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Tuesday, March 12, 2013


Grassroots (adjective) - 1) Fundamental or basic; 2) Common or having no special distinction or quality

Change begins with awareness, but awareness is not enough. It takes action and engagement to make that change. Years ago, people decided to go beyond their grassroots and alleviate their standard of living. However, because of their desire for progress, they failed to care for what is fundamental—the environment, the source of all our needs. Through our lessons in Science and Society class, we were able to become aware of the impact of our activities and our choices on the environment, and we were reminded of the importance of our grassroots. With this awareness, our group would like to reflect on this and strive to start that change.

Wake up call
During kindergarten, we were taught at school to put back our toys in the right place, to throw our trash away properly, and to close the faucet when not in use because the fish in the sea will die if the water runs out. Even until now, we are still being reminded to “Clean As You GO” and are always taught about the consequences of our action, but we still sometimes ignore these. We need to know that our resources are limited, and we can’t just go on abusing it. We can’t use the water cycle as an excuse for not saving water, or the Earth’s size for not having proper family planning, because sooner or later, water may not be accessible anymore due to climate change and overpopulation may lead to unwanted disaster. Save while there are still some things to save. Act now, before it’s too late.

The Yin and Yang
This semester, our group was given lots of opportunity to see the many facets of science, albeit not all. From the readings to the lectures to the plenaries, the advantages and disadvantages of this body of knowledge‘s contributions were compared in such a way that they provoked our minds to think of the possibilities of compromise and solutions to the problems its innovations have caused. Furthermore, the issues that were tackled made us realize that every move science makes has an undesired consequence, and to overcome this, the community must decide on whether to undo the change by another change or to let it slip because of logical reasons. Indeed, this course has made our lenses clearer; we see the fragile yin and yang of science, and we are determined to aid on ultimately making it a tool to make the earth a better place. 

On Rethink, Restore, Redesign & Shift in Mentality
However, in our desire to enhance our quality of life, we can cause our own destruction. The world is becoming overpopulated, and our natural resources are being depleted. The problem is not just overpopulation but also, the lifestyle of every individual. We all want rapid progress and development, and we seem to be willing to risk everything to fulfill our selfish needs. We put so much importance on “reduce, reuse, and recycle” but do we really know what it means to integrate them in our daily routine?

It's not that we need more policies, or facilities to help us improve our current practices. Rather, what we need right now is a better approach to the "R's" we have today. This is where "rethink, restore, and redesign" comes in. The whole idea of these new "R's" is to reevaluate ourselves and our preexisting methods on utilizing goods and propagating wastes. This proposed concept involves open mindedness and challenges our current beliefs on consumerism. The goal of this approach is not to generate unnecessary waste, to segregate waste properly, and to make those bits and pieces into more useful products. We need to realize that the waste we throw in our trash bins do not magically disappear. It is in rethinking our choices and options that we may be able to restore the natural balance in the whole ecosystem of earth.

Conformity in Collision
Globalization has ultimately led to a wider gap between the so-called “developed” and “undeveloped” countries. SCI10 made our group realize that there have been a lot of technological devices that have aided in the growth and well being of our country. Take, for example, the improvement of communication in terms of speed of connection and accessibility due to cell phones. However, because of limited resources and financial concerns of the Philippines, our country cannot fully adapt to all technological trends. Instead, the biodiversity of the Philippines could be used as a way to compete with these “developed” countries. Conforming does not necessarily mean success; it is how we use what we have to change the society around us that can start a meaningful change in the world.

Expansion & Satisfaction
We are then called to reflect on the world we call home. We live in a universe that scientists believe is ever-expanding. Humans have come to a point in their existence where ignorance is a point no longer acceptable in the dictum of society. We are obsessed with seeking out truths and facts that we have dissolved into a society of pluralists. We have already seen the feats that theoretical physics have achieved in order to bring us closer to the origins of life. However, we can only assume what is true based on what we consider as universal truths as of the moment since science constantly changes based on the results of new experiments. Science cannot foresee the future 100% clearly. We can only just imagine what it will be like based on what we know now. Ironically, science quenches our thirst for knowledge a little but still keeps us yearning for more.

We are no longer aware of the other things that are happening nor are we able to prioritize things. The way people seek out to feed their mindlessness might eventually lead to the opening of Pandora’s Box, the unveiling of knowledge far greater and far more compelling than our human minds can comprehend which can both bring the destruction of the world itself or its continuous salvation and development.

