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Explanations are treated as either reality or epistemic. To give an explanation in realism, then the entities and course must exist. This means, the explanation given is the overall meaning of an existing external reality. On the other hand, an epistemic explanation may be true even when the entities do not exist. Many epistemic explanations play a role in organizing human knowledge and outcomes of many scientific experiments (Mayes, 2005, Para 2). Mayes further adds that, an explanation aids in the coming up with a reliable experiential model, but not the literal picture of reality. Many explanations are based on scientific theories but also, explanations can be based on appearances as perceived by humanity. For an explanation to be true scientifically, then it must follow a specified logical sequence. In addition, premises must hold for specified scientific theories. This article will discuss concepts of science, on-science and pseudo science.
In general terms, human beings try to explain the occurrence of certain events in terms of the cause. Hence, the critical analysis of such causes is left to philosophy. Philosophy tries to study the fundamental existence of humanity. It unravels the reality of human existence, hence giving direction to human actions (Thomas, 2009, Para 1-2).
Scientific knowledge helps one to correctly perceive, understand and act in the normal life settings. Scientific understanding guides the invention and critical analysis of occurrences in nature. Many scientific explanations are proposals that are hesitant in concluding matters. They only offer the general outlook of the matter that can undergo modifications and critical analysis (Kermeling, 2001, Para 1). Many scientific models are based on valid deductive arguments that need the explanation of the conclusion.
A number of scientific conclusions are sometimes counter intuitive. For example, in explaining about a granite boulder science postulates that the particle is made up of many small sub particles. In normal observation, the particle looks as a grey, solid and hard mass. Science further adds that the sub particles are in continuous motion. This challenges the human perception of the appearance of many things. Scientific methods try to understand and explain the reality of nature by application of the existing scientific laws and theories. In most cases, many human perceptions are never the exact manifestation of the reality of things (Science, 2009, Para 1-5). Many assumptions in the scientific study are mere hypothesis for the object under test, and many of have to be proved before conclusions are made. Many scientists believe that the properties of many objects are variables that before they can be proved. The measuring process is just there to prove what already exist. The knowledge of quantum mechanics makes us disapprove of this supposition. This is true because many experiments disagree with it.
A scientific explanation follows the following steps. It starts with an observation, followed by experiments and finally conclusions are drawn from the findings.
Goals of science
Science answers many questions that relate to physical reality; those that are of measurable experimental basis. Science on the other hand does not give purely unquestionable realities of things. In addition, science does not form a firm basis of many subjective judgements, although to some level it tackles issues on public ethics and concerns. It emphasizes on the possible outcomes of such issues (Science goals, 2009, Para 1-2).
Many non-scientific explanations are mere descriptions that are based on the physical appearance of things. For example, in trying to explain the varied species of birds, many general assumptions based on no scientific basis can explain the existence, although many of these assumptions may not be accurate due to patterns observed in birds. Hence, need for further analysis of the premises (Woodward-introduction, 2009, Para 1-2). For example, an assumption that that penicillin heals streptococcus because somebody took the tabs and recovered might be wrong. This is because the probability of others recovering is not exactly pre determined by another’s recovery. Hence, such conclusions might be wrong due to lack of a criterion to prove them.
Pseudo science is a collection of facts that can be either true or scientific. This body of knowledge fails to satisfy the scientific levels of testability, re-occurrence and matching with the known outcomes of experiments. Pseudo science gives explanations with no supporting evidence, or sometimes the explanation contradict tentative results that exist. In addition, many pseudo science explanations go against Occan’s Razor principles. These are principles that enable individuals to choose the simplest meanings of facts (Pseudo science, 2009, Para 1-3). Pseudoscience offers insights in to the world by use of scientific means but lacks the main scientific laws.
For example if a student is used to scoring B’s in tests, there is a probability of teachers and parents making an assumption that the student is a B material. This in one way or another may affect the student, hence lack of motivation to improve more on that. This assumption is wrong, because it is not constant that the student will always score B’s. Also, take another example of falling objects. When someone is asked why most things fall, an immediate answer is “because they are heavy as compared to their surrounding”. The answer might be correct but it does not hold in all cases of falling objects hence lacks proof of the premises.
What to do when science and non-science clash
In common practise its important to differentiate between the seen truth and the reality of any situation. To avoid the clashing of scientific and non- scientific explanations it is important to distinguish the truth from the explanations given on certain phenomena. An object of argument should be given critical analysis on its causal structure. For any assumption to be made then the theory should give meaning to our experiences. In this regard, then someone who refuses to accept the scientific explanations as giving the truth will accept the explanations in an epistemic way (Mayes, 2005, Para 3).
Many explanations are understood in logical forms. Correct premises should qualify any piece of knowledge to be a correct deductive nomological clarification. It should analyse all the epistemic ideas that are scientific in a logical manner. The problems associated with the addition of new knowledge at all times should be dealt with in trying to unlock the scientific and non-scientific explanations. For example, if a man is deprived of oxygen for seven minutes there is a possibility that he may suffer brain damage. However, if the same person in those seven minutes was at the bottom of the lake there is a likelihood that they will survive. The facts in the question can fail to be predicted in realty, but scientific explanations can help in understanding them (Mayes- Hempel’s theory of explanation, 2005, Para 7).
Also basing our arguments on dubious metaphysical manners, that all the occurring events have related causes can help to avoid the confrontation among the two. This is because; our explanations will have a high predictive power on the causative agents with some degree of accuracy. For example, the assumption that if an individual smokes four packs of cigarettes daily for a number of years will contract cancer may not be true. This is because; the law of smoking does not clearly state how many cigarettes an individual needs to smoke before contracting cancer. Hence, for explanations to agree, they must have high predictive power that agrees with certain levels of accuracy.
In addition to the above people must learn to accept both modes of explaining concepts. This also calls for critical analysis of either side of the argument. Consideration on the consistency of the ideas should help in solving the conflict. If any consistencies do not agree then there is need for territorial division. For example, contradicting factors on the origin of man. Science argues that man evolved and at the same time, biblically Christians agree that God created humanity. These are two ideas that conflict each other and depending on ones’ position, there is a likelihood of conflict. This calls for one to have both scientific and theological knowledge; that is hard. In this regard, then one must take both the scientific and theological understanding the origins of man (Plantinga, 1991, Para 1-8).
In conclusion, when faced with such a crash there is reference to casual relations. Casual relations help in connecting the concepts of relevance and asymmetry. This calls for a philosophical analysis of any concepts that are conflicting. For example, it is believed when a barometer continuously in its reading there is a likelihood of a storm coming. This can be an indicator scientifically but basing on the assumptions either can show the other. That is, a storm coming tells one on why the barometer is falling but not the falling of the barometer depicts the occurrence of a storm (Mayes-criticisms, 2005, Para 5-6).
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Mayes, R. G. (2005). Theories of explanation. The internet encyclopaedia of philosophy. Web.
Plantiga, A. (1991). When Faith and Reason Clash: Evolution and the Bible. Christian scholar review. 2009. Web.
Pseudo science (2009). Knowledgerush. Web.
Science (2009). Science astronomy and God. Web.
Thomas, W. (2009). What is philosophy. The atlas society. Web.
Woodward, J. (2009). Scientific explanations. Web.