eating, discussing, listening, tasting, and many others. We can not remember all of these even though we experience, which bring to a question how we can absorb something into our memories among what we experience. It is only concept that we can get from the experiences, not all the things themselves. This is why ability to obtain concepts from experiences is so important for artists and scientists.
If we were scientists or students to be scientists, we would doubt there could be any new issues or things to be developed as theory, in areas of the modern science. Of course, we can not answer to this question. But, the problem is not that we can not answer, but that we do not want to try to answer; scientists seem to try to find their research themes and even necessities to be studied in other scientists' works, instead of finding ones from Nature, based on observations and subsequent experiences. Unless we can use very fundamental logics for science, we may have difficulties to do identity types of research or to get to new concepts in Science. Not only in science but also in many other different areas in our life, we need to stick once again basic ways of our sensibility and thinking to get to something important; fortunately, many philosophers already told for us with detailed procedures. In this book, we are supposed to use teachings from Kant, Hegel, Goethe, and other teachers.
Besides scientific themes and ideas, scientific terminologies are also my concern to describe something from the Nature. When do we have to use analysis rather than synthesis, understand over comprehend, perceive over conceive, and more? The one has absolutely different implication from the other, but, I think we are confusingly using terminologies without respect to correct objects, appearances, and concepts; even for the same process, we may be using different defining terminologies.
When I wrote this and read many books of scientists, philosophers, and other expertise, I found common things in them, especially who made something memorizable in our history of science and others. Firstly, they are good listeners to carefully accept other colleagues who even had different spirits, philosophy, and opposing methods to go to the same goal. Sometimes one scientist hated another scientist a lot, thus, his life-long goals seem to beat a theory of the other, but, he knew everything about the other scientist, in papers, books, and tellings. I think we have to value this attitude of our senior scientists. Secondly, even with very different areas of science, they seem to use similar or exactly the same methodologies to obtain knowledges. Detailed methods may be developed to be new and innovative, but, principles and logical procedures underlying the methods are pretty much maintained and sometimes kept almost the same. You may prefer to use (or wish to study) method of whole-object research (Gaia theory for example) over molecular analysis (i.e., genetic approach), but, there is still common methodologies even with different methods for research.
Time and Space: 2 things to start in Science
In all sciences, time and space are fundamental two parameters (or suppositions) underlying all other objects. As far as time is concerned, it is said to be universal, then, an object can be said (or defined) as identical even it may change as time goes on; later, we will further explain not object but represented form of the object can be. There is an interesting supposition; we say two objects which occupy different spaces at the same time are different even though they have exactly the same quantity and quality). Time also controls succession of represented intuitions, with logics, such as causality and reciprocity, however, time itself can not be intuited. In these aspects and senses, time and space are not knowledges to be obtained from our scientific experiences, but from prior knowledge suggested by Kant. Time and space related knowledges also need experiences (empirical knowledges) to bring up from hidden places in us, thus, the two are objectives (not subjectives) and related academics can be mathematics and physics.
The reason why I would like to discuss about scientists, with famous scientists, such as Newton, Einstein, and Huygens, is not for just introducing theirs wonderful lives and historical works which may frustrate us, but for desiring to know what real and true scientists are. There is one thing on scientists which we are confused of, talented versus genius scientist. Is Newton talented or genius? How about Einstein? No doubt, I believe they are genius, and I also think most of you also believe so, right? My next question would be whether genius is born as they are or they are educated and become to be for some reasons afterwards. People tend to believe genius is born to be. Before we dispute to answer to this question, we have to define who are genius of science.
In this book or class, we adopted definition of science from Einstein's thought. To do scientific works, we have to observe to make corresponding concepts, and sometimes to defer ideas using our reason. With this, take one example with who are really good at memorizing many mathematical equations and solutions, and very good at solving difficult mathematical problems in calculus. Do we call him or her as genius or talented student or scholar? He or she is talented; the reason why he or she is surely talented is that he or she is good at some concepts and/or theories that are already made by others. Please remember how we define the scientist who is not just solving existing problems based on some concepts and theories, but, can make his or her own concepts based on experiences or reasons. Thus, genius scientists are educated to be or are practiced (by themselves). Not everyone can solve complicated calculus problems based on theories that were made by Newton, especially within a relatively short time, except talented persons who are born to be. Normal musicians cannot play violin, even though they practice, like the talented musician Chung who is probably born to be (of course I don't doubt he practiced a lot to be perfect at his play, but, I also think he is talented). In summary, we can be genius from our customs and endeavors, but we all cannot be talented scientists even though we do our best.
Now, we agree we can become genius type of scientists, with logical customs, if we properly practice to be and to make new concepts. However, we also have to acknowledge our actual worlds are not generous to allow us to be free and creative in all the practices of scientific observation and in solving all problems we face. This may be one of probable reasons why there are very little genius, but, there are relatively many talented scientists as there are born to be.
There is another thing in scientific works which we are frequently confused of; it is mannerism and identity. We simply consider mannerism as bad one, and identity as good one. Again, we suppose we stick to our definition in my book or classes. Take example of Samsung Electronics. For the underlying invention of scientific concepts and corresponding products, Samsung did not produce any of those, but, Samsung has been so successful in making popular IT products with good qualities. Thus, Samsung has been successful in using existing concepts that were already invented by some other scientists or engineers, for which we can define mannerism. Thus, Samsung has pretty successful mannerism in IT industry areas. Nobody seems to remember who invented the concept of computer, cell phone, and TV who were surely genius, but, everyone know which corporations make IT products they like to use. We can have many similar examples in scientific and engineering research fields. Mannerism itself is not bad one, but, it is something we have to properly understand. Now, I cordially want to ask you whether anyone is not using a scientific method which is not categorized as mannerism.
