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If facts by themselves never prove or disprove anything, what else is involved in the proof of a statement?

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Introduction

If facts by themselves never prove or disprove anything, what else what else is involved in the proof of a statement? What is proof? This question is one that most scientists have asked themselves for centuries. I myself have come across this very question when studying the subject of evolution in biology. I asked myself 'what more do people need to accept evolution as a truth?' this is when the word proof came into play. I could not understand, for me, the facts about evolution were proofs, proofs that evolution is indeed the reason for human existence, as well as the existence of all the other forms of life inhabiting our planet today. But I soon learnt that this did not apply to everyone. So I began to ask myself what else was needed to make evolution, or any other statement a true statement? I always thought that a proof was what was needed to make something true, a lot like evidence. However, I then learnt that you could have proof and yet not believe it. That was it. Belief. To prove something true you need a combination of facts and belief. So what is a proof? A proof as I have learnt, is something that aids belief. ...read more.

Middle

Or perhaps when the first man stepped on the surface of the moon, a brilliant astronaut, by the name of Neil Armstrong, who in 1969 created history. Many people at the time just could not accept this to be true and some like my grandfather died believing the great leap of history was actually a hoax. This was because he, like many others was brought up very religiously and just could not accept the idea of man travelling outside the atmosphere. So what else is involved in the proof of a statement? For a statement to be considered true, it is not only a question of whether you can prove it to be true or false. The answer runs much deeper than facts. Although facts play a big part in the proof of an argument, it is also a matter of personal opinion and belief. Lets look back at my second example of Galileo Galilei, who went against all beliefs that the earth was the centre of the universe. Because of his theory, the pope himself excommunicated him, from the Catholic Church. He has proved that the earth could not be at the centre of the universe as he had noticed that the earth not only spun on its own axis but also around the sun. ...read more.

Conclusion

But what else makes this statement true? If we were to ask a young child why he knew that the sun rose he would probably give you a much simpler answer: 'because it does'. Because he has seen it happen. He therefore then has two kinds of proofs, the proofs that he has been told, and the ones he has received first-hand. It is because he has seen it happen, and because the facts make a logical connection that he accepts the fact as true. Another part that is of importance when proving a fact is what is known as third party approval. When we know something, we collect information, facts mainly empirically. These facts then form a logical connection and then we can call it a proof. But to prove a statement true, we sometimes need the approval of the majority. It is because of this that we know that the sun raises and that pigs don't fly. The question of proof is deeply connected with the idea of certainty. It is a difficult topic to debate, as we often don't realize the process that takes place inside our minds when we say that something is true or false. We often don't question nor analyse our minds intrigued process and it is because of this that we often don't realize how we come to certain conclusions. By: Solage Di Rocca Gr. 12 ...read more.

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