To come in full circle, Sci10 made our group realize that we need a shift in our mentality. We should start looking at the bigger picture at different perspectives (as what we did in writing this blog post) so that we could do minimal harm to ourselves and to others. If not, sooner or later, we would have to suffer from our selfish choices.

With our ever-expanding curiosity on one hand and informed decisions gained from scientific and technological breakthroughs on the other, we may then be able to not just pay attention to our needs but also, to go beyond our egoistic inclinations to save our one and only home.

--Blogpost by Angeles, Caritativo, Co, Formalejo, Fuentebella, Ormoc, Reyes, Servaña, Suaco, Trance

Friday, March 8, 2013

To God Be The Universe

            Have you ever wondered how the universe came to be? It is only natural to question the origin of God’s creation. But it is also very clear that as mentioned in the Bible, God created the universe in six days excluding the Sabbath. So why do scientists still allot their time doing experiments and researching more information about the origin of the universe? Do you think faith and science contradict each other, that scientists do not believe that there is a creator behind this creation? According to Father Bienvenido Nebres, former president of the Ateneo de Manila University, faith and science do not and never will contradict each other.

When I was younger, I would always wonder how I came to be and how this universe came to exist in the first place. Did the universe just pop out of nowhere and suddenly emerge? How did everything start? These are some of the questions that have been boggling my mind when I was a kid. All throughout my elementary and high school years, science has taught me that the origin of the universe centers on a cosmic cataclysm unmatched in all of history—the Big Bang. This theory was born out of the observation that other galaxies are moving away from our own at great speed in all directions as if they had all been propelled by an ancient explosive force. Scientists can't be sure exactly how the universe evolved after the Big Bang. Many believed that as time passed and matter cooled, more diverse kinds of atoms began to form, and they eventually condensed into the stars and galaxies of our present universe. But it was not until my 2nd year high school that everything became clear to me. I started attending Bible studies near our school once a week and that really opened my eyes to the real world around me. So there is such a thing as God—omniscient, omnipotent and omnipresent. I learned that the universe was created especially for man’s purpose, and that it was designed in such a way as to meet man’s needs.

            If there is one reason for scientists to still continue on exploring this universe, I believe it would be due to their passion of understanding how Science can be evident behind how the universe was created. “We live in an expanding universe”, Father Ben said during his plenary lecture last March 1, 2013. Millions and billions of galaxies are moving away from each other. They say the faster they are, the faster they move away. Science has tried to explain the origin of the universe to widen our perspectives as people. But still, there are some things which we cannot figure out as of the moment. And the more we wonder and explore the origin of this universe, the more we will appreciate and value the beauty of God’s creation.

*10th blog post by Julianne Ormoc

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Contemplating the Unimaginable Boundlessness of the Universe

No one would ever have imagined that we, the inhabitants of Earth, are just specks of dust among a complex nexus of billions of galaxies and stars. And so, why and how is that possible?

The entire universe is expanding from an explosive moment of creation – the big bang. Moreover, the big bang theory seeks to explain what happened at the very beginning of it all – how the universe expanded from the great collision of mass, how matter formed out of radiation, how gravity played a significant role in spacing out the galaxies and stars, and how these stars created what we know as the elements, how these elements generated planets, and finally, how life on this planet came to be possible.

Why did life then suddenly emerge in this galaxy, in this planet, in this familiar home we call Earth? What is then the purpose of living, breathing, of being in this life in this particular galaxy?

That, I don’t think I’ll ever know in this lifetime, but what I do find significantly important is how humans constantly ask ‘why’ and ‘how’. We always strive to find answers to every little query and question. It’s amazing how humans are gifted with that much drive to constantly learn new things and to discover the world around them – from the minutest of planktons thousands of miles beneath the deepest of oceans to the most astronomical stars in the galaxies of far beyond.

The way our whole galaxy system continually expands at an exponential rate can be paralleled to that of humans’ growing sense of curiosity and inquiry.

Despite the fact that humans are restricted to the physical dimensions that we exist in and of course, time, man never stopped seeking answers or explanations for the phenomenon that is the state of being of the universe and life.

It’s quite admirable, inspiring, if you will, how humans have this innate tendency to always be in the quest of learning and exploring. Humans have already invented numerous apparatuses, equipment and instruments to further comprehend the universe beyond us. Not only were humans recognized by their ingenuity in invention, rather; it is the fact that their determination and tenacity play a significant role in making them pursue unimaginable conquests.

