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Should we trust science to give us a complete understanding of the world?

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Should we trust science to give us a complete understanding of the world? Being aware of the fact that in our society anything that is scientifically proven to be true is more likely to be believed than for example any spiritual ideas, might give a sufficient estimate of how important science has become in everyday life. But what does the term 'scientifically proven' actually represent? Is anything investigated by a group of men, so-called scientists, and eventually found to be 'true', definite truth? Analysing this question, one should ask oneself when science started to increase in its importance in our society, nowadays almost replacing traditional religions. Will there ever be the situation in which all old religions will die out, and science will take over their place and be worshipped? Will science, given enough time and effort, be able to answer all human questions, as Emile Durkheim predicted? ...read more.


If hypothesis proved to be true, result was achieved. 2) If hypothesis was incorrect, the experiment failed. Step 6: Possible further steps if failure: - what was wrong with hypothesis? - was a poor selection made? - was experiment flawed? - forming new hypothesis, based on additional research. - testing new hypothesis. The table shows the use of the scientific method in the first of its three possible ways by performing experiments and critically observing the results, a solution was achieved. Already in 130 CE, the Greek physician Galen used this method when dissecting animals to find out about muscle structure. Carl Hempel argued that science was based on what he called hypthetico-deductive reasoning. By this expression he meant the importance of formulating hypothetical laws on observations, which can be used as a premise in a deductive argument such as: The scientific method demands certainty Inductive logic can never be certain Therefore the scientific method cannot use inductive logic. ...read more.


He concludes that people such as Popper, Hempel and others have not described the real methodology of science but fictional states of affairs. In my conclusion I want to mention the philosopher Paul Feyerabend, who stated that science has anarchistic features, and can therefore not be estimated in any way by observation of experiments and concluding hypotheses, as the same problem might have a completely different solution the next time it was stated. Therefore he argues, as already Popper had suggested, that theories are not so much constructed on the basis of observation and careful experiment, but have their basis in (irrational) conjecture, speculations and moments of inspiration. This might create a mental relation between artists and scientists. Therefore science can be seen as a means to promote one's ability to understand his surrounding, but only when taking into account the possible distortion which might be caused by such a restricted approach. Frank Pillukeit No 8 04.05.2007 - 1 - ...read more.

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