Tag Archives: “science”

Philosophy Class… Story by Lydia Martin

Philosophy, the study of the fundamental nature of knowledge, reality, and existence. It has a huge impact on our society, and it is also a subject that tends to have mix feelings. It is also something that could be taught here at FBCS by one of our English teachers, Michael Bigley. As an English teacher, he appreciates the Philosophers that can write well, as he said, “If I were to teach a Philosophy class, I would tend to focus on the Philosophers who can write well, and write clearly, because that’s what’s exciting to me.” Some Philosophers are even some of his favorite writers.

Pictured: Plato… One of the philosophers that would be studied in the class is Plato. Photo By: Laphams Quarterly

If he was to offer a Philosophy class, the class would start with the basics of logic and critical argumentation and the reason for being. “That is the necessary basis for all philosophy. It’s not “whoa, dude, what if everything is, like, an illusion,” it’s a serious method of thinking in the same way that science is. It has a method.” as stated by Mr. Bigley.

In the class, they would read some of the works of Plato, “Plato’s fun to read, and gives you a great introduction to what philosophers actually do because it’s all written out as though it were a play,” said Mr. Bigley. The class would also be spending more time reading Philosophy and discussing what the Philosophers actually meant. After which, they would start coming up with their own philosophies.

Usually, that is not what most high schoolers are looking for when they want a Philosophy class, which is why Mr. Bigley was hesitant to teach this class in the past. He said, “I don’t want to do a fake class, and we can’t offer a class if only two or three students are going to take it.”

Bigley Philosophy…Mr. Bigley might teach Philosophy if he can get enough students interested in the class (photo by, Kai Eagley)
Bigley Philosophy…Mr. Bigley might teach Philosophy if he can get enough students interested in the class (photo by, Kai Eagley)

Some may ask “Why study philosophy?” Well, Philosophy is an interesting and important topic. Not only does it help improve thinking skills, but it also provides our minds with the knowledge of logic that makes us an overall better thinker. It can even sometimes make you a better writer.

So, if you think you might be interested in a Philosophy class, make sure to mention it to Mr. Bigley.

“It is not enough to have a good mind. The main thing is to use it well.”  – Rene Descartes

 

 

Sucking the Sun Dry… Story By: Mack Jastle

Sucking the Sun Dry…
Story By: Mack Jastle

Amid celebration and widespread appreciation of the climate deals reached at the Paris summit, we are all reminded of precisely why it took us this long to reach an agreement in the first place.

Not so sunny…A solar farm much like this one was recently declined by the Woodland City Council. Photo-by: valhallamovement.com
Not so sunny…A solar farm much like this one was recently declined by the Woodland City Council. Photo-by: valhallamovement.com

America’s stubborn denial of proven scientific concepts and generally distorted knowledge of said concepts has been a problem for long while.  This ignorance was let out in the open this past December by the North Carolina town of Woodland, who denied a proposed solar farm over concerns that it would drain the energy from the sun.

Just to be clear, solar panels do not have a draining effect upon the rays of the sun.  They merely take advantage of the rays of photons streaming over our planet; akin to wind or tidal power.  When a tidal generator collects energy from the waves, it doesn’t drain the water.

It’s the same with solar power.  I mean, it’s called renewable energy for a reason.  Now that we have that out of the way, ladies and gentlemen, get ready to bury your faces in your palms.

The city council of the town denied the request for a rezoning of a land strip from agricultural to manufacturing, a move that prevents the proposed solar farm from being built.  In the same meeting, a blanket ban on solar energy was discussed, despite the fact that three farms had previously been granted approval, with one under construction at the time of the debate.

Passed by a 3-1 majority, the vote to reject the rezoning came on request of several concerned citizens within the community.  Jane Mann, a former science teacher in the community, voiced concerns that the local vegetation would suffer due to a lack of photosynthesis, implying that the panels would be diverting the sun’s rays away from the local plant life.

Her evidence for this claim?  Plant life around the panels appears to be brown and decaying.  Horrifyingly enough, several other citizens of Woodland share this belief and oppose the proposed solar farm as a result.

That same science teacher protested the farm over concerns of

Plant Problems…Woodbury resident Jane Mann believes that the proposed solar farm will interfere with the photosynthesis of local wildlife. Photo-by: wiltshirebusinessonline.co.uk
Plant Problems…Woodbury resident Jane Mann believes that the proposed solar farm will interfere with the photosynthesis of local wildlife. Photo-by: wiltshirebusinessonline.co.uk

elevated cancer levels in the area, and more importantly, the fact that no one had tested to make sure that it wasn’t the solar panels causing them.  These fears are completely unfounded, as there is no evidence to support the claim that solar panels can cause cancer.

While the likes of UV rays the solar panels are harvesting for energy are classified as carcinogens, (i.e substances that can cause cancer), solar panels don’t increase or decrease the number of UV rays affecting an area.  This is because, again, solar panels do not suck up the rays of the sun.

However, several others citizens of the town have actually legitimate concerns about the solar farms in the area, citing lowered property values, and the slow departure of residents from the town.  Citizen Mary Hobbs stated that she had “watched it slowly become a ghost town.”  She went on, saying that her property is now surrounded by solar farms and is being devalued because of the facilities.

Digging deeper into the situation, it’s clear that it isn’t as cut and dry as it seems to be.   However, this story does illustrate the rampant misconceptions about renewable energy sources in America today.  A retired science teacher not understanding the process of photosynthesis just goes to show entrenched some are in these positions.

So hooray for another year of ignorance of basic science, and here’s to hoping 2016 will do 2015 one better.