That Which Is Accepted As Knowledge Today Is Sometimes Discarded Tomorrow

1618 words - 7 pages

In the world we live in, there are constantly new experiences under investigation, for which previous knowledge may not explain in our pursuit of absolute knowledge. From previous knowledge of a similar experience we attempt to understand the new experience, however our previously understood knowledge may not explain the experience, and therefore is discarded for new discoveries. In the natural sciences, there are many theories and models, which are created to explain experiences, that become redundant. These theories and models are not able to explain new experiences and therefore must be supplanted by new discoveries, which are able to explain the experience. This may be due to the knower ...view middle of the document...

By looking up at the sky at night Olber wondered why the sky is dark if the number of stars was infinite. Using his sense perception and reason, he was able to deduce that Newton’s model must have been wrong if the sky got dark at night. Although Olber did not replace Newton’s model with his own model, he only showed the knowledge produced by Newton to be redundant.

The natural sciences are largely based on observation of your environment and reasoning. Observations sometimes lead to paradoxes but don’t always lead It implies that we use the observed to explain the unobserved. Olber’s observation of the night sky gave him the evidence that there were a finite number of stars, with only observation there is an uncertainty to the accuracy of the paradox and whether this was only true with the way Olber perceived it. Due to the possibility of assumptions in reason, where we know that the sky is dark on Earth, and therefore it must be dark at night everywhere, so there cannot be an infinite number of stars. However inductive reasoning is flawed as it assumes the observed to be the unobserved.

The knowledge shown to be incorrect would provide incentives for other people to prove it wrong as it poses an inaccuracy in the scientific world. It would have to be proven wrong to be discarded as knowledge. The knowledge shown to be wrong by Olber however was proven to be wrong in Einstein’s ‘Theory of General and Special Relativity’. Einstein showed that Newton’s model was impossible and that a different model would need to be found (which was found by Edwin Hubble in 1929). Einstein proved the knowledge wrong by using reason to suggest that from his findings; it was not possible for Newton’s model to exist. Through the scientific method, Einstein could show that his theories were correct and that the Newtonian model could be discarded

Argument 2:

Previous knowledge is often used as a stepping-stone for new discoveries. Old knowledge can be used to discover newer knowledge and to form a basis for the new discovery. An example of this is the model of the atom, which was carefully studied between 1900 and 1926. The model of the atom is fundamental learning in chemistry, and when we learnt about it in class I found it interesting that scientists did not give up on the model of the atom after one person said it was correct, however continuously tried to improve it to perfection. The Rutherford model was thought to have been the most advanced model in 1913, however Bohr would later improve it, in collaboration with Rutherford, to form the Bohr model of the atom, which included atomic orbitals for the electrons. Bohr improved it has a scientific discovery caused by the observation of spectral lines. Through perception and reasoning scientists were able to believe that this meant that electrons existed in orbitals and could jump between the orbitals. The use of the prior knowledge by the scientists is often used in the natural sciences as previous knowledge...

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