Anyone can "think like a scientist" who learns the scientific method and, most importantly, applies its precepts, whether he or she is investigating nature or not.
Anyone can "think like a scientist" who learns the scientific method and, most importantly, applies its precepts, whether he or she is investigating nature or not.Tags: Persuasive Essay DefinitionsTourism Research PapersWriting Medical Papers A Practical GuideEssay Writing Service EthicsWorld Bank Essay Competition 2010 WinnerExamples Of Research Proposal TopicsHow Do You Write A Five Paragraph Persuasive EssayPurchase Custom Research Paper
Reliable knowledge is knowledge that has a high probablility of being true because its veracity has been justified by a reliable method.
Reliable knowledge is sometimes called justified true belief, to distinguish reliable knowledge from belief that is false and unjustified or even true but unjustified.
The important point is this: critical thinking is perhaps the most important skill a student can learn in school and college, since if you master its skills, you know how to think successfully and reach reliable conclusions, and such ability will prove valuable in any human endeavor, including the humanities, social sciences, commerce, law, journalism, and government, as well as in scholarly and scientific pursuits.
Since critical thinking and scientific thinking are, as I claim, the same thing, only applied for different purposes, it is therefore reasonable to believe that if one learns scientific thinking in a science class, one learns, at the same time, the most important skill a student can possess--critical thinking.
These three ideas or principles are universal throughout science; without them, there would be no scientific or critical thinking. Empirical evidence is evidence that one can see, hear, touch, taste, or smell; it is evidence that is susceptible to one's senses.
Scientific Inquiry Essay
Empirical evidence is important because it is evidence that others besides yourself can experience, and it is repeatable, so empirical evidence can be checked by yourself and others after knowledge claims are made by an individual.
In other words, science is a method of discovering reliable knowledge about nature.
There are other methods of discovering and learning knowledge about nature (these other knowledge methods or systems will be discussed below in contradistinction to science), but science is the only method that results in the acquisition of reliable knowledge.
This, to my mind, is perhaps the foremost reason for college students to study science, no matter what one's eventual major, interest, or profession. At this point, it is customary to discuss questions, observations, data, hypotheses, testing, and theories, which are the formal parts of the scientific method, but these are NOT the most important components of the scientific method.
The scientific method is practiced within a context of scientific thinking, and scientific (and critical) thinking is based on three things: using empirical evidence (empiricism), practicing logical reasonsing (rationalism), and possessing a skeptical attitude (skepticism) about presumed knowledge that leads to self-questioning, holding tentative conclusions, and being undogmatic (willingness to change one's beliefs).