Humanities Math and Sciences Homework
Now that we have studied each of the 3 major areas of the sciences, it’s now time to put them to use, and more important, to show how each of these areas can approach the same human event, ask different sets of questions, and find different sets of answers about it.
In Weeks 3–5, you have been completing Theory Projects, where you have been given a fictional scenario and been tasked with using 1 of the methods of 1 of these types of sciences to address it. This week, like before, you will be given a fictional scenario, but now, you must propose how you would address that same scenario in 3 different ways: through the natural sciences, mathematics, and the social sciences.
In doing so, you will need to demonstrate how each of these sciences asks very different questions about the same human events. You will also demonstrate the power and limits of each of these sciences, showing how each 1 has the ability to ask questions that the others don’t. Please note: Just like in past projects, you only need to propose how you would approach the situation. You do not need to actually solve the issue or perform any research to try to determine the answer.
This Week’s Scenario:
On a hike in the American northwest, you discover the remnants of a once-thriving civilization. Deep in a forest, you discover buildings that were technologically-advanced for their time, arranged in well-planned patterns. However, you also discover that the civilization collapsed in a violent way.
How would you use the 3 disciplines we have examined in this class to explore this civilization? What theories might you construct using each one of these disciplines? How certain would your theories be? Think of 1 piece of information or fact that could challenge your theories.
Your proposal project will be completed in 4 parts:
The Natural Sciences: Using what you know of the natural sciences, what methods could you employ to better understand how or why the civilization thrived and how or why it collapsed? Invent some observable facts that would allow you to create a theory, and then create an actual theory to account for that information. As a final piece, imagine a piece of information that would prove your theory is wrong.
Mathematics: Using your knowledge of mathematics, what methods could you use to understand and appreciate the particular genius of the people who populated this civilization? Without attempting any mathematical equations, answer this question: what might the application of mathematical reason tell you about these people? As a final thought, can you think of any discovery that would challenge your conclusions? (For example, while many people are amazed at the mathematical precision of Egypt’s great pyramids, some mathematicians have argued that the pyramids are simply the shape determined by gravity, as the angles of the pyramids are the same as when sand would form if it slowly dropped from your hand. Thus, the shape is less a reflection of mathematical precision and more a result of gravity’s law.)
Social Sciences: Using your knowledge of the social sciences, what methods could you use to determine why this society thrived and/or why it collapsed? What kinds of information would your analysis of the buildings, resources, and buildings tell you about the role of wealth, power, gender, and/or labor? Invent a theory about how the society functioned and why it failed. As a final thought, can you think of any discovery that would challenge your theory?
Christian Faith and the Sciences: Finally, briefly explain how your Christian faith might provide you a unique framework by which you can approach this situation. How does your understanding of God and his creation change how you might approach the beauty, power, sin, evil, and goodness of this society?
Each of these 4 parts should be at least 1 page in length, and your completed Proposal Project should be at least 4 pages. If you reference any readings, be sure to use current MLA formatting.
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