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NJC Sci&Religion Comprehension

NJC Sci&Religion Comprehension

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07/10/2013

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Candidate's
Name
negiitr-Eon
t,tum6F
oae
NATIONAL
JUNIORCOLLEGE
PRELIMINARYEXAMINATIONS
GENERAL
PAPERPaper
2
INSERT
TIME
1
Hour
30 Minutes
8005t2
29
August2005READTHESEINSTRUCTIONSFIRST
Writeyour
name,
registrationnumber
and
GP
tutor,s
code
on
the coverpageof
this
insert-
This insertcontains
the
passages
for
Paper
2-
This inserl
consists
of
3
printed
pages
and
I
blankpage,
[Tum
overl
 
PASSAGE
A
P.
V.
Rao
writes..-
Plato
had
once banned
poetry
fromhis
utopian
republic. But it was
a
theoretical,
theatrical
gesture
because
the
idea never became
a
reality. More than
two
millenn'alater,
it
appears thatmarkets havemarginalisedpoetrymuch moreeffectively
than
Plato
could haveever
hoped
to
do.
But there
is
a
catch
to
the
situation.
Along
with
poetry,philosophy
too,
is
shownthe door.
There
is
really
no
room
for
subjects
like
poetry
-
literature
in
general
-
orphilosophy
or
history
in
a
knowledge-based
economy(KBE)
with its
emphasis
on
technological
upgradation
and
increasingprofits.Knowledge
is
now inexorably
tied
to
the
apron-strings
of theeconomy.
lt
isvaluedand
nurtured
as
long
as it
canprove
its
utilitarian
credentials.Apparently,
these
subjects
do
not
possess
the
same
kind of
applicability
as
the
sciences
and
subjects like economics, accountancy
and
businessadministration.But history, literatureandphilosophy
-
deal, each
in
its
own
way, with
the
issue
01'values.
Literature
is an
accurate cultural barometer,
which
calibrates
the
imperceptible
changesin
the
atmosphere
of
the
human
world.
lt
was writers like British
poet
WlfredOwen
who
shattered
the
chivalrous
notion
of war
and
brought home
the
savage
machinery
of
modembattles
during
Wodd
War
l.
Again,
it
was
T.S.
Eliofs
cadenceduncertainties
and
jaggedambiguities
in
poems
like
'The
Love
Song of
J.
Alfred Prufrock"
and
"The
Waste
Land"
which
made
us
aware
that we
are forced
to
live in an
etherisedandbleak modernist landscape.
GermanphilosopherHegel had
remarked
famouslythat those
who
do
not
team
from
history are doomed
to
repeat
it.
lt
would, of
course,
be
unrealistic
to
hope
that
we
will ever
learn
from
history.
But
a
knowledge
of
history
helps
in
making sense
of
problems.
Political
analysts
in
the
media
and
elsewhere
were
confounded by
theeruption
of
ethnic strife
inthe
Balkans, especially
in
Bosnia
and
in
Kosovo.
A
little
knowledge of
Balkanhistory
would
have been
ofgreat
use in understanding
the
issuesat
hand.
And what
earthly
reasons
can
there
be
for
studying
philosophy?
There are
some
practical
reasons
for
turning
to
this
apparently
abstractsubject.
lt
was from
a
philosophicalreflection on
the
subject
by
Austrian
physicistErwin Schrodinger,'Whatis
Life'that
Britishscientist Francis Crick,who was
a
physicist
himself,
turned
to
biology
and madeone
of
the
most remarkabtediscoveries
of
2oh-century
science, the
double-
helix structure
of the
DNA
along
with James
D.
Watson.
Norbert
Wiener, who
laid
thefoundations
of thetheory
of
informatics,
which
hasshapedinformationtechnology,wasinfluencedgreatlybyphilosopher-mathematicianBertrand Russell.
He
wanted
to
cut
out
the fluff
from the
language
and
make
it
as
precise
as
mathematics.
Translating
ordinary
languageinto
its
mathematical
equivalent
started
from a
philosophicalimpulse.
lt
is
at
the
root
o{
al!
the billions of bytes
now
swarming the cyberspace.
lf
the
hard-nosed
realists
are
tempted
to
dismisssubjects
like
literature,philosophy
and
historyout
of
hand
as
being too
woolly,
they should
think again.
lt
is
an
old
insight:
The world
is
what
we
make of
it.
Thesesubjects help us
in
making sense
of
it
all.
BY
P.V.
Rao
Jr
Adapted
ftom
"New
Economy
Needs
Philosophy"
The
Straits
Times, 26 March 2000
2
10
15
2025303540
 
