Theory of Knowledge – Pseudo Science Debate

Author: Cai Shi Hao

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Theory of Knowledge, as for how people named it, directs students to expand their creative thinking. In the first unit, we learned about natural sciences and examples of pseudoscience. While learning it, students are encouraged to persuade the entire class about how reliable one specific pseudoscience is, and provide evidence. Not only that, the students also have to be brave enough to speak for themselves, even if their ideas may seem quite strange to others. Because our students are influenced by different cultures and environments, everyone has their own unique ideas or perspectives on certain things. Therefore, we organized a pseudoscience debate. In a group of four, each group must pick a contestable science, and prove whether it’s reliable or unreliable with supporting evidence.

Prior to the debate, the teachers showed a list of contestable science, such as Creationism, Astrology, Acupuncture and more. These areas of science have been around for hundreds of years, and many people believe in them, thus they still exist in current days. However, because it lacks proper scientific research and has unpredictable percentages of successful real-life cases, some people say those contestable sciences are pseudosciences, and some say they are actual sciences. Now more and more people started challenging their ideas. That is exactly the same with our debate; students first pick their side, do research and collect evidence. Lastly, we present an intense debate to convince the opponents and audiences.

The debate was gone really well; all students managed to demonstrate their opinions and answered the questions from the audience. One interesting fact I found in this debate was that most of the group had the same idea that the contestable science is not an actual science because honestly some of the pseudosciences seem ridiculous from today’s perspective. However, instead of proving the pseudoscience is untrue, many students claimed that they think these pseudosciences still have too many unsolved mysteries, and people don’t really know how it works. The central idea is still beyond our understanding. Does that mean that pseudoscience is considered a science if those “unsolved mysteries” were solved? Well, at least we must solve it first since we can’t conclude it yet. But so far people have more reliable science they could rely on, and the innovation of science is processing while time is moving. Maybe in the future, people will able to prove that this pseudoscience area actually reliable sciences. They might replace the science which we believe in right now with some other new science. But by then, people will still debate about this situation. 

The diversity and innovation of science have never stopped.    

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