Through phenomenon that can be reduced to the

            Through the comparison and
contrasting of two important views in Consilience, by E.O. Wilson and Life is a
Miracle by Wendell Berry, the reader can learn more about their views on the
world, the sciences, and humanities while also being able to get a grasp on how
they feel as well. As we have grown from a child into young adults, we have
been taught only the core courses that will apply to our lives. By reading
these books, you dive deeper into how the world is perceived and get a glance
at why the two authors believe what they think is to be right.

             In his final chapter, E.O. Wilson devotes much
of it to genetic engineering and environmental issues, but leads to the holding
capacity of the planet and the merits of the diversity of plant and animal
life. Starting at the beginning of the chapter, Wilson talks about the central
idea of consilience, which is his view is a tangible phenomenon that can be
reduced to the laws of physics. He supports this idea by talking about humanity
and how it is kin to all other life forms. As we all share the same genetic
coding, Wilson suggests that this places us among the monkeys and apes. With
this belief about our hereditary, human nature, which has evolved during
hundreds of thousands of years, has still profoundly affected the evolution of
culture. As a sum of this, I think that Wilson is trying to let us know that
even though we have been slowly evolving throughout the years, we still are being
affected by the past. Our culture is the life of our society. It is expressed
in the many ways we tell our stories, celebrate and remember the past,
entertain each other, and imagine our future. This is what our society is based
upon. Without our cultures and backgrounds, we wouldn’t have anything. So as
Wilson states we have evolved over the millennia, we see how our human nature
used to be and how we’ve grown from it into what society is today.

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Another point that Wilson makes in this chapter is
that people believe that science has little to do with most day to day things.
The production of science, other than any major breakthroughs, are very
marginal. Most of what really matters to humanity, which goes back to evolving
from primates that have adapted form Darwinian fundamentals, are family, work, reproducing,
security, entertainment, and spiritual fulfillment. They are assuming that
social sciences and humanities are independent of natural sciences, however
this is not the case. Science is not marginal. It a very important part of
humanity and knowledge, which is a vital part of society. Due to science and
technology, we have the things we do today. By doing tests and gaining more
knowledge, we are advancing in technology. This is all due to synthesis. People
who are synthesizers will be able to put the right information together at the
right time and make wise decisions. Regarding Wilson on this subject he is very
true. People today have no value as to where things come from and how
everything comes together. They only worry about what matters to them and not
the world in general. Wilson believes that synthesis will be able to bring
everything together is an easy way to think, however there is a downside. If the
people who are synthesizers run the world, then everything in life would become
a little simpler, but that is a hard thing to achieve because there are many
people out there who believe in different ways of running a society.

To conclude Wilson in his final chapter, he goes back
to an important topic, the Enlightenment. He writes, “The legacy of the
Enlightenment is the belief that entirely on our own we can know, and in
knowing, understand, and in understanding, choose wisely.” Throughout three
paragraphs following this statement, it seems to me that he is saying we can,
through better understanding, choose wisely. We should not surrender to the
complexity. We need to develop and rely on our ethics. It is necessary for
survival, and implicitly is best approached by consilience.

Though a conservationist, like Wilson, Wendell Berry
strongly opposes the belief underlying Consilience,
that scientific analysis can ultimately explain everything: “to reduce the
mystery and miracle of life to something that can be figured out is inevitably
to enslave it, make property of it and put it up for sale.” To start this
chapter for Berry, he states that science and art are neither fundamental nor
unchangeable. They are tools for us to use. Science cannot replace art or
religion, but if they are divided then they can be used in collaboration. Berry
states that the only reason we use these “tools” is the build and maintain our
homes here on earth. However, if they can’t be used in collaboration then they
will be used as a mean of destruction. I feel that he is trying to state that
knowledge can serve only to instruct. If you add any emotional responses to it
then it will become your downfall. He sees Wilson’s points as an insult to
knowledge and that Wilson doesn’t understand the arts and sciences. Berry
believes that works of art cannot be extracted and believes that interpreting the
both to come together with biology is ridiculous.

Berry also introduces in this reading the way he
suggests that people should think, work, and conduct of themselves regarding
organizations/programs. The first suggestion is that we should work towards an
appropriate subordination of all the disciplines to the health of creatures,
places, and communities. The second one is that we should banish the word
“machine” from our speech to ensure the improvements of creatures by not
calling them by that word. The third one is that we are not susceptible to our
circumstances. We live in world that is known to surprise us and be deceiving.
The fourth one is to give up our “boomer ethics” of being greedy, cunning, and
acting violent to accept settlement as our goal. The fifth is to require from
teachers, researchers, and scientists to be responsible for technological
progresses. The sixth is reduce our tolerance for ugliness. The final one is to
recognize the inefficiencies of the abstract reductionist thought, to resist
classification. These bring together, in Berry’s view, a crucial issue of our
language. In our lives, we are using many valuable words that are losing their
power. He believes that this a vital part and applies just as strongly to the
sciences as to the arts and humanities. I think that this is talking about in
general the way people today are losing the true meaning of words. His seven
suggestions for people on how to conduct themselves can be valuable in certain
ways. They are put out there for others to think about how they behave and what
they can do to try and fix themselves.

Out of all the modules, I chose the Per/Complexities
of Curriculum: Why we learn what we learn. In our society, the public-school
systems curriculum is decided in the U.S. by each state, with the individual
school districts. Each state, however, builds its curriculum with great
participation of national academic subject groups selected by the United States
Department of Education. It is a group effort by both groups, but the debate
involves determining which body should have the heaviest hand in the final
decision-making process, regarding what should be offered. Throughout the
history of American education, a student’s need for the basics of reading,
writing and arithmetic has been obvious and a concentration of the accepted curriculum.
But, our national curriculum was not always nationally shaped. In the past,
before America’s school system operated under national oversight, teachers
traveled from town to town and worked on a freelance basis for a few weeks.
Without oversight, the teacher taught as he/she saw fit. New modern ways in
science have made classes able to focus on the branches of biology, computer
sciences and advanced mathematics, especially for the students wanting to
attend a university or go into a field that requires further academic skills.
Elective studies, more often geared toward the arts tend to receive funding
based on availability rather than necessity. This may cause problems for people
who decide to major in the arts because of lack of funding. This has been
recognized nationally that there are classes that need to be taught and others
that are not necessary to lead a successful life. These cut classes have been
classified as optional when funding gets low, and more emphasis placed on
instilling the fundamentals of modern education. In turn national philosophies
are not always able to satisfy the needs, therefore curriculum is made with
some insight.

             To sum up of the how this relates to Wilson
and Berry, they both have their views on how they believe things should be put,
but both had a thirst for knowledge and wanted to know more about the world
around them. They both tried to perceive the things that they didn’t quite
understand and tried to grasp that of the unknown. By doing this, they made
others want to examine their work and make their own assumptions. This is how
the world works today. By learning about new things, we get a better grasp
about our world. Wendell and Berry have made the sciences and humanities a
topic of interest for those who want to understand these principles.

            In conclusion, the philosophy of
science, and of its greater and relations to society is an important field to
study. As well as understanding the history of scientific and philosophic
thought helps to and qualify word views. Wendell and Berry both have gone
through this process, and the world views they present to us in the form of
their books illustrate the philosophical thought that each of them try to
represent. The huge points for them are the relationships between science and
the humanities and the way they view the roles and future of science. By
reading their books, we are allowing ourselves the opportunity to get a grasp
on the sciences and humanities and if we truly believe that they should be put
together better known as consilience.