TOK: The Way We Perceive The World Around Us

The Natural Sciences are known to create theories and then prove those theories as facts. With the very large community of scientists and researchers who are constantly challenging what we perceive as facts right now hoping to create new theories. However due to how many people rely on science to always show and distribute accurate research, sometimes these papers/theories can be inaccurate. An example of this would be the big news in the Physics world when a Neutrino was thought to have traveled faster than Light.  For a short period of time, this was accepted as a fact before many scientists around the world proved this theory to be wrong. I, myself believed this when the news came out as my favourite science is Physics. As shown through this example, many of us rely on the natural sciences to distribute what we think we know about the world, however, sometimes can be wrong as we all make mistakes.

Although another example of this that is completely different is the ideas and myths behind vaccinations. Many people believe that vaccinations are bad for their children, cause autism, stunt growth, and many more things which all have been proven false. The way these people have taken these theories as facts is because possibly one scientist published research on this which is enough for some people to take their theory as factual evidence. Nonetheless, a much larger majority of papers/research has also been released which proves that those myths are false. What confuses many people is that even though there are thousands of papers which prove this whole theory wrong, people still believe the one paper which supposedly proves that theory is a fact.

The way that we are wired to believe and rely on those who we think to know more about the subject is purely on how we want to see it. As humans, we are always drawn to arguments that expand our thinking but at the same time, we have a bias towards what we want to know.  Therefore we can never be truly “neutral” in terms of accepting new research as we are always drawn towards what we have known throughout our lives or what we believe is true despite the opposition.

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One thought on “TOK: The Way We Perceive The World Around Us

  • August 25, 2020 at 10:29 pm

    Thanks Niko for this post. Focusing on a single are of knowledge is a good idea, as it can allow you to explore it in more detail that looking at several. However, I wonder if you might have taken either vaccines, or neutrinos and looked in more detail. Why did you accept the neutrino issue when current theory say faster than light is impossible? What were the skeptics (there were some) saying? What was the role of reason, intuition, emotion, imagination?

    I think this post is fine, but you have not drawn on what you looked at in TOK last year. As such, you have not used the tools that would have helped.

    This is an area to think about in future posts 🙂

    A good start; thank you.


    In your first sentence you say “The Natural Sciences are known to create theories and then prove those theories as facts” is not quite right – remember that scientific theories are always provisional; there is always to possibility that more evidence will come fwd to show that the theory is incomplete or needs adjusting. I think you recognise this later on.


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