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Reflective Essay On Scientific Methods, Theories & Models Lecture

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For this lecture, I arrived a bit late because of the inclement weather. However, I did not miss much since the lecturer began with a revision of where we left off from last session. The lecture continued with us being presented with the approach that scientific method is empirical. The term empiricism is created on a process where knowledge is verified through means of experiment and observation. Empirical in science, aids to stray away from prejudice and assist with differentiating with other sources where there may be subjectivity. An example of an empirical statement is all fire trucks are red. A summary of theorists which had different scientific methods was shown; Plato which did not believe in empiricism like Aristotle but instead rationalism.

We also discussed William Harvey and Galileo prevailing views. Harvey`s investigations on the circulatory system and Galileo`s astronomical discoveries. With the help of yet another YouTube video, I saw how these great scientists applied the scientific method with the use of numerous observations and experiments to arise with their theories which are now facts. I learnt how William Harvey tested the blood flow in a human body. Before this class, I had no idea about who this guy was, so I took it upon myself to do some extra research about this work. Another video explained how Galileo had tested the weights of two objects: one light and one heavy. He saw that if it was not for air resistance, both the objects would fall at the same time. It is evident enough that their procedures were not based upon observations but by experiments where they can be certain and prove their theory.

New terms were added to my scientific vocabulary list, such as Observation which I misinterpreted. I always assumed that it was limited to the 5 human senses, but it can be supported along with tools. With such tools and our senses, we can collect both qualitative and quantitative data. The other term -experimentation was used and is known to test, to be able to gather data which will answer the hypothesis. For example, if you want to test the boiling point of water you may conduct experiment, not an observation. Although experiment tests and finds out what is, occasionally the researcher may skew the information to their fondness to prove a hypothesis.

As we came closer to the end of the lecture, we were introduced to laws and theory. I encountered some difficulties differentiating between how a theory and a law differs. Some additional research was done, and I came across a website that lengthily clarified both notions. I gathered that a law is an observation that has no exceptions because it is an understandable fact documented after observations. The law of gravity, whereby what goes up must come down is a perfect example. On the other hand, a theory is more of a clarification or explanation of the law. The concept of models was briefly discussed. Models comprises of physical, mathematical and conceptual types.

At the end of this lecture, I was able to see the development of science and the philosophers that were involved. However, for this topic, I still think that some parts of the lecture were difficult to understand. I need to do additional reading to solidify these concepts.

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