Like what Stephen Hawking once said, “My goal is simple. It is a complete understanding of the universe, why it is as it is and why it exists at all.”

9th blog post by Co, Reanne

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Man’s Greatest Desire; The Earth’s Most Treasured Secret

It is only human to question our origin. Man will stop at nothing to be able to understand what he cannot comprehend. We try to seek the answers in everything that surrounds us. We consider all the possibilities. The desire to know about how life started is unyielding. Scientists and experts have been seeking for the answers for so long now. And then the idea came, where would be a better place to start looking than within us?

We are all composed of the same things – cells, cells that contain its unique DNA. It is ironic to say that we are made up of the same things but at the same time, we are unique. As crazy as that might sound, it is true. DNA is composed of substances that define our characteristics. It’s just a way of saying that we all possess something innately special. We all have something to contribute that others don’t have.

Cells go through different processes like replication. Just like these things, we also go through different processes and stages to be able to grow and develop. These processes all take place in response to the things around us. As certain conditions change, our systems adapt through looking for ways to cope with the changes so that we will be able to continue with our lives smoothly.

After all of the speculations, man tries to test hypotheses through experimenting to prove his deductions true. As much as possible, we go beyond whatever we know. We think outside the box in designing the experimental set but at the same time bear in mind the limitations we have. No matter how imaginative it may be, we try to keep it grounded by being realistic and maintaining a strong disposition in the advancements that science has founded on the fields of biology, genetic engineering, microbiology, cryogenics and other life sciences that deepen our knowledge of human life and our origins. 

It is only natural to want to know about one’s past. But no matter how much we try to seek the answers, there are just some information we are not privy to. And they will forever be the most wonderful secrets of life.

            I, myself, also have a lot of questions regarding our origin. However, we have our own ways of seeking for the answers. As much as possible, I try to study and understand the things being taught in science class because I figured it is one of the best ways for me to know about how things around me works. Science is one of the most believable and trusted information sources about things. It does not lie and it accepts its limitations. I have seen this in the manner by which the different fields of science carries out their different experiments out in the field and in the lab where they are open to accept, record and proudly publish results to the scientific community or scientists fail at an experiment and hope to design a new experiment or redesign their current one and come up with different results – hopefully seeking newer ways to understand the world around them.

*8th blogpost by Arriane Kristel Fuentebella

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Jump Start

I collect plastic bags.
It may seem bizarre but I have a container filled with plastic bags that were brought from different stores over a long period of time. It is not a hobby nor an interest but rather, an impulse reaction brought by the numerous environment seminars I have gone to since my elementary days.
More than my personal experience, further inculcating this unconscious decision to the public may be the answer to address the issue on the cost and benefits of the environment as geographically, socially and, temporally differentiated.
I personally acknowledge that education is a key aspect for people to understand the environment, its benefits when valued, as well as the consequences when it's devalued. The curriculum should include the costs and benefits of going green and it must start as early as Elementary.
Kids should be informed about the basic methods of the 3Rs: Reuse, Reduce and Recycle and should be knowledgeable of their accountability to the environment. This should be coupled with fun activities to encourage them to continue the practice like drawing their favorite animal or flower. Starting early means a higher chance of pursuing the action. This explains why as young as 10 years old, I have had an aversion of simply throwing away plastic containers or an inclination to reuse plastic bottles.
Of course given that not everyone has access to education, I also think that the adults should be given seminars. This could be done through the government’s intervention in assigning DOH officials to barangays and conducting seminars at town centers or barangay halls. This is especially for people who live in provinces where schools are distant and information dissemination is relatively slow. The idea of having activities, jingles and other ways of making the seminar enjoyable should be implemented here as well. There could be fun runs, strict implementation of garbage segregation and other concrete ways to encourage people to save Mother Earth.
As said by Fr. Jett in his plenary “Going Green to go Mainstream”, education forms citizens and leaders that are for the common good. Through proper education and efficient information dissemination, people from all social classes will not only be aware of the environment conditions present today but will have the conscious and unconscious decision to take action and become an engaged citizen.
Education coupled with entertaining activities is a step forward to thinking out of the box to reform people’s ideas. It will definitely be a kick-start to promoting that “Cleaner is cheaper, simpler, safer and lovelier.”

6th Blogpost by Dyan Suaco