Saturday, December 12, 2020

the relationship between science and the arts

What is it about the use of the hands that makes man smart?

Jacob Bronowski described the hand as the cutting edge of the mind. The walls between the arts and sciences are paper thin. Both require the development of critical thinking skills and the power of close observation. In woodworking you can’t whittle a stick without making simple unspoken hypotheses having to do with the impact of the grain and the angle of the knife’s edge applied to the wood. Neither the knife nor the wood will lie about the results.What is intelligence without the practice of observation and critique? And what is intelligence if it does not allow us to better manage real life? 

We live these days in a world in which folks think it's just OK to make stuff up and in which you get to believe what you want and that if you can get others infected with your beliefs you've then found truth. I call BS. There is a real world and we live in it whether it pleases us or not.

Bronowski described the practice of the arts and the practice of science as being “explosions, of a hidden likeness. The discoverer or artist presents in them two aspects of nature and fuses them into one. This is the act of creation, in which an original thought is born, and it is the same act in original science and original art.”
"The most powerful drive in the ascent of man is his pleasure in his own skill. He loves to do what he does well and, having done it well, he loves to do it better. You see it in his science. You see it in the magnificence with which he carves and builds, the loving care, the gaiety, the effrontery. The monuments are supposed to commemorate kings and religions, heroes, dogmas, but in the end the man they commemorate is the builder." –– Jacob Bronowski, the Ascent of Man television series, 1973

Make, fix and create... 

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