Theory of Knowledge - ‘the Ultimate Protection Against Research Error and Bias Is Supposed to Come from the Way Scientists Constantly Test and Retest Each Others Results’ – to What Extent Would You Agree with This Claim

1552 Words Jun 7th, 2013 7 Pages
‘The Ultimate protection against research error and bias is supposed to come from the way scientists constantly test and retest each others results’ – To What extent would you agree with this claim in the natural and human sciences.

Human beings are inherently flawed creatures. Through faults in reason and sense perception we interpret the world not as it truly is. Both the Human and Natural Sciences are tools to understand the world and are a lens in which to comprehend ideas not readily available to us purely through common sense logic and sense perception. The implications made in the title are that the inductive scientific method, when removed from error and bias, provides unequivocal and unobjectionable objective truth. The
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Assumptions in the title of this essay imply that results, theories and laws resulting from the current system of peer review multiple perspectives produce completely infallible objective truth, this is a false premise. Whilst the group of knowers known as the scientific community have collectively less bias than one lone knower trying to understand the universe, there is still collective and engrained level of institutional bias. The same problems of confirmation bias and expectation are present in a group of knowers just as they are with one single knower. According to Karl Popper (1902-1994) the best way to eliminate any expectation and confirmation bias was to falsify and disprove rather than confirm one’s hypothesis and predictions. Popper argues: no matter how convincing an argument or theory is, all that is needed to disprove it is one piece of valid counterclaiming evidence. Whilst this theory is valid on an individual level, it really becomes an effective tool in the objectivity of science on a large scale. Despite this attempt at objectifying and ‘protecting against’ error and bias it is inadequate due to inherent flaws in the scientific method. Induction, moving from the specific to the general, is the key element in scientific logic. Any theory or law ‘proved’ through this logic has some key flaws: the main flaw being that inductive logic can never be certain of any event happening or of any prediction. Richard van de Lagemaat

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