Read the incredible article, The Brain on Trial by neuroscientist David Eagelman director of the Baylor Laboratory of Behavior and Perception on the incredibly
profound effects brain chemistry has on our behavior.
The article brings up a number of questions including:
1. Do we have free will?
2. What is a viable “insanity” defense
3. Does the article change your opinion on how we punish criminality in our society?
For our first option in year 2 psychology, we’ll be investigating Abnormal Psychology. A Learning outcome of the unit is, “Discuss the concepts of normality and abnormality” This learning activity will focus your understanding around this topic and see that “abnormal” is not a concept that is black and white.
What is weird
Defining Psychological Disorders
DSM IV ONLINE:
When finished with the above, move on to trying to understand the various lenses through which we judge abnormality via this Learning helper:
Diagnosing a STAR
When finished with the above, engage in PSYCHSIM’s MYSTERY CLIENT diagnosis Activity:
After we’ve read about Simulation Theory, Expansionary theory and now watched the incredible “Fabric of the Cosmos” by NOVA and Brian Greene, your mind is probably (and hopefully) spinning.
If you began our math unit certain that the laws of physics and mathematics were “in there somewhere” and it was only a matter of time before we discovered them, do you feel the same way now? Are you still a Platonist in regard to mathematics? Or, have you started to sway towards empiricism (generalizations about the observed world) and Formalism (Mathematical truths are true by definition)?
Some reasons you may be swayed:
1. Newton’s laws were considered “perfect” as they described what we could observe.
2. However as our powers of observation increased, we realized that what we were observing were but “shadows on the wall of the cave” to use a Plato reference thus
3. Einstein created his theories of relativity and space time. DRASTICALLY different than newtonian physics. This was a scientific revolution
4. If Newton’s laws, which stood for 100s of years, could be proven wrong, what else can?!?!?!?! Will Einstein’s theories be proven wrong as well?!?!?! IF so,
5. WHAT CAN WE REALLY SAY WE KNOW FOR CERTAIN!?!?!?!?!?!
This of course brings us to Descartes who asked this very question…we’ll move into his philosophy later….
Euclid’s Geometry seemed pretty immutable…that is until Riemann came along in the mid 19th century and created new axioms of geometry. They were as follows:
A. Two points may determine more than one line
B. All lines are finite in length but endless– i.e. circles
C. There are no parallel lines
A. All perpendiculars to a straight line meet at one point (lines of longitude are perpendicular to the equator but meet at north pole)
B. Two straight lines enclose an area (Any two lines of longitude meet at both north and south pole, thus enclose an area)
C. The sum of the angles of any triangle is greater than 180 degrees.
Einstein further muddled (or clarified) the picture with his new Laws Of Physics embodied in Relativity. Here, he too saw space as curved and not flat. Thus, the geometry that applied to Einsteins’ physical laws are more Riemann than Euclid.
Andrei Linde and his “Expansionary Theory” researchers made similar revolutionary claims that were rejected until they recently received amazing scientific evidence supporting their theories regarding the origins of the universe…more on that in a later post!!!!
“From Big Bang to Little Swish” Read this article and highlight via Diigo app! This is an intro to expansionary theory–the latest theory regarding the origins of the universe. We’ll delve much deeper into this topic later! But some important knowledge questions to consider are:
1. Is a mathematical explanation for the origin of the universe any more valid than a faith based one?
2. Is Mathematics Discovered or Invented? (Platonism vs. formalism).
LInk to “doodling in math part 2” How do these “natural patterns” that correspond to the Fibonacci sequence support or refute the Simulation Hypothesis?
Read the NYTimes article below:
This brings up amazing ideas regarding the platonic nature of math, reason and math as a #wok and issues of creation and #cosmology
For further information, listen to Nick Bostrom explain both his Simulation Argument and his Simulation Hypothesis
And below is an interview with Nick Bostrom from the New Yorker that you should read to further your understanding and intrigue your mind: