AOK2: Natural Sciences Preeti Iyengar

Name: Preeti Iyengar // Group Members: Thomas Vincent, Sarah Aldin // Start: 10/4/17 End: 12/4/17 // Badge: AOK Badge: Natural Sciences

Progress Journal

In the short video that I have seen in class I learned that many things that are proven by science cannot necessarily be tested such as dark matter and the big bang theory. They are just philosophies or theories yet they have proof to existence. So what I don't understand is why believe in them even though there has not been an experiment to replicate theories like this to further show that it is actually what has happened. This is what the scientific method is for. The scientific method allows people to use research they have done to prove what they have discovered. It includes a hypothesis, which is basically a theory or prediction to what the results of the experiment will be and an actual experiment to relate to the hypothesis to be able to prove it right or wrong.

Today I read an elective reading about Jane Goodall who was a British primatologist that observed chimpanzee life by being native to them. Her hypothesis in this observational experiment was to determine whether if animals too could feel emotions and have a personality. I learned that you do not necessarily need emotion to do an experiment with natural science since a critique of that would be that you create an emotional bias towards whatever you are studying. Which was the case for Jane Goodall. She spent so much time with the chimpanzee's she became very attached and highly emotional towards them that many people criticized whether her research was accurate due to her closeness with the animals.

Today I learned more on what should be expected in a TOK essay. From what Mr. Morrison has elaborated on, a good TOK essay would bee a topic sentence that directly answers the question, an example to back up the point you are trying to make, and analysis to relate the example back to the question. I also now further understand the difference between sense perception and observation through the corrections I made in my paragraph. I learned that sense perception is a much more personal way of seeing a knower's surroundings with the aim to understand and empathize with the information being given. Observation refers to using a form of our sense perception, such as eyesight, and regarding the surroundings of us, we do not necessarily have to understand our surroundings when it comes to observation, and that is the difference between sense perception. In sense perception, we use our eyesight or other senses to gain information or knowledge from our surroundings.

Documentation (TOK paragraph)

In science, is observation the same thing as sense perception?

In science, observation is not the same thing as sense perception due to the fact that sense perception is using all five senses to gain knowledge on a personal level, while observation is more of a generalized term, meaning that it is just watching something and taking note of it. Jane Goodall is a primatologist that researched on the ability of chimpanzees to feel and have personalities. Her famous experiment with the chimpanzees shows the difference between observation and sense perception. While documenting the characteristics and traits of the animals, she used observation. She watched them up close and recorded their behavior without the use of personal insight. In the first sentence of her article, she stated that she looked into the eyes of a chimpanzee and wondered what was going on behind them. This is an example of sense perception. She, similarly in observation, uses her sense of sight but now with empathy to determine what kind of behavior Flo, the chimpanzee had. Although sense perception and observation have similar ways of gaining knowledge, it can be considered a deeper way of gaining information from your surroundings than observation, which is a less personal way of taking note without having to use empathy to understand the surroundings.

Elective Reading

In this article, Jane Goodall, the famous British primatologist that studied chimpanzees tells us about her experiment and her time with the chimpanzees. Through this article, she shows that she has been assimilated with these chimps. Instead of looking at them once, and observing their behaviors in a laboratory setting, she shows determination by allowing herself to be immersed in the chimps world by living with them long enough for them to not realize that she is there observing them, and treating her like she was something that they saw everyday. With this closeness to the animals, she was then allowed to observe their behavior and find an answer to her hypothesis. her hypothesis was that humans are not the only ones that can feel emotion and have personalities, chimpanzees can as well. Jane Goodall also does an excellent job in differentiating observation to sense perception.

Extension Proposal

Is emotion a necessary component when it comes to doing experiments with natural science?

In Jane Goodall's case, I believe that emotion serves as a disadvantage for her research. Her most critiqued aspect about her work is the emotional aspect. Because she was assimilated with the chimpanzees she used in her study. It made her become very attached to them. Because of this closeness with the animals, other researchers believed that it could have tampered with her data, giving an emotional bias. But I believe to an extent, emotion is needed for natural sciences experiments. For laboratory research, I do not believe that it is necessary since nobody is being put into the world and see or observe something first hand. But when it is an experiment where the researcher is in the world observing whatever they are observing for their experiment, there must be some form of emotional connection towards the research. I added this knowledge question as an extension proposal because it allows me to further understand natural sciences as a whole and what is needed for an experiment. It is also very interesting to see the relationship between natural sciences and emotion.

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