Science as a belief system (open and closed)

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  • Created by: charl_w
  • Created on: 03-02-16 19:21
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  • Science as a belief system
    • Science as an open belief system
      • Sir Karl Popper (1959) believes science is an open belief system.
      • Popper argues science is 'open' to scrutiny, criticism and testing by others.
      • Science is governed by the principle of falsification. So it can be proved or disproved by other scientists.
      • Scientists set out to see if they can seek evidence to disprove existing theories. If evidence proves it wrong, the theory can be discarded and search for a better explanation.
      • In Poppers view, discarding knowledge claims is what makes scientific understand grow.
      • Scientific knowledge is cumulative according to Popper.
    • Science as a closed belief system
      • 1. Thomas Kuhn argues science is a closed system.
      • 2. Kuhn argues that a mature science such as biology is based on a shared set of assumptions.This is called a Paradigm.
      • 3. The paradigm tells scientists what reality is like.
      • 4. An example of science as a closed system is when Velikovsky's theory challenged fundamental assumptions of biology and astronomy.
        • The response from scientists was 'closed' and rejected the new theory.
      • Science is a closed system because scientists reject anything that isn't a paradigm.
        • An example of a paradigm shift was Darwins theory of evolution. For centuries science accepted the biblical explanation but Darwin disproved it.

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