We have not yet filled The Need for Accessible Language in Science and Philosophy. Though it is much better than about 5 years ago, the language of science is still heavy and difficult to follow. Now, this is necessarily so due to the complex topics that are often discussed in the pursuit of scientific endeavours: talking about Quantum theory will inevitably carry us to the real of complex terms. Let me make it clear that I am not suggesting that we change scientific terminology to appeal to less [scientifically] literate of us, this is not the case. I am suggesting, however (and I am not the first to make such suggestion), that we undertake the mission of being more persuasive about the excitement of scientific discovery and philosophical inquiry.
As you know, persuasive talk is dependent on the language we use, on the way that we connect with others through the use of that language.
Let me give you an example of this idea at work, if I may offer you a personal story. While talking to one of my young athletes – a 13 year old boy who I coach in the sport of trampoline – it came up in conversation that he had an assignment due: it was something like a story he had to write. He confessed to me that he hated writing and was not looking forward to working on this project. Through our conversation I offered some ideas, thinking about what I would want to read about. As the chat progressed it occurred to me to appeal to that young sense of discovery that I remember having at 13, and one that I had seen in this young man before.
Enter metaphysics – time traveling to be exact – and the Grandfather Paradox.
The Grandfather paradox explain the consequences of traveling back in time to kill your grandfather before he met your grandmother… I won’t explain it all here, but it is worth researching as it leads you to think about many other exciting ideas. Here is the Wikipedia link. Enjoy.
The possibilities, just as they are in metaphysical musings and assumptions were endless. My boy embarked on a creative process that lead to a deserved A+ on his writing project. And much of this was the result of a conversation that arouse interest about an idea in him. It was the direct result of a conversation that aimed to make him see things in a way that he could actually grasp them. I believe that we should take more time to talk to children and even most adults about science and philosophy in this way. I know that if we do take this time, and it can be time consuming with some people, we can increase appreciation for these disciplines, which are essential for the construction of stable and just societies.
I will submit as the end of this write-up that taking the time to be more persuasive will enhance your general life-experience; it’s a win-win situation. Stir people in the direction of discovery and progress and make yourself a happier better communicator.