The issue of understanding life is at the core of science. Biology is a science that studies all different forms of life. Natural scientists are always interested in understanding how different biological functions take place in order for organisms to remain alive. In order to understand how organisms operate, they have to carry out scientific investigations. The issue to be discussed here is that of evolution theory that proposes an evolutionary approach to the origin of organisms.
The smallest organisms have a single cell. These organisms are called unicellular organisms. Larger organisms are known as multicellular organisms. They have more than one cell. Man, a multicellular organism, is the highest form of life in terms of the complexity of functions of body cells, tissues, and organs. This paper discusses the theory of evolution whose proponent, Charles Darwin believed provides answers to the origin of man. According to him, all organisms gained their present form through a series of adaptive evolutions; that they all evolved from unicellular organisms (Popper: 1959).
The belief that organisms evolved from a single, tiny organism constitutes a testable hypothesis. In this case, the results of scientific research can be speculated. Testable scientific questions can be posed relating to the experiments carried out here. The most significant theory here is the theory of evolution.
The scientific perspective asks and answers testable scientific questions through observations and experiments. The first step in scientific inquiry is to ask a testable question. Background research should also be conducted in order for a good hypothesis to be constructed. You need to do an experiment in order to test this hypothesis. Then, the data collected should be analyzed and then conclusions drawn from the findings. Your last stage in the scientific perspective is to communicate your results.
Predictions are used to make a hypothesis. A fair test is needed in order for the scientific perspective to be acceptable. In a fair test, the researcher changes only one variable and keeps all other conditions the same in order to carry out a falsifiability test.
In a scientific perspective, theories are used as tentative insights into our natural world. The insights are unverified although, upon verification as true, they would explain some important facts about a phenomenon in the natural world. In order to be acceptable, all experimental trials need to be reliable. Evidence should be the basis on which scientific inquiries are made.
A scientific perspective is an approach to investigation that involves observation and the use of theory in order to carry out tests on scientific hypotheses. The scientific method pays attention to only that which can be observed, measured and tested. This involves carrying out experiments in order to answer testable scientific questions in an empirical manner.
In arts and humanities, there is room for perceptual thinking. Knowledge is acquired through reason. For this reason, there is room for subjectivity. In this case, the man tries to investigate problems through argumentation. The view of individual matters a great deal when it comes to disciplines like philosophy, political science, and religion. Some of the problems that art tries to solve have also been investigated by science. A good example is the origin of man. Creation theories, as opposed to the evolution theory, are not based on observable experiments. Rather, they are based on frames of reference that are considered true through a belief system. They promote the idea of the existence of a supreme being, who created the universe.
Politics, for example, is an art-related discipline that is studied through a method that is not scientific. Political scientists know that public opinion is the most important determinant of political changes in all systems of government. The opinions expressed need not be objective. What matters is a mass appeal in pursuit of certain ends. The same case applies to aesthetics. Investigations into esthetics are very subjective since every individual has his own conception of beauty, fashion, style, and décor.
Both the artistic and scientific methods have their place in the search of knowledge. The scientific approach has made it possible for major inventions to take place. Natural scientists are able to discover medications through experiments that reveal cause-and-effect relationships (Fletcher, 2004).
The methods of investigation used in the art are also important since they outline the basis of societal moral values (Lastrucci, 1963). The researches also bring in the spiritual aspect of human existence. This method projects man as the only spiritual being with physical attributes. Scientists accept that the metaphysical element of man lies beyond the scope of science; that for this reason, they accept that other approaches to the search for knowledge are also needed. Contrastively, science projects man as a physical being with spiritual attributes.
There seems to be a point of convergence between the artistic approach and the scientific method. The element of creativity goes beyond adherence to a predetermined set of scientific rules (Hewitt et al, 2009). This is because, if predetermined rules were to become the only basis of scientific research, new knowledge might become available and push the scientist out of his career. The researcher, like a politician, therefore, has to creatively think and dwell on those scientific areas on which his very survival is dependent.
Lack of control experiments in arts distinguishes it from science. This is because art represents human thought while science represents a natural order. This puts to the fore some weaknesses and strengths of each approach.
The evolution of organisms can only be understood through the scientific method. Politicians come into the perspective when the necessary policies require being postulated and put in place. The implications of researches on the evolution of organisms cannot be assessed through the scientific method; art-related disciplines (such as politics, aesthetics, and religion) have to come in.
The issue of roles played by scientific and artistic approaches raises the question of which one between science and art is superior. In modern times, the raging debate is on which approach between art and science is dominant. The thought of art as a lower form of thought and science as a higher form of thought is a misguided one. Each approach of inquiry has its place in the acquisition of knowledge.
Any comments made by scientists are directed at a society that has some moral value systems that are explained by art. For this reason, research on the origin of organisms has to have bearing simply because everything happens in a social setting, where other theories of evolution, such as creation theory exist.
On the other hand, science is indispensable if political problems are to be solved. When funding for scientific researches on organisms is facilitated in order for vested political interested to take precedence, the results of the researches might be as well interfered with. In case this happens, the line between art and science becomes so blurred that it might be thought not to exist at all.
Against the backdrop of these conclusions, here are that actions I would take in order to ensure that my research on organisms is acceptable and within the provisions of the scientific perspective:
- Evaluate researches done in the past relating to organisms and the social settings within which they were conducted
- Be objective
- Conduct control experiments in order to test the validity of the experiment
- Assess the social implications of this research. If necessary, I would educate society on the research. I would explain the political implications of doing the research and portray it as a win-win situation as far as researchers, society, and politicians are concerned.
Fletcher, J.H. (2004). The Art & Science of Interpreting Market Research Evidence. New York: Wiley.
Hewitt, P.G. et al, (2009). Conceptual Integrated Science. San Francisco: Pearson Education
Lastrucci, C.L. (1963). The Scientific approach: Basic Principles of the Scientific Method Cambridge: Schenkman Publishing.
Popper, K. R. (1959). The Logic of Scientific Discovery New York: Basic Books.
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