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Ben Franklin and Thomas Jefferson were scientists and politicians, great contributions in both areas. The Fathers Madison and Adams were students taught of Newtonian sciences and scientific methodology approaches to human problems. Their political careers brought the teachings of science to their push for a democratic nation and lead it with science values. However, sometimes due to their brief study of concepts Newton discovered, James and John misinterpret the nature of the science and misuse the laws of nature. Cohen describes the idea that science concepts and politics can have negative transferability. Benjamin Franklin's scientific experiments on electric current were a crowning achievement of the Age of Reason, the Age in which humans could rely on themselves to exist and protect themselves from danger and benefit from the forces. The lightning rod, or "Franklin rod" during the time, became the exemplary product. This became a political debate when deciding whether the shape the rods on top of buildings ought to be pointed or round-balled. Superstition of the councils and political opponents believed that the rods had invoked lightning and was retribution for playing with the forces of nature. Cohen asserts that because of the importance these four individuals placed on the sciences that the constituents were of same respects.
Cohen elaborates on the influence that the scientific ideas that were being comprehended at the time concerning anatomical and medical discoveries, physics, modern calculus, statistics, electricity, and others.
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Science and the Founding Fathers: Science in the Political Thought of Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, & James Madison is a thorough document to the intellectuals and their pursuits dealing with science and its corresponding effects. There is extensive scientific thought put further during and into the doctrine of democratic ideals. The four prolific Fathers are maybe the only possible profiles under the title, Science and the Founding Fathers. The other delegates and thinkers were less versed than could be supported by documentation as the ones in question. There are 87 members of the Constitutional Convention. The Constitution is believed by many political science (not a true science) thinkers as a Newtonian document of balanced forces and biologic forces described by Charles Darwin, the evolutionary theorist.
With the exception of Theodore Roosevelt who had a biology degree, Thomas Jefferson is of a true science career and the only scientist to have been President. This weakens the case that science was and continues as a highly influential mechanism in politics as the author insists. Science is currently peripheral to culture and state governments, of the south in particular, have undermined the science approach. However, certain language Jefferson uses in the Declaration of Independence is unmistakably scientifically informed. The laws of man ought to be of natural foundations derived from evidence collected observationally and methodically. The "laws of nature" are axioms, or "self-evident" laws. "We believe these laws" was intentional inclusive, as interpreted by Merrill Peterson, as Jefferson's opportunity to press science as a political ideology. Thomas Jefferson was trying to inject the understanding of science into America because of the need for it. Cohen highlights the benefits of the sciences in to political discussion yet down plays some ultimate implications of scientific perversions government has used. The Jefferson profiles displays what is flawed in Cohen's assertion that the population was of respect for science, the majority of Americans of the time were superstitious to high degrees, is mistaken for the farmer population's acceptance of technologic improvements in the industry of farming. Technology is a by-product of science, whereas pure science is about the learning of the universe, technology is the exploitative product exercise.
Yet, the scope in which Cohen's main point is that science was involved in the political founding of the United States, there is great documentation and graphical diagrams and authority agreeing that especially the Age of Reason sciences was influential in this important time. He also correctly deduces that the Darwinian and Newtonian concepts are only superficial in the Constitution. The biological structure is limited by the size of the individual; the political body is of potentially large population proportions. Therefore, Cohen correctly halts scientific influence within the political epicenter.
Cohen, I. Bernard. Science and the Founding Fathers: Science in the Political Thought of Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, John Adams & James Madison. USA: W. W. Norton, 1995. Pp. 369