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The natural sciences

 The metaphor of knowledge as a map in the natural sciences

allows us to understand the world around us, to predict what it will
do in the future, and gives us technology that allows us to change
Introduction  The natural sciences are good examples of shared knowledge,.
They are the result of a vast collaboration of people spread over
great distances and over long time intervals.
Scope and  What are the natural sciences about?

applications  What motivates the production of this knowledge?

 The label “natural” is a throwback to the time when all knowledge
fell under the description “philosophy”. The study of the material
world independent of the intentions and desires of humans was
called “natural philosophy” to distinguish it from “moral
What is the philosophy”, which was the title given to the group of disciplines
devoted to the study of human beings.
natural  The scientific method is an attempt to link theory and
sciences observation. It is a way of systematically making and organizing
our observations of the world. It often uses experiments to
about? replicate, in an ideal manner, some aspect of the world in which
we are interested. The ideal nature of the experimental
environment is intended to establish precisely what causes
produce what effects. It is designed to examine only one factor at
a time and eliminate all others.
What practical
 Natural sciences satisfy our curiosity about what there
problems can is in the world and how it works (Pure science).
be solved  Natural sciences help us to live our everyday lives by
through enabling us to control our environment and by giving
us tools (technology) with which to do so (Applied
applying this science).
Pure science Applied science
Optical qualities of materials in LCD display screens
magnetic fields

Mapping the human genome Screening for genetic diseases

Investigating the structure of carbon Carbon fiber materials for use in

molecules aircraft
 Ethics sets limits on what we can do. Ethical thinking
might lead to a conclusion that “I ought to do X” or “we
ought not to do Y”. Such conclusions are usually
Ethics in the independent of our particular goals and purposes.
natural Ethical thinking might restrict scientific knowledge in
two ways:
 By limiting the sort of question we can investigate.
 By limiting the sort of experiment we can carry out.
 Could the results of an investigation justify the means
used to reach them?
 How could we anticipate the results of an investigation
and the uses to which they could be put before the
KQs investigation is begun?
 What sort of ethical principles should limit the type of
experiment permitted in producing knowledge in the
natural sciences?
 What role does language play in the accumulation of
knowledge in this area?
 What are the roles of the key concepts and key terms
Language and that provide the building blocks for knowledge in this
 What metaphors are appropriate to this area of
 What is the role of convention in this area?
 The language in this AOK is both precise and formal.
 There are very specific terms that are used in well-
defined situations.
 Precise language with a clear well-defined meaning is
required to formulate precise ideas. The ability to
Language formulate precise ideas is important in the natural
 Concepts are the building blocks with which the main
results in science are built.
 A key concept is one on which other concepts depend.
For example, the cell.
 A convention is an agreement that we make in order to
allow certain social activities to take place. Therefore, it
is considered a social fact.
 There are many conventions observed in the natural
sciences in order that science can take place as a
shared social knowledge. The units that we use is an
important example of such a convention. The
International System designates the units meter (m),
Conventions second (s), and kilogram (kg) as standard units.
 This means that scientists working in different parts of
the world can work together because they have the
same understanding of how we should measure these
various aspects of the physical world. Without these
conventions, we would not have standard ways of
comparing and communicating the science that we do
around the world.
 Can you think of any conventions that are used in the
natural sciences?
 What is the purpose of such conventions?
 Identify three conventions used in your group 4
 How do these conventions allow knowledge to be
produced and shared in these subjects?
 Perhaps, the most important use of language is the
natural sciences is in the classification or sorting of the
phenomena of the natural world into different types.
 Since the natural sciences are interested in describing
and explain the natural world, the first step might be to
Classification order natural phenomena into different types. We
systems might want to group them together according to
features that they share.
 Then, we might want to see if there are any general
statements we can make that apply to every member
of a particular group. If our classification system is
good, it may reveal patterns in nature.
 Science is shared knowledge, knowledge shared publicly,
Methods: the communally and internationally.

communal  Scientists contribute their findings to the larger scientific

community, so that their evidence and reasoning can be
nature of scrutinized and questioned.

science  Their experiments can be replicated to determine whether others

reach the same results.
 Serendipity and methodical work: Roentgen and discovery of X-
 Exploration and observation: von Humboldt and the biogeography
of ecosystems
Creating  Hypothetico-deductive method: Edward Jenner and the discovery
science of smallpox.
 Mathematics and new assumptions: Max Plank and quantum
(methods) theory
 Luck and observation: Alexander Fleming and discovery of
 Scrutiny of astrological images: discovery of Eris 2005
 It is the examination and evaluation of a scientific paper by
scientists working in the same or a related field.
 When scientists submit papers to journals for publication, editors
place them with two or three referees, usually confidentially, who
read them closely in order to make recommendations to the
Peer-reviewed editor on whether it would be suitable to publish them as is, reject
them, or accept them with correction or amplification.
journals  Peer review, taken on voluntarily by scientists as part of their
professional responsibility to the whole scientific exchange of
knowledge, helps to
a) share the workload of evaluation of new work,
b) bring in appropriate expertise for particular areas of research, and
c) maintain scientific standards in published work.
Advantages Disadvantages

 You can rely on the editor  Journal standards can differ,

and the journal. though, depending on the
Peer-reviewed  Peer review does not end
editor and the number and
quality of the reviewers.
journals when a paper is published,
since publication allows other
scientists to examine,
criticize, and possibly
replicate the findings.
 Fraud should be condemned as dishonest and as potentially
damaging to the work of others.
a) Cheating;
b) Bribery;
c) Misrepresentation;
d) Conspiracy;
e) Fabrication;
Ethics: f) Collusion;
scientific fraud g) Duplicate Submission;
h) Academic Misconduct;
i) Improper Computer/Calculator Use;
j) Improper Online, TeleWeb, and Blended Course Use;
k) Disruptive Behavior;
l) and last, but certainly not least, PLAGIARISM
Choose one of the questions below and write 500 - 700
words in your essay. Give examples to support your
claim. Remember to write an introduction and a
concluding paragraph.
 Can a classification system itself be considered
knowledge in the natural sciences and mathematics?
 How does a system of classification help produce
knowledge regarding the natural sciences and