Reflecting on our discussions in class, and with inspiration from the TED video, what distinguishes Natural Science from other AOKs?
Science participates in deductive, inductive method as well as in modelling. Science is a special area of knowledge where they develop a hypothesis, they then deduce its consequences, observe those consequences. This type of deductive method which most experiments follow along proves that science is objective and is bias. As we set up a hypothesis, we are already biased towards one side, we then unintentionally or intentionally find evidence that supports the claim and diminish the importance of the pieces of evidence against the claim. In inductive methods, science usually starts with observations and a hypothesis was generated. As scientists like to find out the causes of how things work, they would often create models to test things out. Science is a consense of the scientific experts who have judged the pieces of evidence and come to a conclusion. Therefore paradigm shifts happened rarely because it requires powerful evidence to initiate and sustain them, and has to ability to convinces all of the experts. Therefore, to some extent, science appeal to authority. Science also cannot prove but yet it can disprove theories. All it needs is one counter example and the entire theory has to be amended. Therefore scientific theories are constantly changing and amending.
Faith as WOK
Faith doesn’t necessarily have to relate to religion, it could also mean trusting or having confidence in something or someone completely. It acts as a guiding path, it motivates humans to complete certain acts and keep improving. In Natural science, many things are based ion faith; for example when scientists make hypothesis all they’re doing is creating statements without any proof of their success or if they are accurate. Faith offers a structure in our lives and even though it may not seem like a very important aspect, most people need something to believe in. For most religions, there is almost no evidence to support their beliefs but still, people believe in them because they agree with their morals, or because they actually believe there is someone out there who can always help them and that brings hope into their lives. Faith also establishes our ethics and morals which helps us to understand ourselves better and determine the choices we make.
Problems’ with faith as WOKs
- Faith does not need any justification or proof. Those who hold the faith may see the belief as self-evident, while others may not. Therefore, it is not convincing for everyone, people will start questioning if what they believe in is actually true or not. For example, in religion, Jihadis, when they receive their training, are implanted with the misleading faith that God will promise them paradise as a reward for acts of martyrdom. It lacks certainty as some people might disagree with the way they act.
“The vagueness and ambiguity of language always limits the production of knowledge”.
Humans have been using language to express our thoughts, connect with others and also share our knowledge since the beginning of time. The combination of sound that is used to communicate with people forms one of the fundamental parts of the community. In some ways, language allows us to facilitate our thoughts and help us to develop them well. Without language, our thoughts would make no sense as thinking also requires a natural mental language. Therefore much of our knowledge acquisition is mostly based on our language.
However, there are times when language becomes vague and ambiguous and limits our production of knowledge, people have hard times associating things together to show patterns which explain how the world works. For example in Natural Science,(chemistry) there are specific terms for different compounds. There are organic compounds which look similar to a structure drawing but have vastly different properties. One example of disastrously different effects of very similar molecules is thalidomide. There are two isomers, only differing in their stereochemistry. The (R)-isomer is responsible for the sedating effect it was initially used for. The (S)-isomer lead to horrifying birth defects in the children of woman that took that drug. A slight error when describing the structure of compounds due to the vagueness of language might limit our understanding of the compounds.
Another aspect that can be considered is the Arts. Arts, similar to language is also a very effective way of conveying concepts and emotions in a way that others can understand and recognise. Metaphors are often used in commercials nowadays. However, a lot of the commercials are targeted towards a specific type of people. The Macdonald advertisement showed below are targetted towards Muslims. Muslims may see something in this text that non-Muslims may miss, the french fries which represent the fingers of hands that are praying. NOn-muslims might not be able to understand the culture of the metaphor and therefore the message they receive will be limited.