Yardsticks and Light Years: Teaching Extreme Measures
|Author(s)||by Harold Toliver|
|Keywords||Discourse, Measurements, Standard Model, Metonymy, Myth, Pedagogy|
|Open Access||Access PDF Open in New Tab|
Philosophy in one its roles joins common experience and science in labeling, measuring, connecting, and evaluating. In anything concerning natural history since the 1920s its references have had to acknowledge extremes in space, time, heat, and size beyond anything previously suspected. Problems in representation come where the gap between common sense and science widens. Measurements are especially problematic at the building block level where observation and testing affect the object. Even within the normal sensory range, nothing in systematic math or science adequately represents disorder and fine gradations among instances, a problem faced some time ago in taxonomy and species identification. Defined systems like plane geometry have limited application to the irregularities of topography, celestial debris, and galactic clusters. The grids they superimpose make orientation possible, however, as longitude and latitude allows global positioning without regard to topographical irregularities.
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