May Disagreement Aid the Pursuit of Knowledge in the Natural and Human Sciences?

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In what ways may disagreement aid the pursuit of knowledge in the natural and human sciences? The American astronomer and astrophysicist Carl Sagon once debated that ‘At the heart of science is an essential balance between two seemingly contradictory attitudes - an openness to new ideas, no matter how bizarre or counterintuitive, and the most ruthlessly skeptical scrutiny of all ideas, old and new.’ Disagreement can be defined as “a conflict or difference of opinion”. This idea of disagreement can be either beneficial or detrimental to the pursuit of knowledge in science. This essay will discuss various ideas by different scientists and schools of science, how it may aid science by creating an incentive to stretch ourselves to the limits of our capabilities and the race for knowledge. Disagreement can aid the pursuit of knowledge in several different ways. Firstly, it makes us stretch ourselves, and the way we think, to the limits of our capabilities. If a large group of professionals tells a scientist is that a new theory he has been working on and developing is completely false, the scientist may first be angered or hurt by the logic that because his theory has one false fact, it must be wrong and invalid. If he is anything at all like myself, he may go back to his laboratory feeling like a failure, but after some time he realizes that he might have been wrong about that fact. He goes back to the first stages, performs more tests, changing variables and how the experiment is conducted, and may find that in fact, his theory now makes complete sense. He may go back and again present his new theory to the group of scientists, who now find that his theory is correct. Some of these scientists may now set out to aid him in his pursuit of knowledge, or it may coincide with a theory that they themselves have been developing. Examples of this can be found in

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