Scientific Theory

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M1: What is the difference between scientific and philosophical questions?
Philosophical questions do not use a systematic collection of evidence while scientific questions are the systemic method of acquiring knowledge based on observation and experiment.

D1 – Explain why sometimes there is resistance to new scientific theories.

Peer review is a system that requires all new scientific discoveries, ideas and implications to be studied by expert scientists before they become widely accepted.
The scientist write up new theory and send it to the author, who sends it to other scientists for peer review. When other scientists give their feedbacks or recommendations to the author, he/she may reject it, return to the scientist for corrections or accept to for publication.

For example : Vaccination
MMR vaccine protects against three separate illness- measles, mumps and rubella. It is given to new born babies if they may have been exposed to the measles virus.
A study was first published in 1998 by Andrew Wakefield. However, most of the authors rejected his work.  In his paper published in ‘The Lancet’, Andrew Wakefield claimed a link between the MMR vaccine and autism or bowel disease. Since no scientist had been able to replicate his work, parents and physicians were also disrupted by a lack of evidence and patient values in their work and decided to look at evidence based medicine. So parents did not risk letting their child have the vaccine which later lead to an increased number of child deaths.

To accept some new scientific theories can be challenge the traditional interpretation of matters that replied on religion and faith for answers. There are always going to be people with different points of views and theories of their own which lead to skepticism. Therefore, a new theory will remain a hypothesis until the evidence is presented and properly examined by the scientist.

Reference : http://www.nature.com/ni/journal/v9/n12/full/ni1208-1317.html

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