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As usual, we began with a quick recap of the topics that were discussed in the last session and quickly moved on to the concept of progress in science. The accumulation of knowledge suggests that science makes progress over time. An example of this could be the model of the atom which underwent four changes – the first discovery was not wrong because the information was not yet discovered due to technological factors.
The progression of science is said to be a continuous process. This seemed to interest me because even if we think we know everything now, new discoveries are being made about the natural world and then it is added on to what we previously knew. We were then introduced to Thomas Kuhn, a philosopher who give a somewhat opposing view to the progression of science. He believed that the progress of science was not cumulative but occurred due to paradigm shifts. With the use of a YouTube video, we were given an example of a paradigm shift – Continental drift which was developed in 1912 by Alfred Wegner. As a little child, whenever I looked at a map, I always asked myself if there was any possibly that the earth was once consisted to be one supercontinent. The video explained that the name of it was called Pangaea which means entire earth. He supported this paradigm by observing that some of the continents fit into each other like jig-saw puzzles and that even some rocks and fossils were discovered in some of the nearby continents. It took some scientist a while to agree with his findings.
Afterwards, scientists begun to observe that below the earth’s crust, there were thermal heat which may have contributed to the whole continental drift. In this lecture, I added two new words to my scientific vocabulary list. The first one being Paradigm which is Set of fundamental beliefs (premises) to which scientists subscribe and which they use as a framework for conducting research. A YouTube video was used to better explain the concept. Before this class, I had no clue about what a paradigm was. The second scientific word learnt was anomaly. According to English Oxford Living Dictionaries, an anomaly is “something that deviates from what is standard, normal, or expected. ”
I appreciated this lecture since it was very informative and because I had a personal interest in the matter. Overall, I am certainly enjoying the lectures thus far and as a Communications Major I can make connections to my field which I am excited about. I plan on doing some more research to better understand these topics and by extension, the entire course content.
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