Comparing Human and Natural Science


How will the drought affect the species in WA?

  • Hypothesis: The population of plants will continue decreasing due to the lack of water source, which causes a dramatic decrease in the total number of population in all species.
  • Method:

     – Using samples (certain area) and recording down the population of different species.

     – Using scientific instruments to collect data (health of the animals and plants; body fat rate; water content; sunstroke or not; humidity in the air to predict the possibility of rain)

     – sampling: select several samples from different types of ecosystems.       

  • Techniques of analysis:

     – Deduction from the sampling data collected

     – Look up similar cases happened in history. Compare the similarities and then predict the possible effects.

     – Compare the data with the recorded data before the drought.

     – Make sure to check the other element which alters the living of the species.


How is the drought in WA affecting population movement?

  • hypothesis: There will be less population living in this area in the future years due to the lack of access to water.
  • method: conduct a census in Australia
  • techniques for analyzing the data
  • Look at the background information of that area before the drought
  • Keep in mind that there are other factors that might affect population movement.


Compare the reliability/certainty of the knowledge your experts will acquire.

In natural science, it is quite reliable as the massive samples decrease the uncertainty while in human science, the reliability really depends on human thoughts which alters all the time, make the conclusion very hard to be certain. In the case of the drought in WA, natural science is based on the data of a small area, which reflect the whole situation of the big area. Although there are some anomalies, the data is still very reliable. For human science, the scientists conduct a census, which includes all the population of WA, so the claims derived from the data is reliable. However, there are a few factors affecting the certainty of the data which are listed below.

Identify the factors that contribute to (or take away from) reliability/certainty.

In human science, there are a lot of factors that might affect population movement. Not only the drought that causes the lack of access to water, as well as variables such as economic factors, political factors. People would choose to move to places that have better economic states and policies that can benefit them. Also, if the human scientists carry on a census, they only collect data once, which means if they conduct the census in the afternoon, people live there might be away for work, so the data is not accurate. Therefore, from this case, we can know that in human science has a lot of uncertainties because there is not a point which all the things are set or all the people are present, and it is hard to assume the reasons of human thoughts.

In natural science, uncertainty depends on the reliability of the data collected. As the scientist cannot do detailed research on every single individual of every species, they need to choose samples. However, the samples scientists have chosen might be a special case which causes the error and alters the final conclusion. There is also a possibility of errors appear in the measurements. Compare to human sciences, natural science does not relate to human thoughts. The effect on the species will not change whatever people think. Therefore, if the data is very reliable, the conclusion that scientists made will mostly be very reliable.


Suggest ways that Human Scientists can increase the reliability of their claims.

In this case, to increase the reliability of the claims, human scientists should increase the time of collecting data. For example, they should collect data in the morning, in the afternoon and at night respectively. The more data they have, the more accurate the observations they can make.

Increase the number of samples is one thing that natural scientists can do. As the reliability of their conclusion depends on the data, more reliable the data is, more reliable the conclusion is.


What can you say ‘in general’ about HS as an AOK?

Human science is an area of knowledge that consists of Economy, Politics, Psychology and subjects that are based on human behaviour. Compared with natural science, human science has more uncertainty because humans are not predictable. However, there are still some similarities between human science and natural science. Both of them require data collection and data analysis to claim.


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