How certain can we be in the natural sciences?

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Ashley Kabugo

How certain can we be in the Natural Sciences?

We use science everyday to explain certain things about the world that surrounds us. These experiments however depend on us as humans as we are the ones that must observe and gather the results from our own observations. The collection of results does depend on human perception and as humans we are bound to make mistakes, or interpret the results in an incorrect way. So if this is the case it is hard to say we can really trust the natural sciences.

To begin with, most of our scientific knowledge in the past was based on theory. People used to believe that earth was flat, or that the sun revolved around the earth. These theories were later proven wrong as the time went by. However, if they were not, people would still believe that they were true and we would be taught this knowledge. So how can we trust that some of things we learn to day, like the atomic model in physics is accurate? Someone may prove it wrong later. This is reason as to why we cannot be certain about what we learn.

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Also, when we conduct an experiment, it is important to have an hypothesis beforehand. This is a prediction of what we believe the results of the experiment will prove. If we are the people carrying out the experiment, and we know what we expect the results to be, we can manipulate it so that the results we receive are the ones that we get. This is due to the fact that our minds are so set on a certain result that we will somehow find a way to see what isn’t really there.

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