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2019 Section 3 Question 2

Brian Cox and Jeff Forshaw present the argument that nothing is certain in science as there are no universal truths. Different people may have different views about how things work in this world and science, through scientific research and studies, helps to prove these views as false.

People usually think of science as the ultimate truth. They think that if something is proven to work by science, it definitely has to be correct and be repeatable in every situation. However, this may not necessarily be the case every time. We can take the example of medical treatments. If patients with the same disease are treated using the same method, it is not necessary that all of them would be treated successfully. The treatment may work for some, it may develop side effects for others, or it may not work at all for some. This shows that even though these treatments were proven to heal patients scientifically, it is not necessary that it may work for all patients. Therefore, this is an example of “in science, there are no universal truths”.

On the contrary, others may think that some things need to be considered as ‘truths’ in order for science to move forward. If we come to accept that everything is uncertain in science, we may stop carrying out scientific researches, because we would be unsure of the outcome. We need to accept, that some things, if done correctly, will have predictable outcomes. We can take gravity as an example. If we throw something in the air, we can reasonably accept it to come back down because gravity is present and that is the truth. We can accept gravity as ‘truth’ and continue to do researches based on this ‘truth’.

To conclude, science is a culmination of extensive researches and studies. When something is proven to be true by science, after extensive research has been done, it should be reasonable to accept it as a truth. If this were not true, we would not accept many medical treatments as they do not work all the time. But if they can help to heal some patients without negatively affecting others, we can accept it as a truth.

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