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The Applicability Of Engineering Design Principles In Formulating A Coherent Cosmology And Worldview

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Conference

2008 Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Publication Date

June 22, 2008

Start Date

June 22, 2008

End Date

June 25, 2008

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

Multidisciplinary Design in the Classroom

Tagged Division

Design in Engineering Education

Page Count

19

Page Numbers

13.1201.1 - 13.1201.19

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/3501

Download Count

41

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Paper Authors

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Dominic Halsmer Oral Roberts University

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BS and MS Degrees in Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering from Purdue University in 1985 and 1986. PhD in Mechanical Engineering from UCLA in 1992. Spacecraft attitude dynamics and control systems engineer at Hughes Aircraft Company from 1985 to 1992. Registered Professional Engineer in the state of Oklahoma. Member of the faculty at Oral Roberts University from 1992 to present, in the area of mechanical engineering. Dean of the School of Science and Engineering at Oral Roberts University since 2007. Research interests include dynamics and control systems, and the evaluation of various worldviews in the light of current developments in the fields of science and engineering.

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Nicholas Halsmer Oral Roberts University

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Undergraduate Engineering student at Oral Roberts University with a concentration in Mechanical Engineering

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Robert Johnson Oral Roberts University

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Undergraduate Engineering student at Oral Roberts University with a concentration in Mechanical Engineering

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James Wanjiku Oral Roberts University

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Undergraduate Engineering student at Oral Roberts University with a concentration in Mechanical Engineering

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Abstract
NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

The Applicability of Engineering Design Principles in Formulating a Coherent Cosmology and Worldview Abstract

Recently, concepts from the field of design engineering have been found extremely useful in many areas of science. From the very large aspects of the universe (i.e. big bang cosmology and galactic and stellar evolution) to the very small (i.e. the fitness of the chemical elements and the life-codes found in DNA), the cosmos is so readily and profitably reverse-engineered as to suggest that it may have been engineered in the first place. The linking of extraordinarily complex, but stable functional structures with the production of value provides a strong impression of the action of a transcendent, yet calculating, intentionality. The most coherent view of the cosmos appears to be that of an engineered system of interdependent subsystems that efficiently interact to prepare for, develop, and support advanced life, subject to various constraints. Considerations of intention and purpose in natural science have recently been disallowed, and yet our world seems to be infused with purpose. The cosmological quest benefits from the integration of knowledge from all areas of study, including those that consider questions of purpose, such as design engineering. The synthesis of this knowledge that provides the most satisfying answers for the human condition is one that admits the recognition of purpose, and possibly the existence of an (as yet, not-well-understood) engineering influence.

In a course for engineering majors at our university, students are encouraged to integrate their knowledge of science and engineering with the development of a coherent cosmology and worldview. A major component of this course includes the recognition of engineering design characteristics in nature. Characteristics such as stability, predictability, reliability, transparency, controllability, efficiency, and optimality are found in nearly all human-engineered systems. These characteristics are also prevalent throughout the integrated and finely-tuned systems that make up the cosmos. Examples of such are studied by the students, and presented in what follows. Students are challenged to weigh the evidence supporting various explanations for the current structures and resulting values found in the universe. In so doing they make the most of their technical education, and find motivation for a fulfilling and hopeful life of meaning, purpose, and service to humanity, as a deep-thinking engineer.

Engineering Impact on Worldview

As early human beings discovered the basic workings of nature, they also learned how to use their creativity to put those discoveries to work in solving the everyday problems of life. Hence the fledgling field of engineering was born. Throughout the millennia, scientific discoveries have continued to fuel the fires of engineering industry. In recent years, the closely-related fields of science and engineering have enjoyed enormous success. The maturity of these fields has enabled current practitioners to deliver a potential productivity and quality of life which was hardly dreamed of a hundred years ago. Nature has proven to be incredibly bountiful and profoundly deep in providing mankind with an array of challenging puzzles to solve. Human mental capacity and insatiable curiosity make it difficult to resist these mysteries, especially after repeatedly experiencing how their unraveling results in such incredible satisfaction, fruitfulness, and profitability1,2. Could it be that the realm of nature and the human mind were, in some sense,

Halsmer, D., & Halsmer, N., & Johnson, R., & Wanjiku, J. (2008, June), The Applicability Of Engineering Design Principles In Formulating A Coherent Cosmology And Worldview Paper presented at 2008 Annual Conference & Exposition, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. https://peer.asee.org/3501

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