Thursday, August 31, 2006

The Worst Mistake in the History of the Human Race

My sister showed me an article that she was using in her AP history class, and it really reminded me of some questions that were brought up during the Plato discussion - is enlightenment / the gain of new knowledge always appropriate and/or good for society? Are there times when a new knowledge is not beneficial and it is better to exist without this knowledge ? (I can’t remember the exact wording of these questions). Basically, the author of this article argues that there was an instance in history where the embracement of a new knowledge/technique was detrimental to society. What do you think?

The Worst Mistake in the History of the Human Race

The article is a bit lengthy but you don't have to read the entire thing to get the basic point of it


Are Eugenics ever justified?
Would the world be a better place if our mates were chosen for us?
"Eugenics is the self-direction of human evolution" ~Slogan for the Second Internation Congress of Eugenics

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Teaching and Knowledge

Suppose for a moment that the goal of teaching is to imbue your students with knowledge.

Teacher: one who gives knowledge to his or her students.

So would you be a failed teacher if.
a) What you say is not true.
b) Your student is not convinced.
c) You don't believe it (but its in the curriculum).

I know the above statements are vague. It is to stimulate conversation on the words used in this post itself.
Also, mention any other circumstances that might define a failed teacher.

Humanoid Robots!

So, first of all, this post is based on this article in PopSci.
What are the social implications of humanoid robots.
And please don't limit your comments to this question, but expand above and beyond!

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Stem cell research as an ethical issue

Ok guys, I know this is a bit random, but as I was taking a break from writing the Extended Essay, I came across a really interesting article about new developments in stem cell research, and thought it might be worth y'all's perusal. So the big question is, at least in my mind- could we have ethically justified the destruction of embryos, is this an acceptable solution, and what possible ramifications do you think this might have for the future? How do we know if something is morally right or not? Where does that line fall? Not just with stem cell research, but take this farther- how do we define morality, and can we even define it? Something to think about... (

5 senses response

Never used a blog before, so we'll see how this goes...(It's Sara, btw).

No senses, eh? I believe that internal comprehension is completely separate from the physical being, meaning if all senses were eliminated, we would still be perfectly capable of absorbing experience and synthesizing the information we gain through that. Anything we are able to internally comprehend (intuitively, logically, emotionally, etc.), we could technically know. For example, human beings can instinctively sense hostility in one another or that they're being followed. Without being able to physically grasp that, we still know that information if we trust our gut enough. Our discoveries might not be as profound with this limited way of experiencing, but it's still quite possible to produce some sort of knowledge based on external observation while lacking sensory awareness.

Monday, August 28, 2006

How do you know?

First question for you all...

If you had...
no sense of smell...
no sense of sight...
no sense of taste...
no sense of touch...
and no sense of hearing...

...what knowledge about the world could you have?