In modern society, we are constantly striving to find new knowledge or correct knowledge that we currently have. Knowledge can have multiple definitions but generally, knowledge can be defined as something that a knower has a deep understanding and is aware of to a certain extent.
There can be many types of knowledge which such as theoretical knowledge (scientific theories), personal knowledge (secret recipe) and shared knowledge (religion). An area which specializes with this include the natural sciences due to the constant falsification method. However is it necessary for uniformities to exist in the areas of knowledge in order for knowledge to exist? The definition of a “uniformity” is a uniformity itself because we assume that the universe is based on general underlying principles and we assume the term “uniformity” means to have a general consensus regarding the definition of the word. Another keyword is “assumption” which can be generally defined as a general belief or thought that is accepted with either no or limited evidence.
I am going to examine the roles of the natural sciences and the religious knowledge systems in addition to the way they are used in conjunction with reason and faith to determine whether the assumption of the existence of uniformities leads to increased knowledge.The natural sciences consist of physics, chemistry and biology which develop a structure of connections between multiple hypotheses and theories by creating empirical facts which either support the hypotheses or falsify incorrect theories; thus science is continually evolving as theories are refined. The natural sciences uses Kant and Popper’s idea of falsification in order to generate a series of assumed uniformities.
Kant and Popper’s idea of falsification is it is impossible to verify a theory on the basis of a single experience; a theory must be withstand experimentation. There are many general underlying principles we use in physics to determine more regarding astronomy and space such as General Relativity. When physicists are researching about new discoveries, through reasoning, they assume that the universe is the same everywhere and the same laws can be applied since this is a general trend in most aspects of the universe. If I were to ask a group of people to draw a dog, I can assume that we would have similar, uniform ideas of what a dog looks like. If I add an adjective such as “brown dog”, all of our drawings would look more and more similar. Scientists who had discovered General Relativity had lots of research which led to a more comprehensive and uniform understanding of the way gravity and space worked but it also opened up to possibilities for black holes. Is it appropriate to make assumptions of uniformities regarding topics which are hard to experiment due to the nature of the topic?In the past, many theorists had come up with theories about how the solar system and its components had come into place however due to the lack of resources and modern inventions, many of those theories have been proven to be wrong. The theory of the earth’s crust was based on assumptions by Hapgood and theoretical scientists who agreed, that the earth would spin rapidly for an instant and rearrange the continents however, using the same empirical facts this theory was disproved.
We learned that there are plate tectonics that restructured the shape of the continents as it currently is. If all new knowledge is developed based on old assumptions of uniformities and knowledge, does that increase its validity?Regardless, necessary assumptions must be made in order to keep the field of study functioning such as the use of forces and constants in physics and chemistry so, assumptions of the existence of uniformities do lead to the formation of knowledge because the uniformities allow us to build upon information we have. Since many concepts that are studied are non-existent on Earth (such as dark matter), can they play a role in the natural sciences which is assumed to be fact and evidence based? Scientific theories and understandings in the natural sciences are reductionist, meaning that there is no way to confirm whether every factor has been accounted for. There have been many instances in which scientific discoveries have not followed general rules. In chemistry, when an object freezes, the object solidifies and the atoms condense but, in water, the water particles expand. Similarly, scientists base new knowledge off of previous uniformities however, how can assumptions regarding subjects areas in which we know very little about lead to reliable knowledge? Such as physics, we do not have solid evidence to refer to the fourth dimension, the speed of light, dark matter.
An example of this is when it was assumed the “steady-state theory” in which theoretical scientists had claimed the universe does not expand. Due to their support, it lead to a bias in the physics field in which new ‘knowledge’ was gathered based on that incorrect assumption. Can characteristics of the physical universe be limiting in the natural sciences? Scientists use the shape of the Earth in order to determine seasons due to the altitude and axis however we acknowledge that some of our info is not uniform in order to explain odd seasonal changes, or outliers in research. Another issue with assuming uniformities lead to knowledge involve scientific experiments. Many experiments face limitations due to ethical concerns (such as testing against animals) thus, conclusions and new, yet incorrect ‘knowledge’ could be based on direct evidence.