When a dog sniffs each post and marks his territory, this is Science (the science of community structure within the dog world).

When a skateboarder lifts her skateboard using the laws of physics upward onto a step without physically using her body to lift it, this is Science. And when a supermarket shelf stacker arranges the packets of food in an order that will make it easier for the customer to find their products, this is Science (the science of true order).

When a teacher asks her students to replicate the chemistry experiment that she has just performed, that is not Science (it is recall). When a tobacco company commissions a laboratory to find healthy outcomes from the inhalation of their products, that is not Science (it is commercial manipulation). And when we are told that a particular food is healthy based on the analysis of one component of it, that is not Science (it is linear thinking).

What is Science?

A better question would be to ask, "What is not science?" . . . for essentially there is Science within all of life. Science actually sits side by side with Philosophy and with Religion. All three of these fields, these great studies, are equal and important if we are to have a true and full appreciation of ourselves, of life and of the universe.

Interestingly, each of these great pathways to Truth have been twisted and coloured over time so that we no longer actually feel these pathways to Truth in ourselves. We think of them as being outside of us, the realms of specialised individuals who live in detached inaccessible places – whereas in actual fact we are all scientists in our own way, and philosophers. We also know God (true religion), whether we are aware of it or not.

When a child gazes at the stars with star-struck eyes, this is Science (the science of reflection), and when I wake from a dream knowing what it means in its symbology and walk a different path as a result, this is Science. When a student memorises the periodic table with all the atomic numbers of each element, that is not Science. It is rote learning.

Science is everywhere

There is Science within Art and there is Science within human relationships – it is no co-incidence when people speak of the ‘chemistry’ that exists with another person. Science is present in the smallest of movements at the microscopic level, as it is ever-present deep in space. The laws of physics know no boundaries, for we are all constantly working with them or against them, in our bodies, our movements, and our relationships with everything we touch and all that we interact with.

The study of these, the awareness of these and working with these is true Science. You do not have to be an academic, or intellectual, to study Science, for it is actually a lived experience.

We are in fact each a living Science experiment, if we so choose to be aware of the fact.

Listening to our bodies, observing how what we eat affects us, feeling into the ongoing cause and effect of everything we do and don’t do is most definitely a true Science. Building rhythms into our daily lives, supporting ourselves with a balance of action and stillness, or doing and being, and developing awareness of our thoughts and where they come from is another living Science.

These abilities or qualities are not given to us through a university degree, or a high school exam. They come from within us, in our very intimate relationship with ourselves and all that we touch. They are in fact true wisdom, and they come from living our lives, being ourselves more fully as we grow and evolve within and with each other . . . and, dare I say it – THIS IS A SCIENCE.

Reclaiming Science

I love Science, and chances are . . . so do you. It is just a matter of re-claiming back the Science that was stolen from you, stolen from you as a child intrigued by everything around you. You were a scientist way back then, learning to co-ordinate your body, making sense of all that you saw, felt and sensed. The essence of this thing we call Science is observation and experimentation, connection, relationship and understanding, looking for order, for patterns, for causes and effects. It is unlocking the beauty of Nature and of life. It is real and right in front of you. It is in your breath, feeling the coolness of the air at the tip of the nose as you breathe in and the warmth of the outbreath around the nostrils.

So, this ‘S’ word is everywhere, and it takes on so many guises. Your Science is unique to you, as my Science is part of me.

In fact, the most amazing thing about Science is that it is actually an evolving thing in itself. It is expanding itself through you, through each of us if we allow it, and if we embrace it.

In other words, as we live the Science of ourselves, Science in turn grows and actually expands the Universe . . . which sounds a little like science fiction. (Have you ever noticed how the science fiction of the past so often becomes the fact of the future . . . Dr Spock and Captain Kirk had hand-held communication devices which they could use to see and speak with each other – science fiction from the 1960’s, reality today).

Anyway . . . back on track. I think you probably get the message by now. Whether it’s the weather, or perhaps its ocean currents that rock your boat, or maybe looking out to the stars, or gaining an understanding of how and why the pop-stars so often pop – it’s all Science, and it is as simple as can be, for we’ve all been doing it for eons, and it ain’t so serious and it ain’t so complicated nor confined to the lab.

Animals do amazing Science without even a single textbook, and dare I say it, women are naturally better at Science than men (not that comparison is generally a good thing). Men think they do good science, and that is the problem. They think far too hard, going into an experiment already clouded at the beginning with expectations.

Women are naturally often more genuinely intrigued by a situation, and can feel where something is not in harmony. Women are powerful observers and intuitively understand relationships and so they can take these skills into Scientific study. Children are also natural scientists. Not having the detailed knowledge can be an advantage when it comes to true scientific exploration, as then there are no preconceptions.

There is no strong ending to this article, no wow, Big-Bang or little bang, just an ounce of truth perhaps. When they try and baffle you with so-called science, when you are confronted with those slogans like ‘scientifically proven’ or ‘latest breakthrough’, it can well be wise to respond with a "Yeah . . . right".

We are the true scientists, with our own observations, and our own experiences. It is time for us to claim back Science and to walk ourselves with our own knowingness, our own intrigue and our own Science.

Filed under

LifePhilosophyReligionPhysicsChemistry

  • By Paul O'Hara, BSc (Zoology , Biology), DipSecTchg(Science)

    I run my own organic store and café in the beautiful town of Wanaka, New Zealand. I have love of all things in the natural world and the heavens above.