Humankind is Both Art and Science- The Art and Science of Learning Disabilities

Third in the series of Humankind is Both Art & Science based on the TEDx talk given on Oct. 1, 2011 at TEDxYMCAAcademy – The Art & Science of Learning Disabilities:

  1. Humankind is Both Art and Science; 2. Limited, and Fooled, by Our Senses; 3. The Trickery of Temporary Truths; 4. Post Gutenberg Parenthesis; 5. Emotional Rescue; 6. Question Authority

The Trickery of Temporary Truths

There is another minor problem with ‘truths’. A lot of facts that have been discovered – aren’t facts at all! Simply not true!


The Earth is Flat

They appeared really true at the time – but other truths replaced them at some point – once the ‘science’ changed – or once our perceptions changed – or our tools to perceive changed!


At one point, the Earth was deemed to be flat. And…


Not Around the Earth?

At one point, everything revolved around the Earth.

That was the geocentric model of Ptolemy . And Galileo was in big trouble in the early 1600s – for contradicting the Aristotelian view – which was also that of the church.


Heard of Phrenology?


Basically, the shape and size of parts of the head were correlated with personality characteristics. Thats what Franz Joseph Gall claimed in the early 1800s.

But, this was a great advance from the 4 humors – black bileyellow bilephlegm, and blood.


Faster than Light?

…how about the discovery last week regarding the questioning of Einstein’s theory of relativity.

Anyone know about that?

Yes…particles have been observed to be traveling faster than the speed of light.

These were temporary truths.

The Brain that Changes Itself

The Brain That Changes Itself

We have many claims and facts about learning disabilities too.

Maybe some of those are temporary truths. I may be totally wrong!! I’m good with that. Just like to question it. Especially with new findings about neuroplasticity and the like.

As an example, once you ‘have’ a learning disability, you have it for life. All you can do is work with it – accommodate it.

Well, to me – being somewhat of an old Piagetian dude – the very definition of accommodation infers a change in the structures of the brain!

We need to be cautious of the trickery of temporary truths.

We need to be cautious of the trickery of temporary truths.

But there is ONE truth that I sorta like!

Neuroscientist Peter Snyder says, “…what neuroscientists don’t know about the mechanisms of cognition—about what is physically different between a dumb brain and a smart one and how to make the first more like the second—could fill volumes. Actually, it does.”

He suggests that  “We’re sort of in the Wild West.””

The scientists, in their brilliance, have developed theories and beliefs based on their interpretations and previous experiences. Their knowledge arose, as mine does, out of how they experienced the world.

Their scientific discoveries were a result of both art and science.


Read the next in the series – Post Gutenberg Parenthesis.