Do i believe science has been effective in helping to unlock and preserve the past Yes i do! I strongly believe we need to unlock, we need to preserve that which went before.
With fundamental questions such as where What When How Why, science can start to unravel that burning, inquisitive desire to know. This applies to both unlocking and preserving the past.
Definitions of the key words are as follows;
EFFECTIVE – ADEQUATE TO ACCOMPLISH A PURPOSE; PRODUCING THE INTENDED OR EXPECTED RESULT
UNLOCKING – TO LAY OPEN; DISCLOSE
PRESERVE – TO KEEP ALIVE OR IN EXISTENCE; MAKE LASTING
An example of how effective science has been in unlocking the past is that of Otzi the Ice Man. He was discovered in 1991 by a German couple walking in the high Alps between Austria and Italy. After the initial media and governmental ???hoo ha??™ the science community were allowed to take a look at him. Through the different branches of science the fundamental questions in which i wrote about above can and have been answered;
Radiocarbon dating has otzi at about 5 300yrs old. Living in the Neolithic age about 3 300-3 200BC.
Botanists believe he came from the valleys of Italy. This was based on the charcoal remains in a wooden container found with him
A Palaeoanatomist found bones scraps lying beside him and identified them as ibex bone, and based on the remains of sloeberries also found with him, concluded he died between late summer and early autumn.
Scholars have been provided with a very clear window into a prehistoric age. Prior to Otzi no one knew how late Stone Age people looked and dressed, how they made and used their tools or how effective the tools were. These questions have answers.
Another key part of my assessment is the extent at which science has helped in preserving the past.
There has been a lot of debating about whether to preserve, restore or allow nature to do what has probably been done for millennia and that is to let the monuments return to the earth.
Science has an obligation to try and preserve for future generations.
We must always keep things for the future, many of things we find we are not yet qualified enough to understand. We keep them for the next generations, for the next scientists. (dr nasry iskander, cairo museum)
An example of how effective science has been in preserving the past would have to be the Buddhist temple called Borobudur on the island of java in Indonesia. What a monumental undertaking.
This 1 000yr old monument was discovered by a Dutch engineer in 1814, though Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles was told of the site he instructed the engineer to check it out. It lay hidden under shrubbery and earth for centuries.
What??™s staggering is that even back in 1814 the scientific world knew the value of preservation. The extent to which they went to was amazing. They had no great technologies like todays scientists what they started with was pen and paper. 28 long and arduous years in the jungle (1845-1873) an extensive account of every aspect of the chandi was detailed. Detailed drawings and a complete photographic documentation (1907) of every block of stone, every flaw, every broken slab. Archaeologists, techno-archaeologists, chemico-archaeologists and civil engineers decided to literally pull the temple apart stone by stone, clean them up patch up what they could and put the whole thing back together again. Through the detailed photographs the monument was put back together exactly how it was found.
All up it took 169yrs to preserve this temple, from the initial discovery in 1814 to the completion in 1983. That is some dedication.
In conclusion the more i study the extent to which science has gone to effectively (producing the intended or expected result) unlock (- to lay open; disclose) and preserve (to keep alive or in existence; make lasting) the past the more I??™m in awe of what science could do and has done so far. Has science produced expected results Yes. Has science disclosed information needed to answer the fundamental questions Yes. Has science kept alive or in existence the past Yes.
Science is the key to unlocking and preserving the past for the future.