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The Reality of Science

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The Reality of Science

Science is defined in the Merriam Webster dictionary as "an area of knowledge that is an object of study". What is the object of scientific study? Through an adherence to the rules prescribed by the scientific method, researchers and students of the various scientific fields search for truths, as defined by what can be proven to really exist; in short, they searching for what is real. It is the quest to define reality, for the purpose of mastering it; perhaps, to one day be able to manufacture reality in a vast warehouse in the likeness of the landscape-altering remnants that litter the hills and meadows of industrialized nations around the globe. Through extensive research, theorizing and endless testing, retesting, and further retesting, scientists seek the common goal of determining the reality composing an exhaustive array of materials.

Science, as we regard it today, was coaxed into consciousness by the ancient philosophers of Pre-Socratic fame. These legendary thinkers whiled away the days in deep contemplation regarding the nature and definition of reality. Out of the flames of the fire started by the investigations of Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, and others, a fork in the road arose along the journey in pursuit of reality.

Science is seldom seen as a branch of philosophy, yet to deny its association to philosophy would be to deny its own mother. Science has arisen from the epistemoligical branch of philosophy, that massive vine of the great oak tree that encompasses the pursuit of reality through the utilization of the five senses. This twisting, intertwining bough developed from the attempts by philosophers who sought to define reality through inspection, comparison, and logical deduction. Nothing is real but what can be felt, sensed, smelled, heard. This can be represented by the famed question "If a tree falls in the forest, but no one hears it, does it make a sound?" Philosophers in every school of thought continue to struggle with this question, which scientists have attempted to solve through methods of investigation. Still, the original question remains: Is a sound really a sound if it is not heard? If there are two people in the forest who both hear the tree fall, yet because of thier respective locations they perceive entirely different sounds, how do we decide which one is real? Can reality take on opposing characteristics? Can the same sound be at once muffled and booming?
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