Can Science Answer the 'Life' Question? by Tyler Wood

"What is life?" is a question that theoretical biologists are trying hard to figure out. Physicists have even entered into this field of inquiry. There are no definitive answers as of yet, but the question of how to get these answers persists. Can science ever understand what life is?  I will look at two different views of how we are going to arrive at these answers, if possible;  one based on a tradition of science from one of these physicists turned theoretical biologist, and one from a new science emerging (how ironic) from the biological tradition only to try and flip the views on their heads. The former being Erwin Schrödinger in his infamous and well-noted essay entitled aptly What is Life? and the latter being a proponent of artificial life Christopher G. Langton in his essay entitled also very pertinently Artificial Life. Schrödinger takes the traditional reductionist view of life, while Langton takes a view that, instead of going top down, goes from bottom up. Are these methods going to answer the question to what life is, or is science getting in over its head on this question? I will argue that these methods have added greatly to the study of science and what features life might have but they remain unable to answer the question – "what is life?"

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Secret Knowledge: Medieval Scientific Development by Tyler Wood

A shift in the history of science narrative to an idea that secret knowledge had a much more dominant role to play is a positive shift in reasoning to better understand science in the medieval and early modern European history. Historians have overlooked the secret knowledge and passed it off as unimportant to the history that was to lead to modern science. Alchemy and mysticism, magic and even astrology are cultures that were overlooked at first by modern historians, and now rediscovered as major players in the history of science and technological development in our past, much like the 'secrets of nature' genre of books were. The way I define the statement 'secret knowledge' is this; The learned peoples secrets of the trade, such as, craftsman's secrets not being shared with the public for reasons of keeping demand for yourself high or scholars knowledge kept from the masses by way of keeping it written in Latin, so as to keep the illiterate from reading it and desecrating this traditional knowledge passed down through the generations. I will argue that science as secret knowledge is a justified narrative for the history of science based on its necessity of the 'secrets' books to have flourished in the age of the printing press causing a push for more practical science.

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Science and Religion: Are They Separate Spheres? by Tyler Wood

Stephen J. Gould in Rocks of Ages: Science and Religion in the Fullness of Life, argues that Science and Religion occupy separate magisterium in his "Principle of NOMA, or Non-Overlapping Magisteria (pg. 5)." He believes that these two ideologies should have no quarrels since they each have their own domain of teaching influence to deal with, and, if they are practicing properly, they should never meet to argue because they never overlap. 'Never' is a hard word to defend for Gould and I shall put this argument to the test and conclude with a position that allows a little more room to breathe for each discipline.

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