• The sciences are all about using reason to understand the world, there is no place for emotion in science

  • I both agree and disagree with this statement. There has been much controversy over both sides of these arguments, and while I support human compassion, I also support a scientific pursuit into further understanding of our universe.

On one hand, emotions hold us back in science. For example, Christianity. The entirety of the dark ages were as a result of their morales. They literally set a dude on fire for suggesting that the Earth revolved around the sun, rather than the other way around. Set us back 100ish years in technological inventions because of their beliefs system. To what extent are our emotions reliable when determining whether or not our ends justify the scientific means?

However, at the same time emotions are what keep us alive. Our human intuition has kept us atop the food chain for millenia, and we our DNA has not adapted to eliminate it. This is because the raw human emotion we feel for our friends, family, and the nature around us is what keeps us reproducing and the world turning. When one states their qualms about animal testing, this is out of human compassion; emotion. We are aware it is inhumane, we are aware that it is wrong. This is where human emotion is important, in order to keep the planet and its inhabitants safe.

I believe that emotions deserve a place in science. On the other hand, I do not believe in the harm of abuse of nature and its creatures in the pursuit of scientific knowledge. For this reason, I believe that empathy is necessary in science, but all other emotions are unnecessary and simply obstacles.

Sense Perception

Is knowledge gained from our sensory perception reliable?

I believe that to a certain extent, it is. We are quite perceptive in nature to our surroundings, should we choose to be. Furthermore, our only way of gaining knowledge is from our senses and gut instinct.

However, we are also susceptible to bias. We, as humans, are all governed by a set of rules and biases through personal experience which determine how we react to situations. Often, we only notice what we want to see, believe what we want to believe. We are not in control of this reaction, but it affects our sense perception. Therefore, the information gained through our senses cannot be trusted as your only source of information. While it may sometimes be the only sample of information, it does not mean that it is the truest, or even true, piece of information. For this reason, you should always ask for further information and look deeper into the issue before fully trusting our minds as confirmation.

Personal vs Shared Knowledge

1. Explain the map metaphor

Maps are used to display a region of the earth in a simplified version. However, not all maps serve the same purpose, so for this reason often display different topics of information. As example, a street map would display the streets in a city through scales and carefully lain out diagrams. Yet in MTR maps, stops are not always displayed to scale nor have a correct size or shape of HK.  Maps only show what you need to now, so as to better inform difference audience types.

2. What is the difference between personal knowledge and shared knowledge?

Shared knowledge is between a group of people. They are thought as of facts, as they are a shared belief among a large enough group of people. Religions, natural science laws, and other beliefs are classified as shared knowledge. In contrast, personal knowledge is something that only a single person knows or understands. All shared knowledge starts out as personal knowledge, however that does not serve to prove that one should be valued over the other, but rather they are both equally prone to being lacking or adequate in their factual accuracy.

3. If you cannot explain something to someone else, you do not know it.

I do not believe that it means you do not understand it, so much as it means that it is unimportant to others. Often we have hunches that are salient to our own survival. However, it is hard to explain a feeling to somebody who does not feel the same. That being said, another’s mental capacity to understand and analyse information does not speak to the validity of another’s knowledge and/or ability to communicate.