What makes a good science education? Yeah, there are those endless parades of theorems to prove, hordes of tricky word problems to solve, and flocks of laboratory experiments to perform.

But a bigger part, and far more important, are sweet little stories: just-so anecdotes that offer explanations for why things are the way they are, parables that link equations to physical systems. Some abridged examples:

All these fantasies, and others like them, are gross over-simplifications. But they serve to focus the mind on key pieces of evidence and highlight the dominant processes in a given situation. Most importantly, these fables motivate the math that makes possible accurate predictions --- and thereby real understanding.

TopicScience - 2002-01-05

(correlates: HiStory, IllusionOfControl, RayDavis, ...)