Hidden Knowledge Exercise

by   |  09.30.09  |  221-Early Modern

    Do you believe there are limits to what human beings can or should know? Before class, make a list of subject areas on the frontier of scientific exploration. You may list either broad subjects studied by scientists (molecular biology) or particular areas of cutting-edge research (nanotechnology).

    Now choose 1 or 2 of the items on your list and search Google News for articles describing recent work in this specific or general area of research. Quickly skim the headlines and lead paragraphs of your first 5-10 results.

    Google News

    In our own age of discovery, what attitudes toward science or scientific research are represented by these articles? Consider not only the tone of each but its source. Do you find stories describing the responses of politicians, church leaders, journalists, or scientists themselves? Why do these authors find particular areas of research fascinating, threatening, or something in between?

    Finally, return to the opening question: Do you believe there are limits to what human beings can and should know? Before you proceed, listen to the following reflections on this question by professors and scientists at ACU:

    Forbidden Knowledge? – Dr. Richard Beck, Psychology

    Genetic Technology – Dr. Tom Lee, Biology