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What is Science

What is Science

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Published by Nasir Hussain Faraz
The aims of my discussion about science philosophy; to despite popular impressions of science, it is not the goal of science to answer all questions, only those that pertain to physical reality (measurable empirical experience). Science does not and can not produce absolute and unquestionable truth. Rather, science consistently tests the currently best hypothesis about some aspect of the physical world, and when necessary revises or replaces it in light of new observations or data. So, that is why science is not a source of subjective value judgments, though it can certainly speak to matters of ethics and public policy by pointing to the likely consequences of actions. However, science can't tell us which of those consequences to desire or which is 'best'.
The aims of my discussion about science philosophy; to despite popular impressions of science, it is not the goal of science to answer all questions, only those that pertain to physical reality (measurable empirical experience). Science does not and can not produce absolute and unquestionable truth. Rather, science consistently tests the currently best hypothesis about some aspect of the physical world, and when necessary revises or replaces it in light of new observations or data. So, that is why science is not a source of subjective value judgments, though it can certainly speak to matters of ethics and public policy by pointing to the likely consequences of actions. However, science can't tell us which of those consequences to desire or which is 'best'.

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Categories:Types, Research, Science
Published by: Nasir Hussain Faraz on Aug 23, 2009
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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 Philosophy of Science……………………………………………………………………………………………….
 
Philosophy of Science
1. What Is Science?
The word 'science' comes from a Latin word 'scientia' and originally meant 'knowledge'.But it was used more particularly to stand for 'systematic knowledge' rather than just anykind of knowledge. From its early beginnings, science has developed into one of thegreatest and most influential fields of human endeavor. Today different branches of science investigate almost everything that can be observed or detected, and science as awhole shapes the way we understand the universe, our planet, ourselves, and other livingthings
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If you want to understand, if you want to come to a picture of what science is,what knowledge is, it could be a good start to try to become clear about the generalcontent of the concept. Hence Science is an intellectual activity carried on by humans thatis designed to discover information about the natural world in which humans live and todiscover the ways in which this information can be organized into meaningful patterns. A primary aim of science is to collect facts (data). An ultimate purpose of science is todiscern the order that exists between and amongst the various facts.The implicit in science's devotion to acquiring knowledge about theuniverseis anassumption that atoms, animals, gravity, stars, wind, microbes, etc. all existindependently of our observations of them. This essentiallymetaphysical view is termed realism.The opposed metaphysical position is that of idealismwhich in varying forms denies the existence of matter independent of mind. The two views are metaphysical because although both are consistent with our experience there appears to be no way toget outside of that experience in order to see which (if either) is true.Some of the findings of science can be very counter-intuitive. Atomic theory, for example, implies that a granite boulder which appears as heavy, hard, solid, grey, etc. isactually a combination of subatomic  particleswith none of these properties, moving very rapidly in an area consisting mostly of empty space. Many of humanity's preconceived
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 National University of Agricultural Sciences, NARC, Islamabad 
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 Philosophy of Science……………………………………………………………………………………………….
notions about the workings of the universe have been challenged by new scientificdiscoveries.Perhaps surprisingly, realism is not necessary to science.Instrumentalism, for example, posits that while entities, such asatoms,help explain and predict data from experiments, these entities do not necessarily exist. This approach is favored by somewhen it comes to committing to the ontological status of a scientific entity which mayseem unobservable in principle.Philosophers sometimes distinguish between the actual reality of things within theuniverse, which may or may not be fully perceivable by humans, and our perception of things within the universe.Immanuel Kantcoined the phrases phenomena(the universe as humans experience it) andnoumena (things-in-themselves). In contrast to Kant's views (and despite wide acceptance that human perception of  phenomena is not necessarily an accurate reflection of the universe as it really is), mostscientists assert that it is possible to understand and accurately explain (at least somewhatif not fully) the universe using the scientific method to hone accurate scientific theoriesand laws. Scientists to not claim to "prove" anything in the sense that it is absolute,unquestionable proof, but with a good degree of certainty based on experiments andcurrent observations and data.Scientists point out that while some people criticize the basic ideas of science, it isscience alone that has provided information on the mysteries of the atom, the cell, thesolar system, and the observable universe. It is science alone that has providedknowledge to develop tens of thousands of technological advances in medicine,engineering, communications and beyond. No other system which claims to competewith science has ever actually succeeded in actually producing useful information aboutthe physical world in which we live. One criticism, commonly made by paranormalists, is
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 National University of Agricultural Sciences, NARC, Islamabad 
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 Philosophy of Science……………………………………………………………………………………………….
that scientists can be closed-minded towards new "discoveries"; although discoveries andtheories such as relativityand quantum mechanicshave broadly changed the way scientists view the universe.
2. Scientific Method:2.1What is the scientific method?
The scientific method is a set of techniques used by the scientific community toinvestigate natural phenomena by providing an objective framework in which to makescientific inquiry and analyze the data to reach a conclusion about that inquiry. Whereas philosophy in general is concerned with the why as well as the how of things; scienceoccupies itself with the latter question only, but in a scrupulously rigorous manner. Theera of modern science is generally considered to have begun with the Renaissance, butthe rudiments of the scientific approach to knowledge can be observed throughout humanhistory. The main characteristics of scientific methods are;I.The first characteristic of the scientific method is its conventional nature whichserves as a framework of the generation of objective knowledge. That is whymultiple characteristics exist according to the perspective with which they areclassified, studied, and even named.II.The expression scientific method is used with different meanings, and, very often,abuses it in order to justify a specific personal or social position with relativeignorance about the complexity of the concept. As its very name indicates, itrepresents the methodology that defines and differentiates scientific knowledgefrom other types of knowledge.III.The philosophy of science creates the scientific method in order to exclude all thathas subjective nature and, therefore, is not capable of forming part of what is
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 National University of Agricultural Sciences, NARC, Islamabad 
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