Science offers us certainty and objectivity

The 20th century offered a phenomenal growth in science. Eventually it will answer all human questions, will make it possible to heal all diseases and allow the human race to create a better place to live in. However, the question is, should science reassure us? Are scientists to be trusted? Is the scientific method trust worthy? In order to answer these questions we have to look at the basics of philosophical science. In the 19th century science was referred to as any branch of theoretical knowledge of learning.

Nowadays it is more specifically referred to those branches of knowledge, which have to do with the material universe. Considering that science and religion are quite similar, science might probably reach the status of religion. Looking back in history, religion was the first thing, which gave human beings a thing to believe in, was religion. In difficult times (Wars, harvests… etc. ) they could relay upon religion. Nowadays science takes in the place of religion by offering us more possibilities to create a safer world, in the respect of diseases and predictions.

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Many sociologists said, given enough time, science would literally replace religion. Emile Durkheim, for example, said that science would answer all human questions. He further says that all traditional religions, such as Christianity, Hindus, Islam, are necessary for social cohesion but would be replaced by a formal religion based on science. He also says that festivals in the western world like Easter or Christmas would be replaced by atheistic-festivals celebrating important achievements in the history of science.

No longer would morality be based on what god commanded, instead moral codes would be scientifically based since human beings would be able to use their rationality and scientific method to each perfect understanding as t how human beings should treat each other. The first example of an interaction between science and Economics was in 1996 when a report on the economics of xenotransplantation (using animals organs for human organ donation) issued by the Salomon brothers, a powerful American investment bank.

The aim of this costly report was to see whether it would make financial sense to invest in companies dealing with xenotransplantations. Now, the question is, what effects have economic factors on scientific research? In the above case of Salomon Brothers, it helps saving human beings live to the expense of dead animals. The Royal Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) would surely not agree with using animal organs for human transplantations. Are Scientists to be trusted? A scientist, Kuhn, argues that scientific textbooks do not tell the truth.

They try to convey that current theories are the final truth and that science would constantly overcome the weaknesses and failures of earlier generations. Once scientists have redetected an older scientific theory, they argue that this theory was not scientific. Thus they say that it is impossible for a scientific theory to be false. He concludes that scientists as Popper and Hempel have not described the real methodology of science but fictional states existing only in textbooks given to science students. Karl Popper was probably the most famous scientist of this century with his falsification principle.

Usually one observes information. With this information one makes up a hypothesis which one then tries to prove correct. He argues that scientist should rather then proving it right, tries to falsify their hypothesis. Only if they made enough attempts to prove it wrong they can conclude that their theory is likely to be right. He says that it is rather easy to come up with a theory and then look for evidence to prove it right. Even when scientists spend enough time on trying to prove it wrong they should not be fooled by the idea of having established a scientific fact.

They should believe that it is very likely for the theory to be right until in the future evidence comes about which forces a reassessment of the theory. For example, if we were to drop a peace of paper and we dropped it several times and it would always fly to the ground. Then, we could say because we collected enough evidence for our hypothesis that a peace of paper would fly to the ground under the same conditions, it is very likely to happen in the future. However, it might be possible that our theory will prove wrong in a few years time.

A falsified research hypothesis is the result of Contradiction of the hypothesis by the research data. When the data contradict a research hypothesis then, in the process of explanation, the researcher either rejects or modifies the hypothesis. Some tested research hypotheses give rise to general theory. While an end of science is the production of objective knowledge, in the form of explanation of observable phenomena, science itself has come under attack. It is popular in some circles to argue that science is hopelessly flawed as a method of coming to know the details of the ancient past.

The argument is that scientists are not objective, due to their preconceptions, assumptions, techniques, beliefs, and the like, which substantially taints their scientific observations and conclusions. The “big bang” for example, is a phenomenon, which is still inexplicable to the human race. In conclusion it can be said, that the initial position has not proved wrong to a certain extend. Science offers us certainty and objectivity but only for the near future because we cannot prove our current rule forever. However, science has certainly improved our living conditions. Science helped to reduce diseases and make them curable.