February 3rd, 2011

Out of all the words in the English language I believe ‘why’ best defines us as a species. We know that many other species communicate in their own languages but, as far as scientists can tell, it’s always things like ‘Danger, there’s a leopard!’. To ask why something is, to ask what means or purposes something was done, seems specifically human (at least so far).

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Julia said:
The word ‘why?’ sums up our innate curiosity and intelligence. We are constantly questioning everything so we can either work out why (or how) something works, or why certain things happen. However, I think there is a lack of questioning of why, especially in education. We aren’t taught to question things, only to accept new knowledge and use it to the best of our ability. This is why the media is so effective as we tend to believe everything we’re told (from what we consider to be a reliable source). But we are not taught to question what is a reliable source and why, which leads us to believing the easiest thing possible without any hard work. So, in a way, ‘why’ does define us as an species, we crave to know more. However, this isn’t necessarily nurtured from birth (especially where religion and culture profess certain beliefs on us) and should be.