[catch up] Scientific Method
by zPrevious Student, on January 21st, 2012
observation -> Hypothesis -> prediction -> Experiment is the general steps of forming a theory and this is called Scientific Method. With such sequences our understanding of nature improves. But why scientific method is defined to be such?
The significance of this method is that the steps to the ultimate product is designed to be as objective as possible, leaving the formed theory to be ‘the truth’ (as we define it). This process is very focused on defining one phenomena and the process can be manipulated to many. Unlike what many people believe, scientific theory is very often corrected and redefined through the same process, because when an exception of a law is found than the theory ALWAYS have to be edited again. Although this whole process is not to be considered perfectly objective, I believe this is the best system to follow on within our limitation. (as objective as possible).
The limitation of this method, I believe, is that most of system is relying on our sense perceptions such as vision. For this reason, we were unaware of some components of our nature, that are beyond our ability to percieve, such as quantum sized particles and black hole until quite a long time passed. These couldn’t be proven by experiments.
But we do know they exist now, and how was it possible? I think this was thanks to mathematics and our technology. Mathematics is rooted from science, trying to explain the phenomena in more detailed and logical way. Applying these mathematical relationships enabled us to reach the truth beyond our perception. Moreover, invention of computers and such technology helped us to calculate with extreme speed and accuracy, which human can’t handle without significant uncertainty.
Scientific Method with these two components applied together, makes it the best method for science to develop.
January 21st, 2012 | Category: Science
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Authors & Posts
Bertrand Russell on Skepticism
But if philosophy is to serve a positive purpose, it must not teach mere skepticism, for, while the dogmatist is harmful, the skeptic is useless. Dogmatism and skepticism are both, in a sense, absolute philosophies; one is certain of knowing, the other of not knowing. What philosophy should dissipate is certainty, whether of knowledge or of ignorance. Knowledge is not so precise a concept as is commonly thought. Instead of saying "I know this," we ought to say "I more or less know something more or less like this."
—Unpopular Essays (1950)
"The less people know, the more stubbornly they know it."
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Is TOK a Philosophy Course?
YES, in the sense that the name of the course itself is in any dictionary effectively synonymous with "epistemology."
NO, in the sense that IB-specific ToK has many philosophical elements, but is not just philosophy. ToK is at root an interdiscipinary course that allows students to become aware of how the six subject-groups on the corners on the Diploma hexagon overlap and integrate. The interdisciplinary aspect is the crucial thing . . . .
"A conclusion is the place where you got tired of thinking."
Webs & Chains
Natura in reticulum sua genera connexit,
non in catenam: homines non possunt nisi
catenam sequi, cum non plura simul
possint sermone exponere.
Nature knits up her kinds in a network, not
in a chain; but men can follow only by
chains because their language can’t handle
several things at once.
—Albrecht von Haller (tr. Howard Nemerov)
[Epigraph to Nemerov's poem, "The Dependencies"]
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This TOK blog features work by IB Theory of Knowledge students at Dulwich College Suzhou, in Suzhou, China.