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phl3B science essay

Science has played an important role in shaping the world into what it is today. It's allowed
people to explain and understand our environment and can be seen as the most reliable
source of obtaining knowledge about said environment.Yet, despite how much of an
influence science has had on our environment and ideas – there are many individuals
who don't trust science and instead use alternative methods to gain knowledge about the
world and help them explain and understand world phenomena.This essay will explore
the reasons why people trust and distrust science.I will go on to discuss, as per my own
judgment, on how far individuals ought to trust science. I will further discuss the extent
science played during this covid19 pandemic and how individuals in society responded
to the information provided by scientists during this time.
Science has played a variety of roles in society. It's improved the quality of people's
lives,created new knowledge and improved current education. This has only been
possible due to the fact that people have had some trust in science.Pearcy (1990:1) states
how philosophers such as Aristotle claimed that the first people to investigate natural
events were ancient philosophers Thales,Anaximander and Anaximenes back in 6th
century. It is for this reason that many individuals trust science.As it goes on to illustrate
how science has been prominent and impactful in our societies for centuries. Individuals
tend to trust that which they are familiar with and which has proven to work for them in
the past – science has been that kind of source of knowledge for many. The earliest
inventions made by science are still relevant today which goes to prove how the scientific
method works over time.
Oreskes (2019:15-68) also mentions how science is trusted in communities because of
its social character. The scientific community operates in such a way that scientists only
accept a scientific theory once consensus has been reached amongst them.This ensures
that hypotheses are properly verified through observation before they're accepted as
theories. Individuals trust science because the scientific method provides reliable and
verifiable knowledge.
Lastly, science is progressive in nature. Pearcy(1990:2) retells how one of science best
attributes is that as nature changes over the years – scientists discover new elements
about the environment and improve them. This makes people trust science as it shows
how it's not stagnant and actually moves with the times to accommodate and explain new
information and certain events about the environment.
Yet,despite it's obviously impactful role in science there are many individuals who are still
sceptical and are hesitant in trusting science.One of the reasons individuals have to not
trusting science is that the scientific community lacks consensus. Oreskes (2019:69-146)
mentions how the scientists themselves often disagree amongst themselves and don't
reach consensus regarding a certain scientific theory and states how this might be a result
of the lack of diversity within the community. Scientists that make up the scientific
orientation,backgrounds,race of global population. Scientists were mainly white
heterosexual males.Thus,they investigate and accept hypotheses that reflect their own
perspectives and ideas.
Another reason people distrust science is because of how scientists disregard evidence
to suit the methods they prefer. Oreskes (2019:69-146) states how scientists dismiss
certain scientific evidence due to how messy it is or choose a particular method knowing
that it will yield certain results. People then tend to be of the opinion that scientific data
can and is often manipulated and thus lose trust in it.
The last reason people tend to distrust science is the fact that many scientific theories
have been falsified over the years once new discoveries about the environment have
been made. Oreskes (2019:69-146) mentions The Limited Energy Theory which was a
theory that was widely accepted which aimed to prove how women shouldn't be educated
as when doing so they used up energy which could've been allocated to reproductive
organs. Oreskes states how the theory was later proven incorrect and how there are many
others like it which were falsified.People thus tend to distrust science due to the fact that
scientific theories are not definite and trusting science has led to detrimental effects for
many individuals e.g. The hormonal birth control and its link to depression.
The abovementioned reasons can leave one confused, not knowing whether it's a good
reason to trust or distrust science, understandably so too. While,I understand why
antisciencists distrust science – lack of diversity,consensus amongst scientists and is not
definite. I still believe that science is important and the benefits that it provides society are
worth it's disadvantages.Science ought to be trusted but only to a certain
extent.Individuals need to understand that science evolves and information accepted
today may not be accepted as new discoveries are made daily.
The debate of whether individuals ought to trust or not trust science became prominent
during the recent covid19 pandemic. States like the USA and UK which had the best
scientists the world had to offer handled the outbreak of covid19 the worst. This is a result
of how individuals in said countries – leaders and ordinary citizens – did not have faith in
science. For example, Donald Trump and his administration dismissed overwhelming
scientific data that stated the existence and effects of the virus.While others like China
immediately created research centers in order to treat and cure the virus. The reactions
of these different countries illustrates how divided the world is when it comes to its beliefs
about science. Individuals’ scepticism towards science and refusal to accept scientific
theories is not only a result of people's lack of faith in science but also because they allow
other elements of societies to influence science. For example, Trump and his
administration allowed politics to take precedence over science calling the virus the
“China virus" and launching a personal attack on China instead of combating the virus.
Science is the best verifiable source of obtaining knowledge about nature and the
diseases that affects all organisms in it. Yet, many individuals still prefer alternative
sources of obtaining knowledge such as religion due to the fact that they don't trust
science. In conclusion,this essay has discussed, in depth,the reasons why people ought
to trust science such as that it's verifiable through observation,it's existed for many years
and is progressive and also that people are familiar with the methods and lastly that
scientific theories are only accepted once consensus is reached amongst scientists in
scientific community. The reasons why science ought to not be trusted were also
discussed in depth,
such as that science lacks diversity, methods can be
manipulated/evidence disregarded and lastly that scientific information is not definite and
changes with new discoveries introduced into the world. I also elaborated on why I trust
science despite some of the abovementioned reasons and provided advice as to the
extent other individuals need to trust science too. Lastly, I explored the reaction of
individuals in society during the covid19 outbreak and how it illustrates the constantly
evident divide in society of those that trust science and those that don't.