But can everything really be found out that way? We sure gain all our knowledge in areas such as physics, chemistry and all their related branches this way- experiments are carried out, calculations are made, someone of a higher rank or position in the specific area checks the results, the way the experiment was carried out. The more important the experiment, the more thorough the checking, which leaves practically no chance for a mistake. For example in school, in the physics class we had to carry out experiments associated with the magnetic field. We were supposed to find out whether the movement of a magnet near a spool of iron wire can create an electric current. We did a series of tests. First of all, we attached an electricity meter to the spool and then we started to move the magnet near the spool in a swinging motion. We observed that almost all the time there was electric current (except the times we moved the magnet extremely far from the spool) and the faster was the movement, the greater was the current. Then we had to check whether the magnetic field of the magnet could generate any electrical current in the spool without being moved and just being next to the spool. We moved the magnet towards the spool. While we were moving it, the meter did detect some current. As the motion got slower, the current decreased. When we stopped the magnet at a very close distance from the spool, the meter ceased to show any presence of electrical current. Then we also tried out swinging our hands next to the spool to see if we could create electrical current by the movement of air we were creating or the warmth of our hands. The meter did not detect an electrical current in this case. Thus, by experimenting, skepticism and logical reasoning we came to a conclusion that the movement of magnet near to an object or materiel that responds to the magnetic field generates electrical current. This shows that this approach is suitable for measuring, and observing the presence of a variety of phenomenas in physics as well as it is in chemistry because chemistry does include a lot of physics- interaction between particles, forces of atoms and molecules. That all has been thoroughly studied and experimented with, which has brought us to a possibility of nowadays discoveries.
Nevertheless, people distinguish a more complex world, a world of our inner selves- the world of human, human behavior. Many tend to say that there is nothing one can measure in this world, no values etc. The argument for this is that human behavior is based on emotions. That is true but what are emotions? The encyclopedia states “Emotion- in psychology it signifies a reaction involving certain physiological changes, such as an accelerated or retarded pulse rate, the diminished or increased activities of certain glands, or a change in body temperature, which stimulate the individual, or some component part of the individual's body, to further activity. The three primary reactions of this type are anger, love, and fear, which occur either as an immediate response to external stimuli or are the result of an indirect subjective process, such as memory, association, or introspection.IV” Now we see that emotions are some sort of interaction after all- they are responses to outside factors and they are actually nothing more “physiological changes”. Thus it possible to start making minor observations- e.g. how will a person of a certain age respond to a certain outer factor in certain conditions. However, these observations can really be considered minor ones as they do not allow making extremely precise predictions about human behavior (e.g.- how fast will a certain person blink an eye if a curtain of thickness 0.1 cm suddenly falls and exposes the person to sun at 11 o’clock 12.08.2005. in Riga State Gymnasium No. 1, class 234, second window from the left if facing the windows etc.). It is possible to say this if all the circumstances are taken into account, but that is the most difficult part- at least now it would be almost impossible to get such a meticulous gathering of information- every molecule of air would have to be studied, every molecule in the building, the structure, every gene of the person, because it is scientifically proven that human behavior depends on his/her genes. Our every molecule, every atom determines our behavior, as well as everything we eat, drink, smell, hear etc. because everything that happens to us, with us and within us is a result of an extremely huge amount of an enormous variety of interactions. We just do not have the precise and delicate methods of experimentation for these observations and predictions, but theoretically it is definitely possible. So, if we want to understand what happens to us, we can learn about it and understand but we might just never be able to carry out these sorts of experiments.
Furthermore, this applies to areas, such as religion, that we have not been able to explain scientifically yet- we do not have found the right methods to prove does or does not god or Allah or the sacred Buda actually exist, basically because no one can tell us where to find them- where to check their presence, which makes the religion so unacceptable to many- “We need proof!”. Then there is the question “Is or is universe not infinite?”- we might develop the methods for checking this e.g. making a probe that could fly at a speed at least equal to that of light, so we could see hat is further than our telescopes can reach. But how would we receive data from such a probe, how can we build such a probe? So we see that the methods exist, but we do not have the ability to carry out the experiments.
It is now obvious that scientific thinking not only can but does provide us answers to the questions about world. It does not give answers to all questions but it does answer a lot of them, or at least has theoretical possibilities of doing so. However, in order to understand the world we have to think scientifically.
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I- Microsoft Encarta Encyclopedia Deluxe 2002
II, III- http://www.carleton.ca/~tpatters/teaching/climatechange/sciencemethod.html
IV- Microsoft Encarta Encyclopedia Deluxe 2002 dictionary (built-in feature)