Believing Where We Cannot Prove Philosophy Essay


Science needs to be emphasized fully in this world. Without science we would be unable to see the advances in knowledge. Scientific theories need their validation by consequence observations. Philip Kitcher makes a dual task in this part of the paper. Philip Kitcher is the defender of the evolutionary science and also elaborates the characteristics of a good science. The psychology of science and scientific practice has very close relationship with the subject of the philosophy. He elaborates his points to show his opponents the reflection of their mistaken views.

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Creationists say that evolutionary biology is the only a theory and not the truth. But Kitcher has discounted this statement and points out that all scientific claims are fallible. Scientific claims are so authenticated and based on facts; therefore it becomes hard to deny these claims. A scientific theory is established from the new observations and the theory of evolutionary biology is not directly observable as all other sorts of theories. It is obvious that science cannot explain every thing fully and Philip Kitcher has insightfully pointed that science is not a boy of demonstrated truths. We can say that all of science is an exercise in believe that cannot be proved. Both scientific and theology seem to be shaky but science is more rational as it rests on those grounds other than faith.

Science has such degree of predictive power that helps us to solve problems, when it has ability to correct itself. These qualities in are not found in faith and it takes us away from the occurrence after they are happened. Imagine a situation when you are faced with a huge boulder in the middle of the desert and you have no idea about its occurrence there, because there are no other stones around it. The theological concept says that God has placed it there and it might be a sign for you. A scientific explanation suggests that rock was encased in a huge chunk of ice and the ice left this boulder there. The scientific explanation not only describes the process but also offers us the future references to similar problems. When scientific explanation does not rely on faith, it expands our knowledge of the world and makes us to know rationally the future events.

What are the characteristics of a successful science? One of its characteristic is the independent testability. A theory has predictions which are tested outside of the boundaries of related theory. The predictions made by the Newton about an unseen planet based upon the extraterrestrial motion are testable independently using the good optical technology. A good theory provides variety of related solutions. A good theory always provides profitable lines for the future investigations. In this evolutionary biology fits this scenario and is accounted as a successful science.

Some times we accept the statements of scientific theories as true. When we face that 4+4 = 8, it is hard to doubt on this. Later evidence cannot provide us reason that can change our minds about earlier evidences. Most conscious observer does not miss anything. We are sympathetic towards the cynic’s worries. We strive for the complete certainty that is rarely attained. If we miss these complaints and consider that conclusive reasons are enough to accept claims as true. So we must not include the scientific reasons among the principals of proof. In this way the fallibility becomes the hallmark of the science.

History of the science reveals that unreliability remains there and natural science is sprinkled with the corpses of theories. We know that the eighteenth century scientists believe that heat is found in a delicate liquefied form. Atomic theories say that water molecules are compounded from one hydrogen atom and one oxygen atom. Biochemists have found that proteins are the genetic materials. History has proven them wrong and it shows that they were justified.

Philosophers consider the theories as collection of claims or statements. These statements concentrate on the characteristics of these matters as gravitational force, atoms, force and genes etc. Truth about these statements can be achieved by the observations and these observational consequences prove to be true. However credential of theory are damaged when these observational consequence are not true.

"Creationist questions about the theory of evolution. Is it a pseudoscience? Is it a poor science? Or is it a great science? These are very important questions for the appropriateness of granting equal time to Creation "science" depends, in part, on whether it can be regarded as the equal of the theory of evolution (Philip Kitcher, p.50) ".

These questions are answered by the Philip Kitcher as he said that it is impossible to falsify or prove to be true the evolutionary theory by calculating the fossils record and evolutionary changes. However the Creationists rely upon the naïve theory to establish a relationship between their claims and theory to make their claims. We can prove that evolutionary theory is best than that of the creation theory when evolutionary theory is not proved.

Kitcher has accepted only those theories which have the three main characteristics like unity, fecundity and auxiliary hypothesis. Always a good theory consists of single problem solving plan and a family of problem resolving plan can be applied to more than one problems. A good theory makes way to lead us to look at new world; hence we can ask new questions and new flourishing science is not complete. Any time new question are raised and incompleteness is leads us a way to fecundity. Philip Kitcher looks always that good theories must be productive to answer the all questions. Finally a good theory must be based upon the auxiliary hypothesis which is independently testable to solve a particular problem as Neptune is independent of any anomalies in Uranus’s orbit. Kitcher has always defined that a good theory consists of observational consequences and irregularities found in orbit of Uranus; so falsification is the merely consequences of observation. Evolutionary biology contains the concept of the natural selection at the center of its heart. To get maximum benefits from the natural selection it is shaped in different ways so evolutionary theorists can also get maximum advantage.


In this paper we have discussed the detailed views of the Philip Kitcher about the evolution theory as well as creationist theory. Evolutionists use the testable techniques and a good science has predictions to solve the problems. We have seen the key examples where scientific functions are implemented to show the results. How does the fallibility becomes the hallmark of science is explained in this paper. Creationist’s views about the evolutionary theory are also part of this paper.