Identity is one that we frequently misuse to explain scientific works. We are frequently told committee in PhD defense ask candidate what identity is with thesis; I am very confused what exactly they intend to ask about. With terminology of identity (of course I am not native speaker though), meaning of the same is involved in it. Given that two fundamental matters and substances in our scientific world are time and space. Thus, identity means an object (i.e., scientific existence) occupies the same space in different times, which meets succession in time. Take apposite case, i.e., an object occupies the same time in different spaces. It is not identity but difference (please draw some pictures of these two examples). However, I also understand what language is; if everyone agree to use a terminology with a specific meaning, we can use it.
Next talk on scientists is about necessity for us to be scientist. Some believe their being scientists is contingent while the others believe as necessity. Or, someone do not care as they are already and can not change anyway. Once again, let us take an example; one person comes to GIST or goes to US to study and to get degree, then discusses with faculties to be his advisor. One of professors who has a huge project needs to hire diligent students thus he selected the student from Korea. The student from Korea is happy to be funded and to participate in a good and important (at least he believe and think so) project. In this way, he decides his major. What do you think on the process and his major in academia which he selects or seems to be selected? Is that contingent or necessary for him? Then, please coming back to yourself and ask yourself with the same question. I know all the procedures are mixed up with many different things, factors, and people, but, I also know we have to ask ourselves which one is the most important factor to influence our decision. How many students or scholars believe the reason for them to be major in specific areas was not contingent but necessary?
I would like to close my talks by unfolding my thoughts on fame and honor of scientists. Fame and honor have similarities to a certain extent, with respect to positive aspects toward others, but, also have very distinct difference. Fames can be got by scientists, in two ways, the first with good will and behaviors, which includes technology transfer to communities and countries that desperately need those, and the second with great achievements in scientific areas, a Nobel prize winning work, for example. The first one has characters to be easily forgot by people as time goes on, but the second generally continue to be memorized. Fames once obtained may be lost for many reasons, but, also it can be recovered, which is another character. Honors for scientists may be classified into two types; the first is about scientist itself, including scientists' personality and ethical action, and the second is related to scientist's achievements, including scientific identity and creativity. Differently from scientists' fame, honor can not be recovered once lost.
Scientists say there are principles and theories on the Universe (including the Earth), and at least they are trying to use those for existence itself and its motion, transformation, and reaction, even though all of those can not fully explained. They say there are also exceptions. If we reverse to look at the other sides, we may think (conceptually or ideally) there are always contingency, as modality of categorical concepts, with exceptional principles or laws. If we scale down the universe to the Earth, especially with organisms, it becomes more apparent and effective for explanation.
Organisms on earth evolve towards directions of memories of which levels (thresholds of behaviors) differ for different species.
-Memories to a Behavior with Contingency with a few patterns and rules
-Human behavior; verbal behavior
-Behaviors of animals (higher and lower mental)
-Behaviors are results of memories, i.e., produced from contingencies (of either reinforcement or survival from, or adaptation to, certain environments)
(1) With devouring desert locust, scientists have been trying to find orderly patterns of moving, and their behaviors relating to biological reasons and even genetic origins, under different environmental conditions, it seems they are not that much successful. Let take different approach, there has never been scientific causality on the occurrence of the desert locust, but there are some exceptional observable patterns and motions, with all others originally being contingency. The fact that the Rocky locusts, even having different genetics, have abruptly disappeared in the Rockies, without distinct causes, is one of supporting happening (i.e., there are always contingencies with some exceptional patterns, regularities, or governing laws).
(2) With genes of human and other organisms, it is one of the examples having both contingency and exceptional laws; as we know, DNA structures of human have been known revealed but physical and chemical ones were actually. Do certain strains having specific functions always react to certain stimulus from outer environmental conditions? It may be said it depends on different conditions, which is another evidence of contingency. It is said of, as for dummies.
(3) Minimizing risky researches: Once we accept the science structure under the principles with an exception, scientists may use the founded mannerisms under the principles and certain branches of academics, which may be very effective to produce tremendous products which do not have any meanings, and have different culture without consideration of human-minded memories.
(4) Genes modification is a change without bases on memories which make a more bad memory ever, thus, makes corresponding an unexpected memory, which is also a contingency.
Through this semester, we have discussed and accordingly design our contingencies for both research and education, with science, especially natural science. There is no strict, structured, and standardized teaching materials, but, we surely materials, including references, which depends on our purposes of the class, toward our scientific goals in GIST, and more extensively for our scientific community sharing some scientific values. Science has normally objectives: survival, development based progress, conservatism (or arcadianism), and curing. Some need robust, and structural class materials, for the mannerism towards planned goals, however, sometimes we need more flexible and natural materials in education system, without existing concepts and principles. We have been discussing we have to always ask ourselves what our research and education purposes are, and where our final destination is; for these, we study, we learn and teach, and we are here. Of course, we admire our predecessors scientists, and their theories and view, but, also suspect certainty of their things. We learn these from Socrates, Descartes, Russell, Watson, and many others we met in this semester, to go forward towards a progress we define for and by ourselves, to survive or cure or sometimes to go even further (progress) to hopefully a right direction.
Practicing Problem #1:
Describe identity of you, as opposed to other persons and/or surrounding worlds, and also give your opinion on identity of department of environmental science and engineering (within A4-1 page).
Identity of an object can be identified through either image, appearance, representation, concept, or even idea, in dimensions of both time and space. Every character can not share a space at the same time, if so, they should have fatal collisions. Instead, they can share the space at the different time. Thus, we accept somewhat change in characters in different times.
Facebook and KakoTalk identify us with phone number, and Google identifies us with words that we use every day for search.