What are the differences between science and other types of knowledge?This is for an introductory Biology course.

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M.P. Ossa | College Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

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I believe that your question asks for the contrast between science, as an investigative field, versus other fields of study that also gather data with the aim of finding enough evidence to prove a point. If I am wrong, I am sure another editor will pick up after my answer and get to the gist of it.

My answer is that science is aimed to follow a specific process, namely the scientific method, in order to obtain information. This process is outlined below in simple vocabulary:

1. Formulate your question- What do you want to find out?

2. Gather the data- Get all the info you need.

3. Stipulate a hypothesis- Give yourself a "yay" or "nay" on whether you will prove yourself right or wrong. Either way will be OK.

4. Conduct your experiment-Test it out.

5. How did your hypothesis fare?- Is your "yay" or "nay" right, or wrong?

6. Make a conclusion based on your findings.

This being said, not every field that requires investigation follows the scientific method. Hence, you could argue that the scientific method at least allows you the benefit of using multiple steps to establish a conclusion.

Although other fields may use quantitative research to infuse the scientific process to it (this is true for any field that wants to try a new intervention), in science you deal less with philosophy and more with raw, attainable data.This is because this field often uses readily-available resources found everywhere in nature. This is, of course assuming that you are referring to natural sciences.

For example, establishing a correlation between E.Coli and hemorrhagic diarrhea is easier than establishing a correlation between teaching the ABC's in a native language to an ESL learner, than doing the opposite.

As you can see, science is everywhere you look. It is a field of life and nature which helps us understand our everyday lives with more accuracy than other fields because the "tools of the trade" are right in front of our eyes.

 

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