In What Ways May Disagreement Aid the Pursuit of Knowledge in the Natural and Human Sciences?
By: Nicholas Allen Riggs
Word Count: 1,457
Throughout the history of mankind, humans have been known to argue and disagree on just about everything. From religion to science and with a wide range of political spectrums, it does not seem as if humanity has or will ever be fully on the same page. However, is this common truth our greatest threat… or our greatest strength? In my opinion, I feel that diversity, like in many global governments, makes an organization or nation stronger due to a wide range of ideas. Many people, ironically, disagree on this topic, claiming that a people divided could not possibly be stronger than one global society, united under one banner, for one common purpose. Nevertheless, Humans have accomplished amazing things and have advanced greatly based on the common human ideal, “I am right, and you are wrong – let me prove it.” With the aid of Reason, Language, and Emotion, we will discover some ways that disagreement actually advances the pursuit of knowledge.
In July of 1925, John Thomas Scopes was put on trial in Tennessee for violating the Butler Act, which was a state law that prohibited evolution to be taught in state-funded schools. By using texts from famous scientists like Charles Darwin and new sources of literature from “Modernists,” which were people who claimed that evolution could be consistent with the bible, Scopes taught his students the theory of evolution. Due to the theory “challenging Christian faith,” Scopes was quickly dismissed from his teaching position, put on trial in Dayton, Tennessee, and fined $100. Even though Scopes was embarrassed and disheartened, he disagreed with the state’s ruling and had the verdict overturned due to the technicality that claimed it was not “science,” but it was part of a philosophical discussion. A few years after the incident, an Englishman named...
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