• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Is the claim "having a black cat walk in front of your path brings bad luck" to be given the same knowledge status as the claim "the gravitational constant is 9.8m/s2"?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Ahana Nanavati

Ms. Brys

TOK 11c

December 3, 2003

Is the claim “having a black cat walk in front of your path brings bad luck” to be given the same knowledge status as the claim “the gravitational constant is 9.8m/s2”?

Knowledge is an art on its own. It represents ideas, beliefs, individualism, culture and a lot more. The claims of knowledge like art exist in many forms and styles. A knowledge claim reveals ideas that are formed by emotion, reason, language or perception, the four ways of knowing. At the same time, knowledge claims can be scientific, mathematical, religious, mythical, superstitious etc. A superstition is an irrational belief based on ignorance, fear or characterized by reverence for omens and charms. It is a ritual, or a notion that comes from a person’s strong belief. Contrastingly, science is a skill or technique. It is a systematic study of nature and the physical universe. It is knowledge that is organized in a systematic manner based on observation, experimentation and measurement.

...read more.

Middle

2, is based on experiments, carried out step-by-step with reason and logic.

        Both of the claims though, hold at least some uncertainty. The validity of the superstition on black cats is very doubtful. The term ‘bad luck’ is commonly used to comfort a person from believing that a mistake or a mishap in their routine lives was their own fault. Black cats bring bad luck, according to many. This statement transfers one’s own blame, guilt, unhappiness and regret onto the black cat. People that are insecure, that need support from elsewhere, are unstable, or are frightened by life and its obstacles, believe in this superstition to run away from reality. This shows how and why this superstitious claim is very different than the scientific claim, as it holds emotions. Gravity, on the other hand, is an idea that is formed by careful experiment and is not yet refuted. There are no emotions involved in a scientific claim.

...read more.

Conclusion

belief claim. In contrast, the gravity constant cannot be scientifically discredited today. Yes, maybe in the future, in the vastness of nature, and humankind’s perpetual discoveries, the law may be proven wrong. But today and tomorrow, gravity on earth will be 9.8m/s2 and until that discovery that under some circumstances the gravitational constant is different, the claim is given the scientific status. A scientific claim is one that is objective, unbiased and neutral. It has no link to emotion, creativity and imagination. It is solely based on empirical knowledge, rational knowledge, and scientific knowledge.  To be a justified, a scientific claim is proven by experiment and after that is accepted as a truth. These ideas clearly show that the claim “the gravitational constant is 9.8m/s2” is a scientific claim. Thus, the two claims are given very different status, as they hold ideas that are poles apart.

...read more.

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Mechanics & Radioactivity section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Mechanics & Radioactivity essays

  1. Objectives: To determine the center of gravity of a body of irregular shapes

    The pin is very sharp; it may hurt us. To ensure safety of students, the optical pin should be always pointed away from the students to avoid any accident. Secondly, in the experiment, the bob is under SHM, it will swing side by side with large amplitude.

  2. Measure the earth's gravitational field strength.

    Every time a run was done the apparatus was re-checked to make sure the apparatus was still accurate. Each time the angle of slope was increased, the position of the light gate would have to be raised so the picket fence would not hit it.

  1. Given a Batch of Factory Springs, Estimate the Average Spring Constant and Uncertainty of ...

    I will check the weights of the loads on electronic scales to ensure they are correct. I will add the weights in 1 N loads, starting with 2N, and record the extension (?x) in cm. I will do this until 10 N have been added.

  2. The life and work of Isaac Newton Sir Isaac Newton has been considered one ...

    He entered Trinity as a subsizar. A subsizar was a poor student who earned his keep from performing menial tasks for other students. It appeared according to white (1997) that Newton's mother was not prepared to finance his education any further. At Cambridge he was exposed to many philosophical text and ideas, especially those of the French philosopher Rene Descartes, who according to Scott (1976)

  1. The physics involved with a rollercoaster.

    Similarly, when an elevator starts moving, you feel more weight on your legs (it's a vertical force). When a roller coaster car makes a hairpin turn, the acceleration may push you to the side, or up or down. Acceleration is measured in "g", where 1 g corresponds to the vertical acceleration force due to gravity.

  2. Serving Newton

    Newton did not realise that he copied an error. It is obvious he did not understand the effects of atmospheric drag, cross-winds, tail winds, chemical behaviour, supersonic melting, and the rotation of the Earth, (the Coriolis effect) because these effects were scientific mysteries at that time..

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work