Last week I started studying for the GRE (Graduate Record Examination) with the hope of getting into grad school. I took a practice test the other day. I did okay overall, but I had a little trouble with the writing section. I love to express myself through writing, but I don’t do particularly well with pressurized, time oriented writing. It’s just not my style. I’m just going to have to get better at it. I must!
Here’s the practice prompt I used…
“Scientific theories, which most people consider as ‘fact,’ almost invariably prove to be inaccurate. Thus, one should look upon any information described as ‘factual’ with skepticism since it may well be proven false in the future.”
Write an essay in which you take a position on the statement above. In developing and supporting your viewpoint, consider ways in which the statement might or might not hold true.
Here’s what I wrote after 30 minutes (most of which were used in paralyzed thoughtlessness)…
Science and skepticism are relatable, interwoven entities. It was out of skepticism that science was born, thus any true science embraces skepticism.
Science is the foundation of thought trying to understand physical phenomena, trying to understand the world around us. It is an accumulation of theories and breakthroughs that build with ideas of past, present, and future. Galileo, Newton, Einstein – all scientists, all skeptics. They each in their own way questioned the world they inhabited. They each in their own way questioned the teachings of their predecessors. They each in their own way were truth seekers, using skepticism to light their path in the darkness of the unknown. They traveled through mental odysseys, and whether or not they found what they were looking for, their efforts have illuminated the path for others to walk down the road of truth.
And so anybody who endeavors to be a scientist, anybody who endeavors to find the facts regarding this world, must possess a certain amount of skepticism just like the great scientific minds of the past.