Do you think the method of science is a better way for gaining truth than other methods?  Explain why, or why not?Do you think the method of science is a better way for gaining truth than other...

Do you think the method of science is a better way for gaining truth than other methods?  Explain why, or why not?

Do you think the method of science is a better way for gaining truth than other methods?  Explain why, or why not?

Asked on by jls479

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litteacher8's profile pic

litteacher8 | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

It depends on the truth you want to gain. There are some truths that science cannot really describe. The scientific method can be very useful, but only to a point. Not everything can be described scientifically when you are describing human behavior, for example, even though we continuously try.
brettd's profile pic

brettd | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

Better than other methods?  In my opinion, yes.  Science is far from perfect, and is an evolving concept of knowledge that mirrors our available technology for gaining knowledge.  "truth" I agree is too strong a term.  Science is the pursuit of truth, perhaps, without ever actually attaining it.  Compare science to faith-based versions of truth.  Faith is based on belief more than proof, most times, and so of the two, science is the better way to me.

pohnpei397's profile pic

pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

Science is good for finding some kinds of truth but not for finding others.  The scientific method (make a hypothesis, test it, verify, etc) is great for things that can be physically proven.  But there are many kinds of truth that can't be handled that way.  There are many things (history, philosophy, religion) where "truth" cannot be found through the scientific method and other methods (admittedly less precise) must be used.

accessteacher's profile pic

accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

Philosophically, "truth" is a very interesting concept. Recent work has revealed how partial our understanding of truth can actually be. However, some scientists would argue that empirical evidence rather than any other form of evidence is much more likely to yield tangible, objective "truths" that can be measured, assessed and proved. Other truths are very, very subjective. I could say that the Second World War would have ended in defeat if it were not for American intervention, yet this is an opinion rather than a "truth" and it is very likely that others may disagree.

jk180's profile pic

James Kelley | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator

Posted on

This question is really good.

In my understanding, the scientific method isn't about gaining truth at all. Rather, it's about gaining an ever increasingly detailed and supported understanding of things and, at most, yields "theories" and "laws" and "principles," not "truths."

The scientific method is a method of constant revision; it requires a willingness to abandon long-held beliefs (that often pass for "truth") when they don't explain things as well as some newly developed theory does, just as that more successful theory will itself some time down the road be replaced by another, even more successful theory.

Another point that comes to my mind as I think about this issue is that many scientists themselves do not abandon religion or other "non-scientific" ways to find meaning in the world simply because they are scientists.

In answer to your question, I would say that the scientific method has demonstrated that it is an extremely powerful way for us to make sense of the world around us, but it clearly hasn't been powerful enough to displace other methods in the human search for meaning.

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