On Nature, Wonder, and Science

7 03 2010

Freely Living Life recently had a great post on nature and wilderness. I read the post while sitting on our terrace in the Dominican Republic, listening to a crashing ocean accompanied by Dominican crickets. I am a lover of science and am convinced that the scientific method is the best tool we have for analyzing evidence and approaching truth. Sometimes when you see a magic trick and then learn about the black thread or trapdoor, the mystery suddenly evaporates. One of my favorite things about science is its enhancement of my sense of wonder about the natural world.

Edwin O. Wilson introduced the Biophilia Hypothesis in his 1984 book Biophilia (clever title, I know). He suggests that there is a natural bond between human beings and other living systems. The hypothesis is tough to evidence, however I strongly feel that connection when I see, hear, touch, and smell the natural world. Science adds another layer of understanding to the things I experience, but does not detract from – and for me, enhances – the sense of wonder brought about by nature. We know so much more than any generation that preceded ours, and there is so much more to explore. That is exciting!

posted by jayhorowitz




8 responses

7 03 2010
Freely Living Life

Hello you two!!

Thank you so much for mentioning our “Home Away From Home” post today! ๐Ÿ™‚ We had so much fun writing that and reliving the memories of that day.

We are very familiar with Edwin O. Wilson and his biophilia hypothesis.

“I strongly feel that connection when I see, hear, touch, and smell the natural world.”

YES! So do we. I wish more people took the time to feel this connection. That was one of our intentions of writing the post on nature. To inspire and motivate people to get out here and LIVE! ๐Ÿ™‚

“We know so much more than any generation that preceded ours, and there is so much more to explore. That is exciting!”

That is VERY exciting indeed!

Excellent post. ๐Ÿ™‚

7 03 2010

Thanks, and you’re certainly welcome! As you might have guessed from the post (or the fact that I’m teaching astronomy for fun!), I’m a huge science and nature fan. Let’s spread the awesomeness!

7 03 2010
Michael Crosby

I tried to subscribe, but when I click, all I get is a ton of lettering.

7 03 2010

@Michael: Thanks for bringing this to our attention and thanks for your interest in subscribing. We’ll look into the error and get back to you ASAP!

7 03 2010

@Michael –

Sorry you had issues subscribing! I’m guessing you tried subscribing using the RSS feed link on the right? If you don’t have a feed reader set up (i.e. Google Reader, Shrook, Omea) the feed link tends to display junk.

One other option that looks like it should work is clicking “Notify me of new posts via email” below a comment. If you continue to have problems, feel free to email us at ourtakeonfreedom@gmail.com – we’re happy to help out!

7 03 2010
Michael in the Great Plains

@Jay: Yes, most of us (though I’ve known some hard-bitten urban exceptions) find interacting with nature and the outdoors a life-enhancing experience. And your enthusiasm for science is great to see.

Something I’ve noticed is that in appreciating nature, different temperaments–though they can relate somewhat to the approaches of other temperaments–tend to come at it primarily from their own distinctive perspective. This forum isn’t the place for an exhaustive analysis, but one quick distinction will suffice to illustrate the point: The analytical, knowledge-hungry temperament, though he or she might have moments of feeling emotionally at one with, or in awe of, nature is mostly fascinated by learning how nature works, and touching nature with the understanding, whereas the relationship-centered, intimacy-hungry temperament, though he or she is sometimes driven to learn about how something in nature works, is mostly seeking in nature a sense of emotional or spiritual communion with nature. Again, there is overlap, but it shouldn’t surprise us that whatever activity we engage in, and whatever we bring our attention to focus upon, we do it in our characteristic way…rather similarly to the way we do other things.

‘Hope you continue to connect with nature in whatever ways are best for you.

8 03 2010

Thanks for your comment, and I’m in full agreement with your idea that people of different temperaments interaction differently with nature.

That’s actually one of the areas where Amy and I rubbed off on each other nicely. She taught me to enjoy the ‘oneness/awesomeness’ approach and I taught her to enjoy the “Hey! Let’s go figure out how it all works!” approach. ๐Ÿ™‚

9 03 2010
Michael in the Great Plains

Jay, I think it’s great that you’re both open to the other’s influence. Keep it up!

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