The Derivation of Science in Jacob Bronowski's "The Reach of Imagination" and Stephen Jay Gould's "Evolution as Fact and Theory"

Essay by getbackerUniversity, Bachelor'sB+, June 2004

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According to the essays by mathematician Jacob Bronowski in "The Reach of Imagination" (1967) and paleontologist Stephen Jay Gould in "Evolution as Theory and Fact" (1981), the behind-the-scene development of science is being induced differently through imagination and evolution. In Bronowski's essay, he describes the unique quality that makes humans different from animals, through referring to work done by another expert, Walter Hunter. Bronowski then defines how imagination works by explaining the process according to his own concepts and the role it plays in all spheres of knowledge. The author states that human development occurs through a combination of scientific methods and imagination. He goes on to strengthen his statements by illustrating paradigms of how great scientists used this ability, thus explaining the existence of imagination. Gould, in his essay, proves his position on evolution theory by presenting solid evidences. Gould begins by portraying the conflicts in scientific theory that occurred between creationists and evolutionists, to depict the irrationality of the creationists' assertions.

Gould then mentions the three major pillars of belief that suggest that the assumption of evolution is inducible. In a way, Bronowski's claims about the relation between science and imagination debase the authority of science by suggesting that science is merely assumption rather than definite concepts. On the other hand, Gould's statement on the derivation of science is better defined.

In Bronowski's essay, the author establishes his claim by making a solid position on the importance of imagination through his definition of the term. Bronowski declares that no other creature has the ability to accomplish the same things as can humans, using their minds, and through imagination humans are gifted with different abilities - varying from creative to technical skills. Bronowski asserts: "...imagination is a specifically human gift. To imagine is the characteristic act, not...