Science and Traditional Views
1. (15 points) Use the links “Scientific Method and the discussion in the power point (also given orally in the UM Connect Presentation) to answer the questions below, as well as the link below from ted.com on cultural views. http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/en/devdutt_pattanaik.html Myths that Mystify
(Biomedicine or allopathic medicine will always refer to the practice of mainstream US medicine (evidence based medicine would be another way to describe medical practice based on scientific knowledge)..
a. (4 points) After listening to Pattanaik’s Ted talk, Myths that Mystify, compare the Greek (western) world view to the Indian (eastern) world view. Make sure to jot notes as he speaks and then think over his major points about culture and present them here. How does he illustrate practically the importance of understanding cultural differences that exist today at the end of his talk? How would you apply what he says to health?
He illustrates the importance of understanding cultural differences by explaining that he has no right answer of which culture is better, but that one should understand they “live in the subjective truth” and that one needs to understand this and then you can discover the eternal truth within other cultures. To expand on this understanding, he talks about how the Greeks believe you only live once, whereas, the Indians believe life is cyclical and you can go back and forth from living and the dead as you please. By understanding how these two cultures view life and death will give you insight into many other aspects of their lives. One of these insights might be into the way they view health. Based on the Greeks viewing life as a one-time thing, they might respect their bodies a little more than the Indians who believe life is cyclical and therefore might do things to their bodies as they please.
b. (8 points) From the powerpoint or UM Connect, contrast the criteria or characteristics of ‘indigenous ways of living in nature’ with those of Eurocentric science (I suggest listing these from the powerpoint or paper, then explaining each in your own words; examples always work well to illustrate what you mean). Here you may need to refer to the paper by Glenn Aikenhead that is posted if you are not familiar with the assumptions and characteristics of Eurocentric science; it is entitled “Indigenous Ways of Knowing vs Euroscience”. For full credit, you must go through each characteristic for each group and explain each in your own words, then give a general comparison of what this means at the end.
Nature is knowable: natural laws describe the mystery of nature
Need to know: knowledge is key to acquire in this domain, placed above applied sciences
Predictive validity: how the universe works, can apply this to physics because we can predict outcomes by using it
Science is competitive but communal: communities and science are all for improving the world, but compete for new ideas and grants
Uniformitarianism: the scientific method is always applied the same way, never wavering
Rectilinear time: a measurement of time that is quantified
Cartesian Dualism: knowledge about matter doesn’t include the human mind at all
Reductionism: the functional parts describe the whole
Anthropocentrism: nature is dominated by humans
Quantifications: mathematical relationships can define the material world
Realism: Depending on if we can measure it, will depend if it exists or is questionable if it exists
Positivism: the real world is better than all others
Monist: everything in the universe is alive
Holistic: science, art, religion, philosophy are not separated in Indigenous cultures
Relational: presumption that if everything is like me (knowledge and spirit), then all are my relations. Everything is related
Mysterious: celebrating mystery and living in harmony with it as well is essential
Placed-based: human development is