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"Information described as 'factual' - skepticism" - GRE Analytical Writing


silentwf 2 / 4  
Feb 19, 2011   #1
The question comes from a practice test. Here's the prompt:

"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 my Response::

Although many scientific theories exist today - and many believe them to be true - there are many cases in which this is not the case. From the start, a theory does not in any way imply that what it says is true. A theory exists only to attempt to explain a phenomenon through numerous experiments. However, even if tens of thousands of experiments prove the theory to be true, it takes just one experiment to falsify the theory. Therefore, one should look upon theories with some degree of skepticism.

Sir Isaac Newton developed a very famous equation that many people are familiar with. This equation states that force is equal to the product of mass and acceleration. This equation was regarded to be true for many centuries. However, when Einstein's theory of relativity was developed, scientists and engineers had account for the affects that relativity had on Newton's equation. If even such a famous equation, which stood for centuries, was proven to be inaccurate, how many more are there?

Even a more queer phenomenon would be quantum physics. Many theories in quantum physics do explain some phenomena, yet there are cases in which their mathematical models contradict one another. Neil Bohr stated that matter had wavelengths, and when scientists formulated an experiment, it proved Neil Bohr was right. In the experiment, scientists projected beams of electrons through two thin slits. The electrons would diffract as light would, which proved the wave nature of electrons. However, when scientists tried to observe how the electrons were traveling, the electrons behaved like matter, thus no diffraction was observed.

There are many, many things that science currently does not offer an explanation for. For example, what is mass? Why is gravity much weaker than the other three fundamental forces? As scientists explore more and more, they would definitely prove more and more previous theories wrong. Thus, as a responsible learner, one should keep skepticism and an open mind when coming across theories.
Sifan 2 / 2  
Feb 20, 2011   #2
Hey! This is a very good essay. Just a few suggestions:

"and many people believe they are true", and then period. Start a new sentence for "there are many cases..."

"this theoryit is regarded to be true"
"scientists...had to account"
I'm confused with "how many more are there"

"even a more"

You certainly know a lot about science!
OP silentwf 2 / 4  
Feb 23, 2011   #3
Hey Sifan,
thank you for your comment! made the essay flow better
when i said "how many more are there" i meant "how many more theories out there that are ready to be proven inaccurate"?

thanks though!!
EF_Susan - / 2,364 12  
Feb 27, 2011   #4
"how many more theories out there that are ready to be proven inaccurate"?

How many more theories out there are ready to be proven inaccurate?

If you use the same word in 2 different ways in a sentence, it is confusing. In the first sentence, you did that twice:
Although many scientific theories exist today - and many people often believe them to be true - there are also cases in which this is not the case theory is based on misconception.

Even a more An even queerer phenomenon would be quantum physics.

This essay is very impressive; you could not have written it without a lot of scientific knowledge.
:-)


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