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Science. - An area of knowing. THEORY OF KNOWLEDGE. AREAS OF KNOWLEDGE. NATURAL SCIENCES. MATHEMATICS. WAYS OF KNOWING. HUMAN SCIENCES. EMOTION. KNOWER(S). LANGUAGE. REASON. ETHICS. HISTORY. SENSE PERCEPTION. THE ARTS. Aims.

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science

Science

- An area of knowing

theory of knowledge
THEORY OF KNOWLEDGE

AREAS OF KNOWLEDGE

NATURAL SCIENCES

MATHEMATICS

WAYS OF KNOWING

HUMAN SCIENCES

EMOTION

KNOWER(S)

LANGUAGE

REASON

ETHICS

HISTORY

SENSE PERCEPTION

THE ARTS

slide3
Aims
  • Understand what elements constitute the scientific method
  • Recognize the strengths and limits of the scientific method
  • Know what makes a scientific claim and know what pseudo science is
  • Appreciate the meaning of truth in a scientific context
  • Discuss the interplay between science and other AOK
group work resource booklet natural science
Group work (resource booklet: natural science)
  • Team 1: What is the scientific method (pp.3, 4,5) and its strengths
  • Team 2: What is a paradigm, a paradigm shift (with examples) – pp 6,7, 11
  • Team 3: What are the possible limitations of science (Humes problem of induction) pp 8
  • Team 4: what is ‘falsification’ – Karl Popper pp. 9-10
  • Team 5: science and pseudo-science pp. 222-225 Lagemaat
slide5

Theory is confirmed and tentatively accepted

Prediction and experimental test

Experimental data or observation

Inductive hypothesis

Theory is falsified and rejected

The Scientific Model

hume s problem of induction
HUME’S PROBLEM OF INDUCTION
  • The fact that all observed metals expand when heated doesn’t mean that all metals expand when heated  logical fallacy of induction (from particular to general)
falsification
FALSIFICATION
  • Popper tried to resolve the problem of induction in the scientific method suggesting that scientists should spend their time trying to prove that their hypotheses are false
  • In this way scientists could be sure of their results
  • He suggested to test in such way well proven hypotheses
  • Any theory that resists our best efforts to falsify it should be provisionally accepted as the best we have for the time being
  • Popper’s theory is fascinating but not very useful
criticism of popper
Criticism of Popper
  • Falsification is conclusive in theory but not in practice (we consider experiments that prove the theory wrong as mistakes in observation)
  • Auxiliary hypotheses can rescue a falsified theory (when our theory is proven wrong with consider some additional hypothesis that may explain it – Neptune!)
  • The concept of proof is only relevant to logic and mathematics, not science
science as a human endeavour
Science as a HUMAN Endeavour

Thomas Khun

Kuhn was a historian of science, who noticed that, as a matter of historical fact, scientists did not work by falsification. He said that scientists hold some fundamental beliefs (ie paradigms) so strongly that they are sometimes not prepared to allow them to be falsified; they may ignore or disbelieve findings which seem to disprove them.

example
Example
  • The paradigm of the earth being the centre of the Universe was technically falsified by Galileo and Kepler but was not accepted for hundreds of years.Why?
  • Can you think of another?
consider
Consider……..
  • We assume life does not exist on other planets because we believe all life must be based on the element carbon and needs oxygen, light etc to survive.
  • Life has been noted in what appears to be very hostile conditions: volcanoes, frozen tundra, submarine volcanic vents etc.
  • So….. Is there life on Mars, Jupiter etc?
slide12

If you did an experiment which seemed to have falsified the conservation of energy theory what would you do?

  • Do you think Khun’s model is an accurate description of science?
science a universal tool
Science - a Universal tool?
  • What distinguishes natural Sciences from other sciences eg Social Science?
  • The amazing thing about nature is that, as far as we know, the underlying laws that govern it are unchangeable.
slide14

Reductionism

  • 'People fall in love because of their psychological make-up. Psychology reduces to biology; biology to anatomy; anatomy to chemistry; chemistry to physics. So to be the best psychologist you can be, you should study physics.' On what grounds would you accept or reject this statement?
  • Imagine that at some future date we eventually find all the laws of nature -'the rules of the game'. What would that mean for our ability to make things and control the world?
slide15

Some sciences are increasingly taking a holistic approach whereby they try to avoid reduction. Does this mean that they are still sciences, or have they become something else?

  • Think back over your science education. What did you learn about the way science works?
  • Are the theories discussed in this topic realistic about the way sciences work?
  • Are they the way sciences shouldwork?
  • What do you imagine professional scientists think makes the natural sciences so special.
slide16

Science and Creativity

Scientists make new hypotheses?