PASSAGE
B
Jacob Bronowski
writes...
There
is
a
charge which
is
commonly
brought
against science.
The
claim
is
not
that
science
is
actively
anti*moral,
but
that
it
is
withoutmorality
of
any kind.
The
implication
is
that
it
thereby breeds
in
the
minds of those
who
practise
it
an
indifference
to
morality
which
comes
in
time to atrophy
in
them
the
power
of
right
judgement
and
the
urge togoodconduct.
There
is
no system
of
morality
which does
nolset
a
high
value
on
truth
and
onknowledge,
above all on
a
conscious knowledge
of oneself.
lt
is
therefore
at
least
odd
that
science should be called amoral, and this
by
people
who
in
their own lives set
a
high value
on
being truthful.
For
whatever else may be
held
against science, this
cannot
be
denied,
that
it
takes
for
ultimate
judgement
one
criterion
alone,
that
it
shall
be
truthful.
lf
there
is
one system whichcan claima
more
fanatical regard for truth
than
LaoTze
and
the
Pilgrim Fathers,
it
is
certainly science.
We
cannot of course
put
their truth
or
any
other
human
valuesquiteso simply
as
this.
We
must look
round
to
see
whether, either
in
ethics
or
in
science,
truth does
notextendbeyond a simple truthfulness tofact-
And
we
maytake
this
inquiry
into
truth
as
a
characteristic
test
for
science,
on which
we
canqround
the
larger decision, whetherscience does indeed
possess
its
own
values. But
do
not
let
us mlss
the
simple
point-
Whatever else
they
have also meant
by
truth,
men, who
take
pride
in
their
conduct and
its
underlying
values
set store
by
truthfulness
in
the
literal sense. They
are
ashamed to
lie
in
fact and in
intentjon.
And this transcending
respect
for truthfulness
is
shared
byscience.
T.H.
Huxley
was an
agnostic, Clifford was
an
atheist,
and I
know
at least
one
great
mathematician
who is
a
scoundrel.
Yet
all of them rest
their
scientific
faith on
an
uncompromisingadherence
tothe
truth,
and
the irresistible
urge
todiscover
it.
Human
valuesare
bound up
with what
we
judge
to
belike and
unlike;
and
whenscience shifts thatjudgment,
it
makes
a
profoundshift
in
these values.
The
Greeksbuilt
a
wonderful civilisation,
yet
it did
not
outrage
their sense
of
values
to
hold men
in
slavery.
They
did
not feel
the
slave
and
citizen
to
be alike men.
By
the
end
of
theeighteenth century,
it
was
felt
in
the
westem world
that
all
white
men
are alike;
but
William
Wilberforcespent
a
lifetime
in
persuading
his
generation
that black slaves
and
whites are alike
in human dignity.
Science
helped to create
that
sensibility,
by
widening
the
view
of what is
like and
what unlike.
lt
helpedto
widen
it
enough
to
make cruelty toanimals
a
particularlydetested offence
in England.
This
is
the
constanturqe
of
science as well as
of
the arts,
to
broaden
the
likeness
for
which
we
qrope
under
the facts.When
we
discover
the
wider
likeness,whether
betlveen space and time,
or
between
the
bacillus,the virus, and
the
crystal,we enlarge
the order
in
the
universe; butmore
than
this,
we enlarge
its unity.
And it
is
the
unity
of
nature,
living
and
dead,for
which
our
thought
reaches-
This is
a
far
deeperconception
than
any assumption
that
nature must
be
unifoam.
We
seek
to flnd
in nature
a
coherent
Lrnity.
Thisgives
to
scientists
their
sense
of
mission,
and
let
us
acknowledge
it,
ofaesthetic
fulfilment:
that
everyresearch canies
the
sense
of
drawing
together
the
threads
ofthe
world
into
a
patterned
web.By Jacob
Bronowski
Adapted from
A
Bronowski
Readet"
'10
15
2025303540

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