What is science? The general opinion is that science is a distant and obscure concept – far from the grasp of average minds and peace-loving people. This is probably why the word, ‘scientist’, and the adjective, ‘mad’, have been used together for ages.
But given the fact that science is the very foundation upon which our lives operate, is it not ironic that science seems to be beyond comprehension of the average mind? Similarly, mathematics, the very cornerstone of science, brings sense to the idea of quantification and unambiguous value for us humans. Here are some ways in which science and mathematics rewire our brains.
1. Debunking Myths
Science, for a large number of people, is in a state of ….. as Coleridge put it – ‘willing suspension of disbelief’. Science is still in the process of rewiring the way we think.
It has already proved that the earth is not at the center of the universe – and it certainly is not flat. It was a mathematician, Archimedes, who discovered the principle of displacement while stepping into a full bath. Charles Darwin will always be remembered for his contributions to the science of evolution, and for offering a counterpoint to the notion of Creationism. While not proving his way was right, Darwin did offer some profound insight to science and how plants and animals evolve.
Science and math broaden the horizons of your mind, giving you the ability to look at the world in a new light and question everything you see. So, it’s only natural that you would not take prevalent myths at face value, and would, in fact, try to use your accumulated scientific and mathematical knowledge to bust them.
2. Ruining Science-Fiction Movies
Let’s face it. Science fiction movies used to be much more credible before the average human understanding of science improved. The reason why science has to re-wire us into believing in rationality is because we have been conditioned by irrational tales since we were children.
There are no wizards in real life, superheroes are not everywhere, the world is not controlled by aliens, and there is no such thing as using the force! You cannot watch ‘The Matrix’ without questioning your physics lessons or what you know about The Internet. Though the movie was intense and the 3rd one could barely be understood, it was completely ridiculous and absurd. Yet, it did allow you to expand your mind a little bit and think about these concepts.
3. Non-Academic Benefits of Mathematics
“Mathematics is food for the brain” – a statement like this is bound to raise a lot of questions, but math professor Dr. Arthur Benjamin knew exactly what he was talking about. After all, math is all about finding patterns and making connections.
Math requires abstract and concrete thinking, which leads to the development of the brain’s muscles. Studying math is actually a springboard to increasing your overall intelligence, and with regular practice, you get better at various academic pursuits.
How is this possible? Well, math allows you to see connections and develop neural pathways that strengthen your brain. Mathematics enhances your analytical and problem-solving skills, creates the basis for systemic thinking, improves the skills required to arrive at logical conclusions, expands the mind to handle unfamiliar tasks with ease and confidence, learns through trial and error, and promotes cautious and careful thinking.
4. Prepares You for the Future
Studying math and science gives students the essential skills they need to become employable, either in a scientific field or a non-scientific one. Science helps you become proficient with calculations and figures that prove invaluable to future employment.
Problem-solving skills, while useful in experimental or practical settings, are highly prized by employers in all fields. Moreover, the study of science and math develops communication skills, enabling you to present your work, either verbally or in writing. You become better at expressing a logical argument, persuading, and debating – skills which are all indispensable in the workplace.
Most importantly, the skills you pick up while learning math and science are versatile and transferable and can be applied to any profession. You will have no trouble finding employment in different sectors as a foundation in math and science opens up the doors to a vast number of career options.
5. Increasing Awareness about the World
You cannot deny that math and science are omnipresent in contemporary society. Owing to the unsustainable demands we make on global resources and its impact on the environment, the contributions of science are essential for the survival of the planet.
Science and math have been instrumental to the development of alternative or new energy and recycling solutions. In light of current issues, such as vaccines, gene therapy, global warming, nuclear power, the future crop of science and math students have a vital and fascinating role to play, whether it is developing new solutions or contributing to make the planet a better place to live.
You can see this if you watch the amazing movie Good Will Hunting.
Science and mathematics bring us to the rational world where Tolkien’s rings are mere commodities for fans. There are no elves or trolls; no centaurs or unicorns; no phoenix or dragons. There is NBA star Russel Westbrook though with all those triple doubles and he is a human being and what he accomplished is real. But sometimes when telling a story it is easier to expand the narrative passed earth based settings to mythical ones for a number of reasons. Though let’s get back on topic which is science and math.
This is a rational world where Dali’s paintings are not palpable, but indistinct dreams of the painter. When we started counting the rings on our fingers as children, little did we know that one day, all the fairy tales of childhood would turn out to be ridiculously unscientific and mathematically impossible!
It is ironic, however, that the wisdom attained from each of these fairy tales composes some key moral codes though much of these stories are based on what is written in the bible but this is another topic.
This moral code prevents us from trespassing into another’s house like Goldilocks – and this moral code is that which has survived the rewiring. In this calculated world, predictions are made without any emotion whatsoever and it is amazing how the census reduces an entire country to a mere figure. This is a rewired world.
Because of everyone’s knowledge of science and math is far greater than it was centuries ago for most people, we are able to determine what is real and not real at a far higher level than human beings ages ago. This is one reason why watching some of these fantastical movies and shows is so fun is because we know it is not real right off the bat. But it does not mean there is not some substance there!
Written by Benjamin Roussey
Contact us today to learn more about how our tutors can help your child improve their mathematics skills!