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Process of doing Science in Your Inner Fish - Essay Example

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Process of doing Science in “Your Inner Fish” It is amazing how the world came to happen and how everything in the universe came into being. Many theorists have come with so many theories and explanations of how everything was formed. However, Shubin comes with a unique and interesting way of discovering and explaining the origin and evolution of man…
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Process of doing Science in Your Inner Fish
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Process of doing Science in “Your Inner Fish” It is amazing how the world came to happen and how everything in the universe came into being. Many theorists have come with so many theories and explanations of how everything was formed. However, Shubin comes with a unique and interesting way of discovering and explaining the origin and evolution of man. The book “Your Inner Fish” widely explores the science of origin of man and evolution over the billions of years. This is a discussion of the science illustrated in the author’s adventures, the process of doing science, as well as some of the surprising things about the science. Shubin begins chapter one by explain the hierarchy of living things and their connection with fossils that existed billions of years ago. The making of science begins with an inquisitive thought. He asks “How can we visualize events that happened millions and, in many cases, billions of years ago” (Shubin 13). Although he claims that 99 percent of all the original species does not exist anymore, our understanding of the present 1 percent is a good precursor to the other 99 percent. By use of inquisitive science, he uses the zoo as a good laboratory for observation. According to the observation, all the amphibians share a similar vertebrae pattern. By inference, all the living organisms share a common ancestor due to the similarity in body structure. It also took experimental science to gather the pieces of evidence together. According to him, “It took us six years to find it, but this fossil confirmed a prediction of paleontology” (Shubin 15). It is interesting how real life observation of common phenomenon can be combined with practical investigation to come up with a new set of truth. This is the art of making science. At times, discoveries are made in the process of carrying out our daily lives. For instance, Shubin illustrated how he discovered the uniqueness of a man’s hand during his anatomy classes. It is surprising how normal life activities can turn out to be an adventure for a scientist like Shubin. By exploring the similarities and differences between the bone structures of different species, Shubin comes out with a new set of scientific information, which is also backed by other scientists. For instance, “Lungfish captured people’s interest because like us they have a single bone at the base of the appendage” (Shubin 35). The process of doing science even gets more interesting in chapter three. The science of genetic engineering is intriguing but the process of making doing the science is even more fascinating. Truly, genetics define who we are. Genetics is a signature of every living thing. However, Shubin recounts the development of knowledge about genetics for the past several years. It is obvious that genetics define who we are but the ability to engineer genetically certain body structures is somewhat beyond the realms of a common person’s understanding. For instance, genes from a mouse could be used to develop body structures in a large mammal such as a shark. Shubin concludes, “great evolutionary transformation did not involve the origin of new DNA: much of the shift likely involved using ancient genes, such as those involved in shark fin development” (Shubin 43). The science of similarity of genes is surprisingly born from observation, experiments, and inference. Chapter 8 was the most interesting especially due to the approach of the topic of smell. It is really beyond the realms of common person’s understanding of how the process of smelling works from a genetics perspective. It was hard to believe that some human beings can identify up to 10, 000 odors. From such a simple observation in real life, a science of genetics is born. The science goes on to demonstrate the differences between land and water animals. Both have proteins that are responsible for smell and this is a good evidence of our common origin. It was unexpected that science could be born out of human eyesight. Interestingly, we use our eyes to make observations in our endeavor to discover our origin. However, the structure of the eye can generate a new science explaining the origin of life. Chubin, in chapter nine, interestingly takes on the eye and creates an irrefutable argument about commonality of our origin based on similarities of the eye structure. This approach was perhaps the least expected. According to Chubin, the genetic composition of the eye is similar for a fly and a mouse as well. This implies that all creatures have a common ancestor from where we inherited these genetic compositions. In conclusion, it is amazing how scientists create science virtually from anything. Chubin makes science from a wide variety of situations. Science can be born from observation, experiment, inferences, logic thinking and arguments, as well as extrapolating from studies of other scientists. Whichever direction is taken, we are left amazed by some of these approaches. Whereas some were expected from general human knowledge, others are beyond human understanding. Shubin makes science that explains “Our Inner Fish.” Works Cited Shubin, Neil. Your Inner Fish: A Journey Into the 3.5-Billion-Year History of the Human Body. London: Vintage Books, 2009. Print. Read More
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