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The Human Practice of Science, Term Paper Example

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Term Paper

What examples of learning by “happy accident” have you experienced in your own life?

First, I must mention how this whole concept reminds me of the Reese’s’ commercials where people accidentally combine their peanut butter and chocolate to discover a great taste. Once, I made an experimental website using a not-so-main stream celebrity as my subject. She ended up asking to make it her official site. Also, I was disappointed when I broke up with my last girl, but it took a day or two to realize how much better my life is without her.

What do you think it means for a person (especially a scientist) to have a “prepared mind,” as Pasteur describes?

I think open-mindedness is important. People with very rigid thinking are usually protecting some ego-based fear. It is important to not be afraid of being wrong. It is also important to understand that logically great discoveries are made by falsifying our current beliefs.

How can a person prepare his or her mind to be open to chance?

Don’t take failures personal. Too many people thing that being wrong about something means there is something wrong with you. The reality is that no one is perfect, and our senses can play tricks on us. To be slave to the ego so much that one cannot tolerate mistakes is grave disservice to the human being as an inherently fallible being.

What about science makes it particularly good at allowing people to analyze their accidents?

Science requires people to think critically and be objective about observations and conclusions. In fact, much of what we accept as scientific truths is actually only probably not false according to the null hypothesis in statistical analysis. Furthermore, empirical research methods are intended to reduce phenomenon into isolatable variables. This makes it easier to see if what we think influences a system actually does or if our beliefs are erroneous.

What are some risks associated with research that involves chance?

A major problem with delving into the unknown is that we may be fully unaware of the consequences. As we seek to understand the universe more intimately, we become more and more vulnerable to its hidden power. It is the cost of advancing human knowledge.

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