book003

menu_image
science history arts ethics mathematics essay and presentation teachers logics sense perception emotion language


Why are Simpler Explanations Usually Better?


 

Old door and hinge
The purpose of science is to make things simpler and not more complicated. Scientists strive to discover theories and explanations that simplify the view of our world and not complicate them. According to Wiliam of Ockham (c. 1288 – c. 1347), if there are competing explanations for a phenomenon, the simpler explanation is to be preferred. The simpler explanation is often the correct one. It can be summarized as “With all other things being equal the simpler solution is the better one.” Simpler explanations rely on fewer assumptions which can not be proven or disproven.

In this edition of TOK-Talk I would like to explore the difference between a good and a bad explanation. Why are simpler explanations usually the better ones? Listen to find out! Continue reading »

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,




What is the Scientific Method?


 

Window with flowers
If we want to reach an objective description of our world, then we need to reduce these subjective influences. We need standardized procedures in gaining further knowledge of our world. The scientific method is such a standardized procedure in gaining further knowledge in the natural sciences.

One of the goals of science is to explain various phenomena of the natural world in an objective and unbiased manner. Different people perceive the world differently, due to different educational and cultural backgrounds. For some people a glass of water is half full, for others it is half empty, and still for others it is just a glass of water. Different people perceive and interpret reality differently. If we want to reach an objective description of our world, then we need to reduce these subjective influences. We need standardized procedures in gaining further knowledge of our world. The scientific method is such a standardized procedure in gaining further knowledge in the natural sciences.
Continue reading »

Tags: , , , ,




What is Falsification?


 

Firewood
In this edition of TOK-TALK we will talk about Karl Poppers contributions to the philosophy of science. Sir Reimund Karl Popper is considered to be one of the most influential philosophers of the 20th century, and of course it is difficult, if not impossible to summarize his contributions in a few minutes (or a few lines). Where should you draw the line between the sciences and the pseudosciences? What characterizes scientific theories? In this edition we will have a look at the falsification principle which offers an answer to these questions.

In this edition of TOKTalk I will talk about Karl Poppers contributions to the philosophy of science. What makes a theory scientific and what is the principle of falsification? Listen to find out! Continue reading »

Tags: , , , , , , ,




What is the Observer Effect?


 

Lonely tree
Every measurement changes the object that we want to measure. This is called the Observer Effect. When we stick a thermometer into a glass of water to measure its temperature, then the thermometer will change the temperature of the water as well. Similar effects can be observed when measuring voltage or current in electrical circuits. Also in the social sciences we have a similar problem: people will not behave naturally when they feel that they are observed.

In this edition of TOK-TALK we will explore if it is in principle possible to measure anything accurately. How does a measurement change the value of that what you want to measure? Listen to find out!

Here in front of me, I have a cup of hot water, and over here we have a thermometer. Let’s put the thermometer into the glass, we have to wait a bit for the temperature reading to adjust. For our listeners, it’s a digital thermometer with a metallic probe. You use similar thermometers to measure the inside temperature of a cake to check if it is finished baking. Continue reading »

Tags: , , , , , , , ,




What is the Mpemba Effect?


 

A pathway
In this edition I would like to explain why hot water freezes faster than cold water, when put into the freezer. It is a very counter-intuitive observation, it’s a paradox. This is called the Mpemba Effect. The effect is named according to Tanzanian high-school student Erasto B. Mpemba who re-discovered the effect while making ice-cream, back in 1963. The Mpemba Effect is a nice example how the change of one variable, the temperature, can have unexpected side effects. Most people assume that the difference between a hot glass of water and a cold glass of water is only the temperature. But this is not the case. Just by heating the water we are introducing a range of other variables that have an unexpected effect on the outcome.

In this edition of TOK-Talk I would like to explain why hot water freezes faster than cold water, when put into the freezer. How is this possible? Listen to find out! Continue reading »

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,


General Info

Areas of Knowledge

Ways of Knowing

Miscellaneous

Assessment


RSS Feeds

Popular Tags

analytic | anatomy | anthropology | Areas of Knowledge | Arts | assumptions | axioms | beauty | belief | bias | categorical imperative | certainty | Columbus | communication | consequentialism | creatvity | culture | deontology | determinism | dignity | dilemmas | emotions | enlightenment | essay | Ethics | facts | falsification | frank | General TOK | graphs | Great Minds | guide | History | human | Internal Assessment | jokes | Kant | knowledge | knowledge issues | Language | life | linking | Logics | marking | math | Mathematics | morality | Mpemba | Ockham | opinions | paradigms | paradox | Perception | physicalism | Plato | poetry | Popper | positivism | pragmatism | predicatbility | Presentation | proofs | puzzle | reason | Reflections | relativism | religion | schlick | Science | sense perception | speeches | statistics | syllabus | ted | theorems | theories | tok | TOK Essay | Truth | utilitarianism | variables | Videos | vidoes | vienna circle | Ways of Knowing
No rational argument will have a rational effect on a man who does not want to adopt a rational attitude.

- Karl Popper -