From the July/August, 2002 issue of Touchstone
science Fearfully & Wonderfully Made by Thomas S. Buchanan

Fearfully & Wonderfully Made

Thomas S. Buchanan on God & Science

For several years I taught a course to freshmen on basic mechanics. In this course a teacher will begin by assuming that the universe is a very simple place where all ropes are massless, all pulleys are frictionless, and everything has only two dimensions. It is amazing how many problems you can solve when assuming that we live in such a strange universe.

As the students progress and master simple mechanics, the teacher must introduce a third dimension, gravitational forces, and friction. The problems can no longer be solved so easily. That is, once the students understand the basic concepts with the simplified assumptions, they must be given more . . .


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