Home > Uncategorized > What is the Nature of Science?

What is the Nature of Science?

Ever since receiving this reading assignment I have been confused about exactly what it meant. When asked about what I thought the nature of science was prior to reading the article I answered:

“The nature of science is exploration. I think science stems from the natural human curiosity. Its our natural need to know the meaning behind things, how and why they happen. My concept comes from my ideas about human nature developed from my experience with others. In my experience, human desire to have a reason for everything. We like to be in the know. As a result,I believe it stems our quest for knowledge. So the job of a scientist is to explore the whys of life and find explanations for things to relieve our innate need to know”.

However, the article took a completely different approach. It discussed the history of science, specifically theory, observation, induction, realism, and instrumentalism. The only part that was similar to my ideals was the last section called “An understanding of the nature and status of scientific knowledge” which gave bullet points that described scientific inquiry.

So my question to you is does anybody understand what the essay is describing. What is the nature of science? How do you determine someone’s opinion on the nature of science? Are there rules or certain perspectives like in politics or is it simply a compilation of personal opinions about science as a whole?

Categories: Uncategorized
  1. dj74
    September 17, 2011 at 6:41 pm

    Our definitions of the “nature of science” were actually fairly similar. I too came to the conclusion that the nature of science was based on the human capacity for curiosity. I considered science to be our form of ordering an otherwise confusing world, into a state that we can understand and appreciate. However the article seemed to be describing the nature of science from a more objective view, through the eyes of numerous sources. Although the article itself was objective—in that it did not attempt to argue a point, but rather state various other arguments and how they complement and contradict each other—the scientists and researchers, who the article quoted and explained, were subjective in their descriptions of the nature of science.
    For some reason we who are not in the field, consider these scientists and professionals to be deities in a fashion that makes them seem eternally true. But at the end of the day, no matter how hard they try, they are still human, and humans are subjects to emotions. The only truly objective form of science are the cold hard numbers, we are free to interpret them as we please. I say this to explain that yes, scientific professionals are the most qualified people to determine and explain the facts, however it is ultimately up to us whether we believe every bit of information that comes our way. There have been thousands of discovers, but at the same time there have been thousands of counter arguments to refute these discoveries. Which ones are true and which are false depend on the source of information and how reliable we hold the source to be.

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