AOK 2: Natural Sciences MUNO OGELOHWOHOR

TOK BADGE PROJECT

11 April - 21 April 2017

Group members: Rhea Mehta, Patrick Hsu, Diego Martinez.

Natural science is a branch of science which deals with the physical world, e.g. physics, chemistry, geology, biology.

JOURNAL ENTRY

Today, I did not know that we had a quiz. I was completely clueless and when I took the quiz I got 4 questions wrong (out of 5); I got a 2/10. After that, I got a 10/10 on the retake because I had some time to study and I now understood the basic concepts.

Below, I have provided the correct answers to the questions I got wrong initially.

  • The primary difference between pseudoscience and science, is that a claim in science...can be tested.
  • A general statement confirmed by experimental evidence and describes some feature of reality is... a law.
  • Which of the following best describes falsification? The belief that science progresses by falsifying rather than verifying scientific claims.
  • Which of the following best describes rationalism? The belief that reason rather than experience is the most important source of knowledge.

Sometimes, I feel like our tasks in ToK are rushed. I usually do not have enough time to think about or learn a particular topic- especially with the previous AoK, History. However, I will study harder to be prepared for the next quiz.

ELECTIVE READING AND WRITING THE PARAGRAPH

The badge project for AOK2 is to create a well-composed TOK paragraph based on one of the knowledge questions from your TOK Badges document.

Following the Point-Evidence-Explanation chain, the elective reading is used as the evidence in the paragraph. For my elective reading, I chose the article "Science is Imagination" by Phil Plait. Here, he explains how different people are influenced by scientific teachings: for example, some people only depend on science for evidence, and believe that everything else that is not scientific is false. He uses the term "scientism"to explain this idea that science can explain everything in the universe. With explaining everything in the universe, this brings in the relationship between the universe and scientific knowledge. Time is directly proportional to scientific knowledge; As time increases, the universe is continually developing and is dynamic, the scientific knowledge changes too.

Here is my initial paragraph (without comments/ peer edits):

How can it be that scientific knowledge changes over time?

` Scientific knowledge changes with frequent newer discoveries. In the article, “Science is Imagination," Phil Plait references the belief of scientism proposed by Douglas Todd, the author of an article in the Vancouver Sun. According to Todd, "scientism is the belief that sciences have no boundaries and will in the end, be able to explain everything in the universe.” This describes the idea that there are no limits to the acquisition of knowledge. Scientific knowledge changes over time. Old experiments are contradicted and repeated for clarity, while new experiments are performed. Scientism permits extended knowledge so that scientists can have valuable insight to obtain a comprehensive depiction of change over time. Plait mentions that "scientists are black and white automatons who go through the motions of scientific methods, rejecting anything with sparkle.” The ‘black and white’ idea is one of the ten deadly fallacies with reason as a way of knowing. Generally, scientists think of situations happening in two situations: it is either experiments follow the scientific processes or they do not. This is illogical because imagination has no boundaries. Phil Plait points this out as a limitation of the knowledge gained by scientists; this restriction prevents change in scientific knowledge. Scientific knowledge is absolute. Nobody can ever find the answer to everything. David Brin and Brightness Reef perfectly said ”the man that’s afraid to toy with the ridiculous will never create the brilliantly original.” He based his conclusion on the idea that discoveries are products of human actions and exploration. In other words, science is imagination. Scientists look at how they can momentarily perceive the world. In this case, science changes from time to time with constant discoveries.

However, according to the rubric, this was my comment: "This paragraph does not answer the question. You reference a source, but don't utilize it in a way that responds to the question at hand."

I redid it. I was a bit confuse on what to do. But there were a few points I had to consider:

  • does the evidence support the topic sentence?
  • does the explanation tie in with the evidence, and does it refer back to the topic sentence?
  • is it organized and coherent?

This was my final paragraph:

Scientific knowledge changes frequently as people try to explain the universe. In the article, “Science is Imagination," Phil Plait references the belief of scientism proposed by Douglas Todd, the author of an article in the Vancouver Sun. According to Todd, "scientism is the belief that sciences have no boundaries and will in the end, be able to explain everything in the universe.” This describes the idea that there are no limits to the acquisition of knowledge. Nobody can ever find the answer to everything as old experiments are contradicted and repeated for clarity, while new experiments are performed. Extended knowledge is permitted so that scientists can have valuable insight to obtain a comprehensive depiction of change over time. He based his conclusion on the idea that discoveries are products of human actions and exploration. Scientists look at how they can momentarily perceive the world. Science changes from time to time with constant discoveries because knowledge is never absolute and new inventions and discoveries are always going to be made.

essential vocabulary
  • Paradigm: set of interrelated ideas for making sense of one or more aspects of reality
  • Pseudoscience: set of beliefs which mimic the surface features if science without being genuinely scientific
  • Inductivism is the traditional conception of the scientific methods, using inductive methods of reasoning
  • Anomaly is an observation that seems to contradict a generally accepted theory
  • Falsification is the belief that science progresses by proving things wrong/by falsifying rather than verifying scientific hypotheses
  • Rationalisation is the belief that reason rather than experience is the most important source of knowledge
  • Peer review: when fellow scientists test the work published by colleagues in their field.
  • Scientific method: The key process of science; consists of 5 steps (hypothesis, experiment, observation, theory, and law)
  • Hypothesis: A supposition or proposed explanation made on the basis of limited evidence as a starting point for further investigation.
  • Observation: Selectivity or relevance/ecpectations which can influence what we see/the correct use of scientific equipment/the act of observing can sometimes affect the observation
  • Theory: An explanation or model based on observation, experimentation, and reasoning, especially one that has been tested and confirmed as a general principle helping to explain and predict natural phenomena
  • Causation: The causation of a phenomenon is what directly makes it occur. This is in distinct contrast to correlation, in which two phenomena are linked only by a third factor, or by accident.
  • Correlation: Unlike causation, correlation suggests that two events or phenomena are linked only because they both share a third factor, or simply because they have happened at the same or similar time.
  • Coherence: The coherence theory of truth states that something is true if it matches up to what we know to make sense. It is based on us using rational thinking.
extension proposal

Modern Science: What's changing?

Science will always look for explanations for what goes on in the natural world and test those explanations against evidence from the natural world — but exactly how this gets done may evolve. The scientific enterprise is not static. Science is deeply interwoven with society, and as it has changed, so too has science. Here are just a few examples of how modern scientific practices have been transformed by increasing knowledge, changing societal concerns, and advances in communication and technology.

http://undsci.berkeley.edu/article/modern_science

The paragraph above is an extract from the article. I chose to analyze this part because it is closely relates to my knowledge question. Science revolves around the advancement of technology. Computers make it easier for scientists to make new discoveries. Back in the days, was prolonged because of insufficient data and means of communicating the experiment. Now, it is a lot easier to communicate (through social media and easy transportation). It makes the process of acquiring knowledge a lot faster. Scientific knowledge definitely increases over time, and is exponentially increasing.

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