1. Science is one of the most successful endeavors of mankind. Through the power of reason and careful observation, humans have found out how to get to the moon, cure diseases, and overcome many of the discomforts of nature. This discussion prompt provides you with an opportunity to practice identifying and evaluating specific types of scientific inference. Reflect: Evaluate the reasoning that was used on the basis of this weekâ€™s readings. You will need to do enough background reading to have a general idea of the basis for the discovery. Remember that the goal of this discussion is not to simply report what was discovered, but to examine the logic that led to establishing the outcome.
Write: Within your post:
- Include a link or bibliographical information for the source.
- Briefly summarize the discovery and the process that led to it.
- Explain the sense in which the discovery involved inductive inference. (It is extremely likely that it did.)
- If it did, present a portion of the process as an instance of one of the types of inductive argument covered in this weekâ€™s readings. Be sure to clearly demonstrate how the argument is of the type you claim. Hint: if you canâ€™t find a more specific type, almost all scientific discoveries can be presented as Inference to the Best Explanation.
- Evaluate the argument using criteria appropriate to its type. State whether the argument is strong or weak.
- Identify ways in which the argument might be strengthened or weakened.
2. One of the most important ways to grow intellectually (and otherwise) is to actually listen to others and seek to understand them as they intend to be understood. Yet it is all too common for people to understand others in ways that do not reflect the best and most fair interpretation of their intended meaning. Reflect: Find specific examples in the media or in life in which someone misunderstands someone else. This happens a lot with political and religious arguments, but it also happens in daily life, especially when we find ourselves in conflict with others. Have you interpreted others uncharitably?
Write: Present a case, either in the media or in your own life, in which someone interpreted another uncharitably. What specifically did the first person say? In what way did the other person understand it? What did the person really mean? Do you think that the misunderstanding was intentional? What were the consequences of the misunderstanding? How might the situation have been better if the person had practiced the principle of charity? Finally, are there areas in which you could do more to understand others favorably? How might you be a wiser person if you did so?