Evidence to support our beliefs in the natural sciences

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  • Publicado : 30 de abril de 2010
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To what extent do we need evidence to support our beliefs in the natural sciences?

Human beings’ belief systems don’t always work according to evidence. Belief is made up of many different variables which affect people and so, many times, someone can very easily believe something if it is imbedded in their belief system with very little evidence. There are many ways of knowing other thanthrough evidence, this is why many times people form their beliefs in the natural sciences through other ways of knowing, such as perception, language, reason and emotion. Science however is experimented thoroughly through experimental processes which prove and disprove theories we have formed through other ways of knowing or simply bringing up new unexplored theories. Generally, scientific proof isthe most objective way of knowing humans have and evidence is the most proven theory humans have. However, humans are not objective and are not only guided by scientific method and evidence. Humans’ belief systems are subjective to all the different ways of knowing we have. Many times, although there is evidence disclaiming someone’s belief in the natural science, their beliefs which have beencreated through other ways of knowledge that are not through scientific evidence are strong enough to maintain this belief and also many times people disregard the evidence which proves one’s belief wrong. It is psychologically very difficult to accept that something which has been taught to be the right answer is in fact wrong.

Often, people specifically focus upon one piece of evidence whichsupports what they already believe. However, as many areas of natural sciences are unexplored or very ambiguous and open to different interpretations, there is very often evidence which contradicts other evidence or opens up new dimensions to the subject. As many people’s belief systems are so strong and unwavering, they often choose to only pay attention to the evidence which supports their claimsand beliefs and disregard the evidence which is questioning this belief in the natural sciences, this is called confirmation bias. This is why evidence is needed to support ones belief, however, it is up to the person to understand the relativity of the subject and be open to all the evidence there is supporting and disclaiming some fact of the natural sciences, as opposed to just pertaining oneselfto favorable evidence proving our belief.

Science experimentation and evidence is also very often run by confirmation bias. Scientists are human and also have beliefs which are formed through other ways of knowing other than through scientific method and evidence. Scientists are also able to experiment something which they hypothesize to have a certain outcome and carry out the experiment inorder to obtain what the hypothesis predicted. People, scientists included, generally don’t like being wrong

I am attaching a conversation between a fundamental evangelical Christian mother and a son while a homeschooling, (some would call indoctrination) session[1]. This proves how not even scientific advances change the belief system of a person with strong beliefs regarding natural sciencesthrough a different way of knowing, in this case religious perspective. This religious family which has its belief system embedded in religious ideals and disclaims any scientific evidence of natural sciences such as in this case global warming and evolution shows the confirmation bias and how difficult it is to look outside one’s own perspective is this means the disclaim of one’s strong beliefs.The way that this mother is teaching her son on evolution and global warming as a hoax and homeschooling him in order to avoid his religious beliefs being changed or questioned by his peers or by himself shows how she believes this is what is right for her son and how she is isolating him in order to teach him what she believes to be right. Once someone has grown up learning about something...
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