Theories are unproven hypotheses that serve as explanations for observations and events, so they must have a way of convincing people that they are true. A theory’s objectives are to explain and predict a phenomenon. Most ideas are not convincing without solid evidence or proof. The human sciences and natural sciences have different ways of showing the validity of a hypothesis. The natural sciences, which include subject areas such as physics, chemistry, and biology, depend on physical proof through experiments with several trials. The human sciences, which include subject areas such as sociology, economics, anthropology, and psychology, are based on human interaction, logic, and the collection of data.
Information about both areas of knowledge can be gained through sense perception, reason, and emotion. An idea in the natural sciences must be pragmatic in order to confirm its authenticity. For example I have done several experiments in my chemistry class this year. The experiments always start off with hypotheses that can be tested. It is vital to test the experiment multiple times in order to decrease the chances of making errors. Numerous trials also increase the chances of the experiment producing the expected results. During an experiment, sense perception is used to collect data. Changes that can be seen, heard, smelled, or felt support the hypothesis and make it even more convincing. Observations through sense perception are clearly one of the most important factors in determining whether or not an experiment is valid.
As for the human sciences, theories cannot always be tested. Sometimes logic and inferences must be used in order to come to a conclusion. Reason and emotion play a significant role in how persuasive a theory is. The theory of evolution has been controversial and brought up numerous different viewpoints. It states that species change over time and all organisms have the same common ancestors. Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution by natural selection states that most populations produce more offspring than the environment can support. It also claims that some traits passed from parents to offspring are heritable and other traits are influenced by the environment. “Hence, if any member of a species differs in some way that makes it better fitted to survive, then it will have an advantage that its offspring would be likely to perpetuate” (Encyclopedia Britannica). Some people reasoned that this theory was logical and made a lot of sense. Others were outraged and in shock, especially those who were religious, because it went against the beliefs of their society. Their emotions may have caused them to purposely avoid or ignore any evidence that Darwin presented.
Philosopher Charles Peirce said, “Truth is that to which a community ultimately settles down.” His statement was undoubtedly demonstrated when it was thought that the earth was flat. Although there was no clear evidence, this theory was easily convincing because most...