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

ToK Essay What similarities and differences are there between historical and scientific explanations?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

ToK Essay Plan What similarities and differences are there between historical and scientific explanations? Introduction Define "Science": According to Dictionary.com, the definition of the word "science" is: "1. a branch of knowledge or study dealing with a body of facts or truths systematically arranged and showing the operation of general laws: the mathematical sciences. 2. Systematic knowledge of the physical or material world gained through observation and experimentation." Define "History": According to Dictionary.com, the definition of the word "history" is: "1. the branch of knowledge dealing with past events. 2. a continuous, systematic narrative of past events as relating to a particular people, country, period, person, etc., usually written as a chronological account; chronicle: a history of France; a medical history of the patient." Define "Explanation": According to Dictionary.com, the definition of the word "explanation" is: "1. A statement made to clarify something and make it understandable. 2. A meaning or interpretation." Link the definitions and write about each knowledge areas' objectives (science, to understand and explain the world around us) Mid-section 1 Present to the reader an example of a scientific and historical explanation. A scientific explanation must be exact e.g.: Force = Mass x Speed. There is no possible way to change the formula and have it still be true. No other combination of variables can be used to calculate force. Similar to math, scientific explanations rely on the use of quantitative data. ...read more.

Middle

Historians are constantly using secondary data and carrying out desk research if they didn't witness the event they are studying. Scientist can always use primary data when they carry out experiments. Both knowledge areas rely on perception, but perception is used in different ways. A historical event only genuinely happens once and this specific event cannot be replicated in the precise circumstances as the original occurrence. Scientists usually base their experiments on ones done in the past, but they can be simulated in the same way. Furthermore, historians will only ever obtain actual knowledge from a past piece of data if it is recovered. The veracity of such data cannot always be confirmed whereas scientists aim to find the veracity of facts and find ways to prove it. Historical and scientific explanations have several similarities. It is of my belief that the main connection between them is the way in which they are conceived. In both knowledge areas, the explanations are composed by recording events what happens, yet to affirm that "to come up with either a historical or scientific explanation, you must record what happens" makes things seem much simpler than they really are. Let's use history as an example. There isn't always a reliable source to eyewitness important historic proceedings. We must consider that the accountancy of a happening cannot be made if there wasn't anyone to witness it. To account for a happening and not be sure of its veracity, you must have different pieces of evidence and opinions which support its authenticity. ...read more.

Conclusion

Furthermore, historians will only ever obtain actual knowledge from a past piece of data if it is recovered. The veracity of such data cannot always be confirmed whereas scientists deal with evidence and data that is right before their eyes by use of experimentations. (e.g.: Turin shroud) Science and History do cross paths more frequently than thought though. Both resort to giving different points of view when lacking evidence. Science does this to explain the Big Bang theory for example. Nobody was actually there to see what happened and if it was true or not, but scientifically speaking, it was the most plausible thing that could have happened, therefore the scientific knowledge previously acquired was used to back up this theory. I think the key difference between history and science is that a scientific experiment can be recreated whereas history can only be experienced once. When writing a lab report for science, it is important to show the procedure clearly so that other people can base their experiments on yours, and recreate the same results- this sets science apart from time. History is confined to the past. It can never be recreated and it can only be experienced once. I believe that the boundary separating science from history is that instead of relying on what others experienced in the past and told us about is less precise and less impacting than a discovery that can be tested and reconstructed in the present. 1 Dictionary.com 2 Dictionary.com 3 Dictionary.com 4 phstok.blogspot.com 5 Wikipedia - Ben Johnson ?? ?? ?? ?? Charles Echols Spragins III Class 11H ToK Mr. Casey 2010 ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our International Baccalaureate Theory of Knowledge 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 International Baccalaureate Theory of Knowledge essays

  1. Free essay

    IB TOK essay

    As Arthur Koestler aptly commented: "The progress of science is strewn, like an ancient desert trail, with the bleached skeletons of discarded theories which once seemed to possess eternal life".3 Just as Albert Einstein proved with his theory of relativity that Isaac Newton's laws were incomplete, so in future Einstein's

  2. TOK essay

    intuitive emotions have quite often added to the knowledge human beings have. The term is frequently used to justify self-evident truths. Asked to justify why 2 + 2 = 4, one might be able to explain it by 4 - 2 = 2, but eventually run out of justifications, and resort to the trite defense that it is "intuitively obvious."

  1. Truman Show (TOK)

    "We accept the reality of the world with which we are presented." "There is no more truth out there than in this created world." This quote was said by the shows director just before Truman left the dome. What point do you think he was trying to make?

  2. strength and limitations of quantitative and qualitative data

    (TOK for IB, 268) This type of speculation and behavior cannot be explained through numbers, but only through observation and perception. In this case, they both lead to a qualitative analysis - as with most other human sciences experiments. As a consequence of the nature of how most human science

  1. TOK History Essay

    ways of saying to add in mathematics while in history, certain aspects can be lost when translating from old languages into the new dialects used today. In terms of perception, I also believe that history is effect more than mathematics.

  2. TOK Essay 3

    was thought to be wrong he would not comprehend how to manage. Our world is constantly evolving and making changes to things we already know or thought we knew. Therefore as the question asks, doubt can be the key to knowledge but there must be a balance between doubt and

  1. Tok Essay - Question 5 2010

    Popperian falsificationism maintains that all scientific conclusions are almost entirely provisional. Popper denies the existence of any form of ultimate verification in science, ensuring that a conclusion is always to be held provisionally. Shermer's absolute claim that science holds a "belief in the provisional nature of all conclusions" runs parallel

  2. TOK essay

    As I went into the water I was surrounded by a couple of jellyfish. My first impression of them was wrong. Under the water they were pink, but when my father pulled them out they were actually transparent. That was the first time I started to doubt what I see.

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