Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Elsa Astacio on Western Culture and the Scientific Method

            The scientific method is a formal process, which scientists use to test their observation of how the world works.  The process begins with an observation of a subject matter of interest.  Then from there, questions are formulated about their observation.  A statement to support their questions is derived by trying to explain their question.  This then becomes their hypothesis, which the scientist uses to make a prediction.  Now he is ready to put his prediction to the test by experimenting the validity of his predictions.
            There are various experiments a scientist may choose to manipulate the variables in his experiment.  One is called the independent variable which the scientist moves around or changes.  In the textbook’s example it would be the amount of fertilizer put into the pond that causes algae to grow in the pond, which then becomes the dependent variable because the algae growth is dependent on the fertilizer.  Another experiment would be the controlled experiment which keeps one of the variables constant while the other varies.  The results of the controlled experiment are dependent on the variable taking its own natural course.  The scientist can manipulate the placement of his experiment but cannot do anything to it in order to change the results.
            Analyzing and interpreting is the last of the scientific method process and at this stage the results of the data from the experiments are recorded, analyzed and interpreted.   Mathematical methods are used in this phase because scientists find it more precise and dependable in finding patterns.
When culture can be characterized as the contributions (such as their values, customs, literature, religion and so on) brought to the western part of the world from other countries who settled in the western parts of the globe.  America has become an influential nation in the Western culture due to her assertiveness during the early 1800s and when the 1900s came along their fashions, entertainment, technology, and politics had dominated the Western culture.  How the scientific method relates to the foundation of Western Culture would stem from those who were not afraid to ask the “what if” and “how could we” questions.  I believe these questions were the foundation of many inventions.
            The Industrial Revolution was when things began to change for the better in technology and other new discoveries were made.  The scientific method was used toward improving our environment as well as the auto industry.  It also contributed to the advancement of our social and education programs as well as in the medical field.  Continuous medical research over the years has resulted in the advancement of our health care, medical technology and pharmaceuticals.  The scientific method can be use where ever advancement is needed and the human mind continues to ask those “why” and what if” questions.
Jay Withgott and Scott Brennan, Environment The Science Behind The Stories, Fourth Edition

No comments: