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Evaluating Scientific Method as a Way of Knowing

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Introduction

´╗┐Theory of Knowledge May 11, 2012 Evaluating Scientific Method as a Way of Knowing Scientific method is one of those ways of knowing which has been in limelight for centuries and still seems to classify itself as important. Science is mainly driven by logic and reasoning and hence, in the scientific method, logic and reasoning is combined and reasoned with sense perception to form a superior way of knowing which seems to provide more certainty than other ways of knowing. However, the certainty arrived at through scientific methods has been evaluated time and again to explore its limitations. Evidence of acceptance and accuracy of the scientific methods is seen in many discoveries like the Newton?s laws of gravity, discovery of pharmaceutical drugs and investigating properties of various substances around us. However, the scientific method is also challenged by other methods of knowing which seem to provide equally accurate and reasonable data but without using the scientific method, for example, the theory of evolution was built up on observation and the science of homeopathy was built on by ancient manuscripts. Deciding whether the scientific method is the best way of knowing can be challenging, the method can prove itself to be perfectly accurate in some cases but may not be able to explain others. ...read more.

Middle

Moreover, arriving at the desired result once would not make much of a difference, in the pharmaceutical industry, the drugs are produced over and over again and hence it requires a certain ?recipe? for the drug to provide consistency and also work at an efficient balance of economy, this is arrived at by investigating various conditions and methods designed on the basis of the fundamental scientific method. Even though the discovery of Penicillin in 1928 by Alexander Fleming was serendipitous (reference), the importance of the drug was soon in the limelight and the demand for the drug increased, hence, this was when the scientific method came in handy to help provide a method for mass production of Penicillin. (Reference) In contrast to the two examples provided above, the science of homeopathy defies the certainty of scientific method. Homeopathy is method of curing diseases using very diluted versions of the medicines. This method has been passed down from ancient times and has been proved to work on many users of the medicine. However, when this method is observed and tested on scientifically, it lacks to give a trend or pattern in the results hence making it impossible to explain scientifically why the medicine works. ...read more.

Conclusion

It also includes the fact the not every scientist may interpret the data in the same way. Thus, restating the fact that not all theories can be tested using the scientific method. In conclusion, the scientific method has both limitations and advantages. However, there is a wide misconception that if a theory can be proved by scientific method its superiority instantly rises above other theories. It must be understood that the scientific method holds the same weightage as many other ways of knowing/investigating and it may not be right to assume that one method is superior to the other. Nevertheless, the scientific method is definitely one of the most used methods in the world today as it provides a clear cut image of the situation and since it is human nature to be attracted to things that are simple and easy to understand I think it is justifiable to depend on scientific methods for proving our theories. In spite of the many known limitations of the scientific method it is being using time and again to understand the world around us and I believe that this method is here to stay. Word Count: 1223 ...read more.

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