Title 6 – KQ : 6 How far does Natural Sciences and History attribute the progress in the respective areas to Robustness ?
The scientific knowledge is always open to question and revision ; no idea is proved for eternity; ideas that we accept today may get modified or rejected outrightly when tested with new evidence in future. Over time , Natural Science has evolved as a disciplined, logical search for knowledge obtained by examination of the best available evidence subject to correction and improvement upon discovery of better evidence and thus always moving towards accuracy. For example, up until 1938, paleontologists accepted the idea that coelacanths (an ancient fish) went extinct about 80 million years ago. But that year, a live coelacanth was discovered off the coast of South Africa, causing scientists to revise their ideas and begin to investigate how this animal survives in the deep sea.
Over time the best of theories have been shown to be incomplete in the areas of Natural sciences , Social sciences and History . The theories might explain a lot of phenomena using a few basic principles, predict new results but sooner or later new and more precise experiments show a discrepancy between the workings of nature and the predictions of these theories. It may appear that the theories were not ‘Accurate’ to begin with but we cannot deny the fact that theories at their time were very good approximation of the truth or the reality these addressed to understand and know.
In recent decades in History , there is an accepted norm of exploring multiple perspectives that requires incorporating source materials that reflect different views of a historical event. The validity of singular/one-sided narratives has been questioned and instead drawing perspectives from multiple sources – incorporating the pluralism and diversity of participants and affected parties –has been advocated with the goal of achieving accuracy. Experienced historians often put together competing versions of a story to build the Accurate reality of a historical event .
The superseded theories and knowledge can be considered erroneous in simplistic sense but in a much truer and subtler sense, it only needs to be considered incomplete. Even the existing valid theories can only be considered relatively Accurate till a new evidence or a better explanation replaces it. The whole process of correcting and building new knowledge has become more robust with time.