Systems of Knowledge (Module 3)
What is Science?
Science is derived from the Latin word scienta which means knowledge. Science is a particular way of understanding our natural world. Science is based on assumptions of our senses and the use of instruments to help us be precise. It is empirical [it falls beyond our senses]. Science follows very specific rules. Science does not exclude creativity and imagination, all inventions started from the inquiring mind. 3 methods of science are Observation, Experimentation and Measurements. Steps in science are Observation, Comfort (help and make lifestyle easier) and labour or energy saving. Science involves different branches example social science, natural science, statistical science. The term science is very vast. Scientists are investigators: they look for facts. Answers may only be achieved on temporary basis: they can change. Science is based on objectivity (once proved by experiment it is true) example King Fredrick 2 Stupor Mundi made an important study on falconry due to observation. Science is a systematic search for facts. Science asks 3 basic questions:
1. What is there? [example what is in the centre of the world] 2. How does it work? [example how nature works]
3. What is its history? [how it developed]
Characteristics of Science
* Scientific conclusions are reliable but tentative-(Copernicus theory of the Earth) * Science is not democratic- (What idea is proved is accepted not what is most popular to people is chosen) * Science is not dogmatic, it is not religion- (Both science and religion can help each other) “Science without religion is lame, while religion without science is blind” * Science is not art involving emotions and feeling- ( example interpretation of a poem) An artist can express something from his heart but a scientist can’t as he has to express what he has rightfully proved in an experiment not what he feels is right in his heart. Scientists focus on change- change for better understanding. Science is a rapidly changing activity.
Science and Culture
Culture is said to be the matrix of humanity. It is the product of human thought and action. It comes from a Latin word. Values are an important part of culture since they provide guidelines for cultures. Science is the quest for truth however it does not provide a direct line towards the truth. Find examples of how culture used to influence science *example Galileo, Columbus and Nazi culture [Karl Brandt] other* Culture effects science occurs as a result of manipulating science. If society wants to obtain certain types of science basal, medical or technological applications, this will influence the type of scientific research that society supports with its resources. Politicians and Capitalists tend to prefer scientific theories that agree with their cultural personal theories. Example Soviet government supported the Science of Lysanko because his theories supported Marxist philosophy. Find examples of how science influences culture *example Florence Nightingale, medicines and hospitals, Science effects culture nowadays science is shaping our values and is giving new definitions on the human person through genetics, medicine and information technology. Advertisements, media, gadgets, entertainment, workplace, education, communication, environment development are all examples of how science is influencing our lifestyle. The most obvious effect of science has been its medical and pharmaceutical applications. Science also has been playing a major role in shaping cultural concepts and thinking patterns. Great scientific discoveries seldom happen by accident. They are nearly always the result of keen observation, accurate experiments and a great deal of hard work. As Thomas A. Edison puts it; 2% inspiration and 98% perspiration. Ockham’s razor; It Is expressed as the law of the economy. The principle is popularly interpreted as “the simplest explanation is usually...
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