The Uses of Myth for Scientific Education, The Case of Cosmology and Mythology

2.50
Hdl Handle:
http://hdl.handle.net/11290/607974
Title:
The Uses of Myth for Scientific Education, The Case of Cosmology and Mythology
Authors:
Dillingham, Theodore C.
Abstract:
The questions that cosmology seeks to answer are those same questions about the mysteries of the universe that myths have spoken about since antiquity. The basic desire to understand the origin of the universe is equally fundamental in the earliest astronomical, philosophical, and mythic narratives. This work shows how mythic stories can be used as a tool for educating nontechnical audiences. By means of a re- mythologizing of the relationship between Western science and myth, the shared philosophical legacy of both becomes apparent. This review of the history of science, philosophy, and mythology thereby presents a perspective that is pro-mvth and pro­ science at the same time. By differentiating the mythic perspective and the scientific perspective, the reality of the non-oppositional intimate relationship one has with the other is clarified. Cosmologists have long known that 96Fr of the universe is invisible to human sensing apparatus. They call this unseen visible element, the stuff that holds the universe together, "dark matter." Coining the phrase "the speed of dark.” this dissertation metaphorically illustrates the power of myth, like the power of dark matter, to inform and direct human inquiry into the origins and destiny of the universe. Myth is imagined psychologically to operate at the speed of dark, faster than the speed of light. The unseen visible aspect of myth is shown as the desire of humans to know the origins of creation and the ultimate destiny of the universe. This work examines the rich legacy inherited by contemporary scientists from ancient mythic philosophical traditions. Traces of Aristotle and Thales are seen clearly in the questions that current cosmologists explore today. The variety of answers to these questions displays the equal influence of myth on ancient inquiry and contemporary scientific theoretical development. By examining what myth does, rather than what myth is. the work weaves together a story of mystery and discovery that is currently the realm of cosmologists. Myth itself is distinguished from the multitude of myths or mythic narratives. Myth is shown to fuel human desire to glimpse the known, the not known and the unknowable.
Affiliation:
PACIFICA GRADUATE INSTITUTE
Issue Date:
2001
URI:
http://hdl.handle.net/11290/607974
Submitted date:
2015-09-25
Document Source:
Dissertation/Thesis
Language:
English Paper
Type Of Resource:
Theoretical Research
Construct:
Affective Belief/Identity Motivation/Attitude
Content:
Cosmology
Nation:
USA
Appears in Collections:
Astronomy Education Research

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.contributor.authorDillingham, Theodore C.en
dc.date.accessioned2016-05-04T08:59:10Zen
dc.date.available2016-05-04T08:59:10Zen
dc.date.issued2001en
dc.date.submitted2015-09-25en
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/11290/607974en
dc.description.abstractThe questions that cosmology seeks to answer are those same questions about the mysteries of the universe that myths have spoken about since antiquity. The basic desire to understand the origin of the universe is equally fundamental in the earliest astronomical, philosophical, and mythic narratives. This work shows how mythic stories can be used as a tool for educating nontechnical audiences. By means of a re- mythologizing of the relationship between Western science and myth, the shared philosophical legacy of both becomes apparent. This review of the history of science, philosophy, and mythology thereby presents a perspective that is pro-mvth and pro­ science at the same time. By differentiating the mythic perspective and the scientific perspective, the reality of the non-oppositional intimate relationship one has with the other is clarified. Cosmologists have long known that 96Fr of the universe is invisible to human sensing apparatus. They call this unseen visible element, the stuff that holds the universe together, "dark matter." Coining the phrase "the speed of dark.” this dissertation metaphorically illustrates the power of myth, like the power of dark matter, to inform and direct human inquiry into the origins and destiny of the universe. Myth is imagined psychologically to operate at the speed of dark, faster than the speed of light. The unseen visible aspect of myth is shown as the desire of humans to know the origins of creation and the ultimate destiny of the universe. This work examines the rich legacy inherited by contemporary scientists from ancient mythic philosophical traditions. Traces of Aristotle and Thales are seen clearly in the questions that current cosmologists explore today. The variety of answers to these questions displays the equal influence of myth on ancient inquiry and contemporary scientific theoretical development. By examining what myth does, rather than what myth is. the work weaves together a story of mystery and discovery that is currently the realm of cosmologists. Myth itself is distinguished from the multitude of myths or mythic narratives. Myth is shown to fuel human desire to glimpse the known, the not known and the unknowable.en
dc.description.provenanceMade available in DSpace on 2016-05-04T08:59:10Z (GMT). No. of bitstreams: 1 746b1aa6-af90-48e7-8028-52372cbf6ec8.pdf: 16998703 bytes, checksum: 7087b662e466505b8bf106dbcc9a71aa (MD5) Previous issue date: 2001en
dc.language.isoEnglish Paperen
dc.titleThe Uses of Myth for Scientific Education, The Case of Cosmology and Mythologyen
dc.typeDissertation/Thesisen
dc.contributor.departmentPACIFICA GRADUATE INSTITUTEen
dc.type.resourceTheoretical Researchen
dc.istar.constructAffective Belief/Identity Motivation/Attitudeen
dc.istar.contentCosmologyen
dc.istar.nationUSAen
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