1. Attempt-to form hypotheses for the following:

  • Stars twinkle.
  • Birds sing.
  • Air is odourless.
  • Cuckoos find their way from Singapore to China by themselves.
  • Berries taste good.
  • When you release a hydrogen-filled balloon it rises.
slide17

Are your hypotheses testable? If so, how?

2 Suppose your new hypothesis has been tested and it failed. We reject it. Come up with another testable hypothesis.

3 It has been said that the most creative minds belonged to Scientists. Einstein’s general theory of relativity is no less a masterpiece than Mozart’s “requiem” or a painting by Picasso. Do you agree? Discuss and come up with some “fors” and “againsts”

slide18

SUMMARY TASK:

  • We have considered at least four aspects of sciences: inductivism, falsification, paradigms and creativity.
  • Think of some examples of each aspect.
  • What are the respective roles of each component?
  • Are any components more important than others?
  • What are the problems with each aspect?
task science and
TASK: science and….
  • Label your poster
    • Team 1: inductivism (Hume’s problem) Booklet pp 8
    • Team 2: falsification (K. Popper) Booklet pp 9-10
    • Team 3: paradigm (T. Khun) Booklet pp 7 and 11
    • Team 4: creativity. Booklet pp 3-5
slide20
TASK
  • Write, in your own words, a short summary (3 paragraphs) of
    • Hume’s criticism of induction in science
    • Popper’s falsification theory
    • Kuhn’s concept of paradigm within the philosophy of science
    • End 1 pm
science and pseudo science
Science and pseudo science
  • Physics
  • Acupuncture
  • Astrology
  • Creationism
  • Crystology
  • Chemistry
  • Graphology
  • Homeopathy
  • phrenology
  • biology
science and pseudo science1
Science and pseudo science
  • Science:
    • Scientific hypotheses (claims) are testable
    • Scientific hypotheses (claims) are clearly stated and make precise predictions
    • Scientific hypotheses (claims) They are always valid (no ad hoc exception)
  • Pseudo science
    • Claims are vague, allow for ad hoc exceptions,
scientific claims
(scientific) claims
  • Which of the following statements make scientifically testable claims?
  • In 2010 you may or may not win the lottery
  • It always rains on Tuesday
  • We have all lived past lives, but most of us are too enlightened to remember them
  • Real men don’t cry
  • Unlike magnetic poles attract each other
  • Everyone is selfish
  • Acid turn litimus paper red
  • Something surprising will happen to you next week
science and truth
Science and truth
  • There is no absolute proof in science and we cannot neither conclusively verify nor falsify an hypothesis
  • but
  • If a scientific theory accounts for the known evidence, is internally consistent, and works in practice then we should – for the time being – accept it as true.
  • We should maintain a critical attitude to our scientific beliefs and be wiling to question our assumptions
2002 essay title
2002 Essay Title
  • "The arts deal in the particular, the individual and the personal while the sciences deal in the general, the universal and the collective." To what extent does this statement obscure the nature of both “Areas of Knowledge”?
scientific claims1
Scientific Claims?
  • The Earth is flat.
  • The Earth is not exactly round, but it is actually a bit wider at the equator.
  • UFOs regularly visit Earth to abduct humans for experimentation.
  • God created the world in seven days approximately 5000 years ago.
  • God created the Universe.
  • God did not create the Universe.
  • In some remote areas of China, there are people who can jump higher than 10 m.
scientific claims2
Scientific Claims?
  • In some remote areas of China, there are people who can jump higher than 10 m, but their society is so secretive that they will never permit outside observers to witness it.
  • Love is more important to human beings than anything else.
  • If you ask people what they find most important in a multiple choice question, and you include love as a possible answer, then more than 75 per cent will put love at the top of their list.
  • Saying 'I love you' to your partner.
  • Picasso's painting 'Cannes, 4a.m.' is a beautiful piece of art.
how complete is science
How complete is Science?
  • If Science never proves anything right, why do we trust it so much?
  • Think about the Science you learn at school. How likely do you think it is wrong or incomplete?
consider1
Consider……..
  • What are the limitations of scientific enquiry? (In other words, is there anything which science cannot tell us about the world?)
  • Can religion or myth be used to explain things which science cannot?
  • Should scientists be held morally responsible for their discoveries? Is any area of scientific knowledge morally unacceptable?
  • What do you think is meant by the words, "It is through science we prove, but through intuition that we discover"?