Thursday, April 16, 2009

Paper by Trudy Chimko

The Use of the Scientific Method and Its Creation of Western Culture
PHS 100 Professor David Terrell
April 16, 2009
The Use of the Scientific Method and Its Creation of Western Culture
The scientific method is a series of steps that scientists use to answeror validate questions concerning the world we live in. The process is based on common sense and the steps serve to respond to or resolve a question. In order to understand how the scientific method has been used in Western Culture, or how it has founded Western Culture, it is important to first clarify what Western Culture is.Western Culture is not the definition of a specific list of countries located in the Western hemisphere. Rather, Western Culture refers to a developed civilization that flourishes as a result of its desire to study and sustain human life. It takes us through the Agricultural Revolution and the Industrial Revolution. This culture promotes science, politics, religion, and technology to expand a nation’s knowledge and provide economic growth. The scientific method has been used to not only define Western Culture but to entice us to continue learning and asking questions about the world around us. The scientific method is a series of steps used to test and validate ideas. Withgott, J. & Brennan S. (2008, p 12) describe six steps used to discover answers to questions raised and pondered by scientists in Western culture. These steps are as follows: making observations, formulating questions, hypothesis statements as possible explanation, stating predictions, testing those predictions though experimentation, and analyzing results of the experiment.Countries with great economic growth and scientific and technological discovery are countries that have embraced knowledge. What is interesting is that knowledge breeds the desire for more knowledge and there is a continued cycle of questions being asked to either improve or sustain life based on what we know so far. Medical technology is a good example of this. Through observation that people were dying from disease, steps were taken to discover vaccinations to prevent some of these diseases. Potential vaccinations were tested and once validated, used to treat disease. This is only a minute example of the ability of the scientific method to change a culture’s thinking and to advance them into another stage of development.
The United States has become a world leader because it has embraced the scientific method as a means to learn about the world around us. We ask questions about how we as human beings exist in our world, and we develop hypotheses and test predictions to create new and improved ways to live our life. As a culture, we care about the existence of human beings, the existence of the ecology that surrounds us, the economy that allows us to continue our way of life, and the opportunities that the world can provide to us for future growth. Because of our concern for living and non-living collaboration on this planet, and because of our desire to sustain our planet’s resources and our own personal existence, we have ultimately become a nation of wealth, respect, and continued growth in all areas of science and technology. We are not afraid to explore the unknown and to use the scientific method to determine the best and most reasonable result for situations that we face.In my reading of the text and researching the attributes of Western culture, I see a direct correlation between the use of the six step process and the success and economic growth of Western culture, particularly in the United States. The more knowledge a society gains, the more questions arise in pursuit of additional knowledge to improve or maintain life as we know it. This appears to be a continual cycle and as long as we pursue the learning experience through this scientific method, our ability to maintain life at an economic and technological high is at our fingertips.
We are the voice and conscience of reason in this fascinating arena and can motivate other countries to follow suit in this remarkable school of learning.

References Western culture. (2009, April 10). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia.Retrieved 01:02, April 13, 2009, from
Western culture knowledge center: what is western culture. (2007).Retrieved April 13, 2009, from
Withgott, J., & Brennan, S. (2008). Environment: The science behind thestories (3rd ed.). New York, Pearson Benjamin Cummings.

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