The Scientific Mind

Valerie - Briarcliff Manor, New York
Entered on June 13, 2008
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: science

I live my life in accordance with the scientific process. I constantly adjust my beliefs, opinions, and day to day actions in order to comply with the chaos and change that characterizes life on Earth. My environs, both internal and external, are constantly shifting; I react and adapt to the constant disorder that defines the world and possibly the universe. It is necessary to think scientifically in order to survive; what is true one day may not be true the next, and inflexibility leads to vulnerability.

Science is substantial, justifiable, tangible. To understand science I need to be logical, and I believe that as human beings, logic is the most important quality we possess. Humans innately function in agreement with the scientific process. I hypothesize; I experiment with and test my surroundings; I draw careful conclusions from my meticulously collected data. And then I repeat the process. This is how I function minute to minute, second to second – analyzing my environment.

Science is dynamic, just as the world and its inhabitants are. There is certainty in science, but not so much so that theories cannot be molded and altered as evidence warrants. Throughout my childhood, I had always been told that the muscle-fatigue caused by running or performing other strenuous activity was caused by lactic acid buildup. Lactic acid was thought to affect muscle fiber, preventing its contraction and slowly but surely exhausting the runner. Resolutely, educators and textbooks relayed this information to students, who were expected to learn it as fact. Recently, this theory has been disproved – replaced by another theory involving potassium ions. In this new theory, it is said that potassium ions have the ability to numb the membranes of muscle cells as a type of safety mechanism, protecting against over-stimulation; this theory is now in the process of becoming accepted in the scientific community. Science requires a certain amount of faith. This faith, however, does not detract from logic; logic, based on observation and deduction, is standard in the world of science. New discoveries are embraced and quickly put to use.

Instead of accepting what is, I believe in envisioning what can be. I find comfort in organization and serenity when everything is in place – but at the same time I am not afraid to be disproved and come to find that the right place was wrong all along. This is what separates the scientific mind from the stagnant mind. I am not afraid to question what I believe in and what others believe in. I am not insecure enough to try to force my beliefs on others. I believe that progress halts when questions cease to be asked; therefore, I take very little at face value. I believe in potential, I believe in advancement, I believe in science.