Home > Uncategorized > Two Sides to Every Coin…

Two Sides to Every Coin…

Hey all-

I wanted to blog a little bit about a topic we discussed in class earlier this week. Found below is an expanded version of my in-class response to the quote on page thirteen of “Perspectives on the Nature of Science,” which spoke about how, though we may try, there is no “pure bedrock of observable fact” for anything in life. Science is a series, not of truths, but of possible truths, that are constantly being “falsified” and reestablished as more evidence is discovered. It is always progressive, moving, changing. Science is, essentially, fluid.

And so is life.

I think the quote from page thirteen speaks about science and scientific observation, yes, but I think it also shines an important and largely ignored light on the human experience in general. We are all different. We all come from different backgrounds with different histories and traits and values and experiences. It is inevitable, and at least in my opinion, a benefit to society, that we are all unique. Each and every one of us, just like scientists, will approach individual situations from different viewpoints. And, also like scientists, we will all act differently and make our own conclusions. There is no “true bedrock,” as the authors affirm, because there is no single point of view. Just as there are six sides of a die, there are six (or more) different ways to look at a die. I think this idea of many perspectives yielding many answers is important to a wider understanding of how scientific discovery should be conducted, but it is also important to living life.

Different views do not represent some sort of societal fallacy; all too often, people perceive differences as weaknesses, as things to be afraid of, to ignore, to change, to eradicate, but this notion is simply not true. I, personally feel that it is a blessing that we have the opportunity not only to observe things our own way, but that we can also be enlightened by the observations of others. Scientists do it: after all, much of what we know in science today would still be unknown had scientists not shared information. All significant technological achievements were made through collaborative efforts. Had the Johns Hopkins Hospital doctors not shared their findings relating to HeLa’s cells, all of the progress made because of her cells would never have come into existence.

Any thoughts on this? Any examples of how the world of science is alone in the idea that life should be collaborative, and how different viewpoints should be appreciated and utilized?

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Categories: Uncategorized
  1. September 17, 2011 at 6:15 pm

    I also wrote about how this article changed my view on science. I always believed that science, like math, had a concrete answer to it, unlike more rhetorical subjects such as literature. It’s true that the view points of different scientists and researchers affect the outcome of their studies, however, that also can create a problem in the true aspect of the study. I mean although scientists can collaborate their different ideas, how do they actually find the answer to the problem? If everyone is viewing the problem in a different sense, they aren’t most likely to come with with the same result. That also creates an issue with replicating an experiment, which forms the basis of a scientific study. In “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks”, Gey also mentions this dilemma. He even sought to fix it by regulating different kinds of equipment that are used with handling the cells. All in all, I feel like that backbone of science should have a solid foundation that all scientists can agree on because that results in less variation of the experiment, therefore, skewing the final answer.

  2. September 18, 2011 at 2:13 am

    This article definitely changed my view on certain things. I always thought of science as something definite because technically its only thing that can really be proven. However, reading the article made me think twice about believing scientific studies that come out. The article makes me think that when a scientist who seems to be trying to make something more advanced, they are actually trying to disprove another. If scientists all do an experiment in different ways they’re bound to get conflicting results, which is a little scary when you think about it, especially in the medical field. When a scientists develops new medicine that is supposed to work better than the old one another scientist developed before them, how are we supposed to know which results to actually believe. It puts science, something that is supposed to concrete, in a vulnerable state. I think that science needs to have one way of being done in order to insure results.

  3. September 18, 2011 at 4:42 pm

    I completely agree with all of these posts that both “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks” and the article, “Perspectives on the Nature of Science” have the underlying themes that nothing, even science is concrete. This revelation can be shocking, and was a bit shocking to me because, like my peers, I had always counted on science to be a sure thing. This lead to somewhat of an existential crisis as I thought, “if even science can’t be trusted, what can?”

    I like the way the author of this blog compared science to life and the fact that they are both everchanging. I once heard someone say, “life is change.” I have never been particularly fond of change of any kind or magnitude but I have realized that it is important for us to accept that life is always going to change and that nothing is constant. Science is no exception from this, and with the change of life comes the change of scientific viewpoints.

  4. September 19, 2011 at 12:46 am

    I totally agree with you. Your post made me think about another class I am taking. In this way, theatre and science work similarly. Both subjects require collaboration amongst experts. No one can put up a show completely by themselves. Similarly, no one scientist can find the cure to cancer or any other progressive ideas solely on his own ideas. I really excited that you brought this up because part of my paper is looking for a way to involve science in my life. I hate science but its a part of everything. I going to write my paper about how I believe the nature of science is a combination of human curiousity and our different ideas and perspectives. Thank you so much for the ideas. Keep working hard and keep asking questions….its the scientist in you!

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