Natural science is a subdivision of science that constitutes biology, astronomy, physics, and earth science. Natural sciences depend heavily on objective data, as well as quantitative methods. Natural science studies the world and its occurrences. Natural science entails the study of naturally happening occurrences, their interrelations, their structure, and their elements’ activities (Wilczek & Weyl, 2009). Social science is a constituent division of science dealing with the intact society, or a definite group. Its subdivisions consist of political studies, anthropology, and sociology.
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While natural science depends heavily on both objective and quantitative methods, the social science depends highly on qualitative assessments. Natural sciences study the universe and its functioning, whereas social sciences study human beings and their contacts. Social science lacks transhistorical law alongside the invariable processes. In contrast, the natural science engages variables, as well as transhistorical laws in its study. The properties studied in natural science lack complements and phenomenon, while in social science, the properties studied have complements amid the phenomena.
Although literature has revealed the existence of other sources of knowledge, science is incredibly providing a reliable basis for knowledge. Importantly, science follows a number of procedural steps before drawing conclusions on a certain issue (Kuper, 2004). For instance, it starts with identification of a problem, statement of the hypothesis, data collection, and report writing.
The knowledge gained from science entails a number of characteristics making science a legitimate source. For instance, scientific knowledge is empirical. This designates that, the knowledge has a base on analyzed data. Moreover, the process of attaining the knowledge is measurable. This means that, it studies variables that are both dependent, as well as the independent and can be operational and subjected to measurement. The scientific knowledge is also replicable. Therefore, other researchers can follow similar procedures to examine the hypothesis. They can therefore, support the hypothesis or reject it.
After comparing science with the other sources of knowledge, it is notable that science still conveys better promising results. For example, when you compare science with common sense, it is evident that it is more reliable. While science has a strong support by data, common sense is not empirical thus not supported by any data.
Moreover, while science is objective, common sense is subjective. Johnston, Ian in his article, proves that science is a suitable foundation of knowledge. He introduces the article by asserting that, people’s lives and thinking is highly dominated by science. He also bickersthat, people possess so much faith in science thus referring their problems and challenges to scientists and technicians.
In his article, Johnston discusses different perspectives of science that makes it a consistent basis of knowledge. For instance, he refers science as facts gathering process. He asserts that, science utilizes a technique known as scientific method in its analysis and explanation of events. Therefore, scientists, rigorously apply this method to provide information about events (Johnston, 2000).
He asserts that, the scientific method allows the construction of theories in order to account for their investigations. This process entails the establishment and testing of predictions. Concisely, science is pre-eminently concerned with objective search for quantifiable information, construction of theories based on the information, as well as testing of theories with experiments.
Secondly, he discusses science as falsification. He asserts that, science involves constant attempts to prove world theories and falsify them. The process starts with theory development. The theory contains the means being tested. The theory is then subjected to rigorously repeat testing. If the results of the testing show that the predictions are negative, this results to the theory falsification. Johnston also discusses science as a social process. He argues that, science involves researches conducted by an outsized group of people.
There exist some commercial researchers such as university researcher and growth centers. Concisely, this translates to a joint investigation of a problem thus the results of the investigation provides reliable knowledge. Johnston widens his article by considering that, science employs wide variety of perspectives that makes it a valid supply of knowledge. He sums up by discussing the relativism and realism that forms a significant base. Briefly, science is referred to as the truth of things.
The scientific method entails seven subsequent stages before arriving at conclusions. The scientific method comprises of elements such as, variables, hypothesis, experimental, and control groups. Variables are characteristics being measured or studied. They can take a number of values at different times and places. For example, academic achievement of students is a variable (Haunch, 2003). The three categories of variables include the dependant, independent, and extraneous variables.
The researcher manipulates the independent variables in order to study their effects on other variables usually the dependent variables. The dependent variable refers to the observed variable, which the researcher studies in order to record the effect of the independent variable. For instance, if the researcher is studying the effects of pupil’s motivation, success motivation on academic achievement, the independent variable in this case is achievement motivation. Conversely, the dependent variable is the academic achievement (Johnston, 2000).
A hypothesis is an educated guess about the relationship among the variables. It shows the expected results of the study. A null-hypothesis indicates no affiliation amid the variables. For instance, there is no affiliation amid pupil’s attainment and academic achievement. A control group encounters no treatment or manipulation by the researcher. An appropriate example is studying the effect of vitamin B on children in expectant mothers. Expectant mothers not given vitamin B represent the control group.
The first step is the statement of the problem under study. The problem is stated in clear and simple terms. The statement should Cleary show the variables to be studied. The variables should also be measurable. The second step is statement of the hypothesis. The hypothesis stated should show a link in the variables. It should also be measurable and specific. The third step is the deductive reasoning step. It involves evaluating the feasibility of the study. At this stage, the researcher is concerned with, material requirements, subject’s suitability, availability of time, and financial implications (Haunch, 2003). The fourth step is the experimental step.
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It involves collecting data based on the hypothesis stated. In case of a survey research, questionnaires, interviews, and observations of the focused group are some of the data collection methods. The fifth step is the analysis of the data collected. This entails the conversion of the ground data into sensible information. The analyzed data can be categorized into either descriptive or inferential information.
The sixth step involves drawing conclusions based on results of the hypothesis testing. The implications of the finding are also stated and possible recommendations. The last step is the report writing and presentation. The researcher writes a concise statement for presentation to the beneficiaries of the research. The report includes exclusive summary, statement of the problem, the research method, and findings of the study, conclusion, and recommendations.
Haunch, H. (2003). Scientific method in practice.New York, NY: Cambridge university press.
Johnston, I. (2000). Towards an initial understanding of science. (philosophy of science portal )
Kuper, J., & Kuper, A. (2004).The social science encyclopedia. Canada, CN: Rout ledge publisher.
Wilczek, F., & Weyl, H. (2009).Philosophy of metaphysics and natural science. Woodstock, OS: Princeton university press.