The Natural Sciences Area of Knowledge 2 by Diego Martinez

Journal Entries

April 11th

Elective Reading: Carl Sagan - The Dragon in my Garage

This is a very interesting article because I have heard a lot about Carl Sagan. He is a very famous public figure so when I saw his name in the elective readings I was intrigued. This article deals with the question: ``What does it mean to prove in Science?´´ So today I learned that just because you can’t disprove something, it doesn’t mean it’s true. I read the article ``The Dragon in my Garage´´ Carl Sagan gives a great example of this essential question because he gives the example of an invisible dragon in a garage whose existence cannot be proved or disproved. Any test you try to prove its existence is useless. One person in the room is convinced the dragon exists, and the other person tries to prove its existence but cannot. This shows that just because the man cannot disprove the existence of the dragon, it doesn't mean that the dragon exists. There is no way to prove the dragon's existence. Therefore, in science, to prove something there must be empirical evidence, not a lack of contradicting evidence. One example is a theory that says the universe is really just one of trillions of cells that comprise a much bigger organism. Although there is no evidence that disproves this theory, as it is indeed possible, we cannot possibly prove this theory with our current knowledge because there is evidence to prove it.

April 23rd

Cave Movie Response

1. Describe a moment when the film shows an example of the faith or beliefs of early man? Though we have no written records from that period, only cave paintings and a few relics (the flute, tools, etc.) what might these tell us about our ancient ancestors and their understanding of the world?

This movie is about a cave where prehistoric men recorded one of the first types of art ever discovered. The men who created this art lived several thousands of years before us, and we can still witness this art today. With crude equipments, and living in an Ice Age, these men must have been very confused with what the world around them was or meant. This would have created the first forms of faith and belief. The men of these caves had faith in their art. They had a very basic understanding of the world, they were born to eat, drink, reproduce, and then ultimately die. What little they could control, you can bet would have been very important to them. One thing they could control was this form of art. When they had eaten and and were done hunting for the day, the men would go home to their cave, and spend countless hours pondering. They developed this art form to pass the time, and also to communicate with future generations, showing them what was happening in the world at their time. They would have great faith in this form of art, as it would be one of the only things they could understand completely.

Elective Reading

I feel like this elective reading is essential to the Natural Sciences. It deals with the incredibly significant work done by Jane Goodall in primate biology. We know much of what we know about chimpanzees today because of her work. This article also deals with many of the essential questions of this area of knowledge. How can a we make a claim in science? Does empirical evidence guarantee a fact? Goodall went through years of observing the chimpanzees until she was able to draw logical conclusions. She had to rely on existing data, mixed with her own intuition and observations to create these claims.

This text was very interesting for me as geology is one of my favorite areas of study. I have always been intrigued in how the inside of the Earth works and looks. The article deals with the question: ``How do we know the Earth is 4.6 Billion Years Old´´. Although this conclusion is widely accepted across the globe, how do we know it is correct? While there is empirical data that supports this theory, the rocks that must be examined to draw this conclusion are literally billions of years old, and at the time of the geogenesis- and especially shortly after this- the Earth was made of magma. The planet was a sphere of molten metal, which obviously does not keep track of a rock's age. This means that our data could be entirely wrong. In conclusion, this text brings up the essential questions of this area of knowledge. Does the fact that we can't disprove something mean it's true? How can we prove a scientific fact?

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