All sciences are dependant one upon another. This is very easy to understand. Take History for example. If we define the science of History as ‘all the processes and events that occurred to Humans (Homo-Sapiens) from the point we can gather any scientific proof of their lives, like the invention of wheel, Socialism or Christianity – then we must ask ourselves… well, what happened before? What is the greater scientific subject that came PRIOR to the beginning of what we just defined as “History”.
And the answer is, of course, Biology. Genes, Cells, Replicators – the evolution of life long before humanity came to be – these belong in Biology, which also sets the guidelines (or more precisely the “game rules”) for History. History cannot teach us anything that defies the laws Biology. No human had ever grown wings and flew.
And what is Biology dependant on? What came to be before Biology? The answer is Chemistry. Chemical reactions were responsible for the creation of life on this planet. But the science for explaining the very first concepts, those that were even before Chemistry came to be, is Physics – Everything that came after the “Big Bang” falls under the rules of Physics. Chemistry, Biology and Human History.
So if we are to aspire to be Polymaths, then we must first understand at least the basic concepts of Physics. This science came a long way ever since Newton first described what we know as “Classical Mechanics”. Albert Einstein couldn’t stretch Newton’s science far enough to fit his discoveries so he had to invent a new science: Quantum Mechanics.
Luckily for all of us, Stanford has 2 full courses on Quantum Physics available online for free. Let us take the first step to understanding how the universe and life work by learning Quantum Entanglements 101, with Prof. Leonard Susskind.
Brand new animation video lecture from RSA. This time:
Renowned psychiatrist and writer Iain McGilchrist explains how our ‘divided brain’ has profoundly altered human behaviour, culture and society. Taken from a lecture given by Iain McGilchrist as part of the RSA’s free public events programme.
I’m always fascinated with the way Richard Dawkins debates people who hold a different world perspective than his. Often, discussions turn to arguments which turn into heated debates. This happens because our mind is demonizing the person who argues against us and makes him a target to us.
But Richard Dawkins truly respects his opponents, and actually tends to listen and weigh the other person’s different opinions. This is why, to me, Richard Dawkins is a great debator.
The next video was left on the cutting floor of the documentary film; “Root of All Evil?”, and it is a 70 min. debate between Dawkins and Alister McGraph, Professor of Historical Theology at Oxford University regarding the (non)existence of god. Both opposing debators provide powerful arguments. Quite enlightening to listen in.
In this new RSAnimate, Professor Renata Salecl explores the paralysing anxiety and dissatisfaction surrounding limitless choice. Does the freedom to be the architects of our own lives actually hinder rather than help us? Does our preoccupation with choosing and consuming actually obstruct social change?
A lot of astronomy enthusiasts out there may be missing on the abundance of resources available of the web. Here are a few interesting links we’ve encountered thus far.
The Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics has two interesting resources on its webpage: the Current Night Sky page that is updated frequently and follows the phases of the moon and the location of planets, comets and meteor shower alerts, and the Sky Chart page that provides an up-to-date photo of the sky and the locations of all constellations.
HubbleSite.org is produced by the Space Telescope Science Institute. Besides frequent news releases of the Hubble Telescope, the website also features a collection of amazing photos that were taken by the telescope of deep space.
Not forgetting of course the Themis website (Mars Odyssey) of Arizona U, which is filled with information about the Mars thermal emissions imaging system.
And if we’re exploring space and the stars, why not help the joint effort of discovering alien life by participating in the SETI@Home project. Download a special program from their website and donate unused computing force of your very own computer to analyze radio telescope data in search for extraterrestrial life.
Got an important Astronomy resource in mind? Share it with us on comments and we’ll add it to the list!
Celebrate the start of a new academic year with the 60-Second Lectures! Join us in a race against the clock and follow our roster of faculty experts as they work to fit a world of knowledge and discovery into just one minute of time. Let the countdown begin!
Just to get you started, here’s a 60-second video featuring Ted Abel on The Role of Sleep in Memory Storage:
Click here to access the archive of all 60-second lectures by Penn U.