The Nature and Limitations of Scientific Enquiry

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The practice of science should always be undertaken with precautions to guard against against one's own prejudices. In scientific inquiry, the search for an absolute, objective truth is not obtainable since the interpretation of empirical data is based on factors more that the data itself: science relies on shaping principles which are as varied as there are scientists. This means that two scientists looking at the same data are likely to come up with different theories based on the philosophical, personal or even societal non-empirical inclinations which determine how they interpret data. It is, therefore, better to view science as progressive discourse that must constantly question the so called ‘authoritative texts and works.’ Rather than idealize science as the ultimate source of knowledge, it is important for scholars to recognize the limitations of scientific inquiry, and seek to acknowledge and address them. Still, science has provided many solutions and benefits to humanity despite the limitations.

To what the extent can scholars rely on science and what happens when science is not able to answer all questions? Given that all questions of life cannot be answered scientifically and that the scientific process is itself laced with the scientists’ human presuppositions, scholars and humans in general must turn to another source of truth and knowledge. This is where a biblical worldview becomes the best way to explain what science has been unable to.

This reading report begins with a discussion of key tenets of science followed by a discussion of some misconceptions about science. It then concludes with a look at science in relation to religion, feminism, post modernism and African cultural worldview. The main thrust of ...

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