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What is the scientific picture of the world?


People tend to ask themselves "unnecessary" questions. For example, how does our world work?

In ancient times, myths were created to answer this question. In myths, answers to complex questions about the structure of the universe were given in the form of understandable images. For example, each element was assigned a god who commanded it. These gods were very often humanoid. And they behaved like people: they quarreled, reconciled, envied each other, got married and got married. The most famous example of a mythological picture of the world is ancient Greek myths.

The mythological picture of the world is good in its own way. She is accessible, beautiful and funny. True, the predictive ability of such a picture is zero. If it comes down to the desire or unwillingness of the gods, the only way to achieve your goal is to appease the respective god with no small sacrifice.

Over time, mankind has accumulated experience in various fields. This experience should be passed on to the next generations. Therefore, already in the days of ancient Greece, the question arose of how to streamline the accumulated knowledge.

If we compare human consciousness with a warehouse, and knowledge with boxes, then the easiest way is to fold the boxes without any order, and let them lie. Who needs to understand. It is clear that this method is bad. It’s best to store the boxes in a specific order so they’re easier to find and nothing gets lost. Such a picture of the world, ordered in accordance with firmly established principles, is commonly called scientific.

Since the Greeks have long been interested in questions of the world order, they were the first to formulate scientific principles. A great merit in building the first scientific picture of the world belongs to Aristotle (384 BC – 322 BC). Aristotle discovered the rules of logical thinking and arranged the knowledge known by his time in accordance with these rules. The scientific picture of the world, the beginning of which was laid by Aristotle, existed for almost one and a half thousand years. The rules of logic underlying it made it objective. Even after the death of Aristotle, other scientists and philosophers were able to develop the scientific picture of the world. Returning to the warehouse analogy, we can say that Aristotle built a rack and indicated how to place existing and new boxes on its shelves. In addition, he gave a drawing, according to which it became possible to complete the construction of new racks,

Such a need has arisen. The rules of logic allowed drawing conclusions. As a result, the scientific picture of the world received predictive power. The ability to acquire new knowledge on the basis of existing ones has made the scientific picture of the world self-sufficient and developing. This is how science appeared as a separate branch of social activity and as one of the foundations of civilization.

In some areas of science, the process of obtaining new knowledge was faster than in others. Thanks to this, in the 16-17 centuries, a scientific physical picture of the world was formed. Its formation is associated with the name of I. Newton (1642 – 1727). Improved logic and mathematics were put in the basis of the scientific physical picture of the world. In addition, in addition to predictability, they began to require reproducibility from the scientific picture of the world. Thanks to the application of mathematical methods, the natural sciences began to develop rapidly: physics and chemistry. The scientific picture in the field of biology began to take shape thanks to the work of Carl Linnaeus (1707-1778). He created a unified classification system for the flora and fauna, thanks to which it became possible to streamline the knowledge accumulated by that time in the field of wildlife.

At present, the following requirements are imposed on the scientific picture of the world: consistency, evidence, predictive ability, reproducibility of results. Some of the existing fields of knowledge (eg astrophysics, history, sociology) do not meet these criteria. This testifies not so much to the “inferiority" of these sciences, but to the need to develop the existing concept of the scientific picture of the world.

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