Reflecting on our discussions in class, and with inspiration from the TED video, what distinguishes Natural Science from other AOKs?
Identify any potential issues or questions that may arise when you consider your definitions.
Firstly, it may seem quite obvious to state but Natural Science is unique from other AOKs in that it limited only to the natural world. This means mechanisms or concepts related to how our physical world works, and not the supernatural world (things that are unproven). Practical problems that can be solved through applying this AOK for example, could be answering how the digestive system works, or identifying how far away the earth is from the sun. It is important as discoveries in natural science has helped to shape the world we live in today, from the invention of planes to breakthroughs in prosthetic limbs. Science is not always fair, and one aspect of this is the question of ethics. Quite often, ethical considerations can limit the scope of inquiry into certain areas, such as research into stem cells. The use of stem cells is controversial because it involves the death of embryos, which some consider to be unjust.
Knowledge is gained through the formulation of a hypothesis or prediction, which is then verified by experiments. Natural sciences is also based on theories, which can be backed up by sold evidence. The more pieces of evidence from different lines there is to back up a theory, the stronger the credibility of said theory. This area of knowledge seeks to understand, but does not seek the truth – as scientists are always trying to disprove existing theories for further comprehension of the natural world. While scientists come up with laws and theories, none of them are final, as science is simply an attempt in finding the best explanation for how things work. Nothing is certain, and nothing can be proven or disproven indefinitely. Over the years, existing ideas has been built upon, refined, or debunked in the search for understanding. What the general public accepts as a widely known fact today can be proven wrong tomorrow.
The natural sciences is baised. This statement refers to the subjective nature of scientists, in that as humans they are bound to be influenced by various factors, be it gender, culture, background, or interest. It is possible that scientists who expect a certain outcome in an investigation may unconsciously alter the data to achieve their desired results. Therefore, every scientist has the responsibility to minimize any type of subjectivity in order to present reliable and valid findings.