In learning, as well as knowledge development process, different people have varied viewpoints. Even on a single area of knowledge, every person has a fact that they believe to be true even though other people are free to debate on such facts. The different points of views are commonly referred to as the knowledge claims that result in an integrated process of both established and temporary factors that in the long run, shape the state of mind of an individual. When making personally relevant decisions on a certain topic, it is common to confront other peoples views with contradictory knowledge claims on the same subject.
A different application has the basis on certain truths and can be proven to be correct or wrong. On the other hand, it is distinct from a contradictory claim in that it corresponds to a logical inappropriateness of two thoughts. Based on qualitative analysis of history and natural science, I set out to justify that those contradictory assertions for all times engage a difference in perspective.
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In natural science, we study scientific subjects that relate to nature. Physical science is an area that has evolved and developed over the ages, making scientists hold different opinions in their field of study, leading to various theories as well as the development of different principles. In most cases, researchers with different knowledge claims also hold different opinions.
In physics, the classical physicists and modern scientists had divergent views over nature of electromagnetic radiations. The classical physicist dealt with the study of macroscopic objects. They developed equations to consider the force, impulse, momentum, and energy of macroscopic objects. In the twentieth century, the modern scientist developed a greater interest in things that were slight such as atoms, molecules, as well as elementary particles. With this in mind, we explore different perceptions that the two class of scientists hold and the results of their ideas.
One of the unique observations by the classical physicists was the wave nature of the light. On the contrary, modern scientists observed that light was a particle. What was the point of view of these two classes of scientists? For example, the classical physicists imagined a pellet of an element to have atoms (Lewis, 2014, p. 31). They went ahead to study properties of this unit of an element. On the other hand, modern physicists looked at the same element as having the same number of elements but studied the properties of a single atom out of the atoms. Their difference in perception resulted in different principles.
A photon of light exhibits both properties of particles. In this regard, a wave became the center of the puzzle. How can a wave be a particle? But our interest is the perceptions behind these ideas. According to the classical physicists, all electromagnetic waves have similar properties but only differ in their wavelengths. These scientists carried out experiments and showed that electromagnetic waves were waves. They also studied light and found it to have properties of an electromagnetic wave, and hence concluded that it was a wave. However, modern physicists considered different ways of producing light. They recognized electromagnetic nature of an atom. An atom can impulsively change the configuration of its electrons to emit light eventually. Therefore, it became possible to emit light from single atoms. According to Lewis, (2014, p. 30), scientists detected this view in the laboratory at a single instant and point in time in space respectively. If one atom would emit light after a particular configuration of its electrons, then a particle emits light when all its atoms emit light. The light emitted from the atom is a particle of light known as a photon because it was detected at one point in space and time by the detectors used. At this juncture, the different perceptions of scientists led to the question, how can light exist in two states that are not compatible? The class of experts with this thought finally reached to the conclusion that light has both properties. However, their speculation that waves could behave like particles and particle-like waves had a scientific basis known as the deBroglies relation.
The fact that electromagnetic radiations have similar properties but only differ in their wavelengths received a full acceptance by the scientists. Potylitsyn (2011, p. 15) carried out experiments and showed that electromagnetic radiations exhibited properties of waves. He also conducted experiments on light and found it to have properties of electromagnetic radiation. Having a similar perception Lewis, (2014, p. 30), set out to study the relationship between different Electromagnetic waves. However, his findings were unique and differed from those of Potylitsyn. He discovered that certain configurations of electrons emit light that was in the form of packets (photons). At this juncture, we see that similar perceptions of the two scientists led conflicting Knowledge
The history given by historians serves as a great monument to literary brilliance. The history works carry favor because, through them, historians share the culture and social experiences. As we continue to read the history sources, we benefit because they epitomize the past for their literary appeal. However, different historians have varied perspectives that lead to them making contradicting knowledge claims. The following are examples of contradictory knowledge claims in history.
After the second world war, there was a need to prevent another war from taking place. Different historians use different accounts to explore the efforts of various organizations to maintain the world peace. (Swanson, 2015) explained that the United Nations charter signed in the year 1945 after the occurrence of the second world war. It was clear that the league of nations had failed to achieve its goals. The abolishment of the aggressive methods to prevent war and the use of peaceful methods had failed. As a result, the United Nations was created with its charter providing the possibility to use a legal war to maintain peace (Swanson, 2015). The U.N. decided to allow the use of real war to deal with a wrong war, a method that so far has been a success in preventing a third world war. This argument brings out the idea that U.N. has been a success since its formation.
Hanhimaki & Westad (2004, p. 136) looks at the matter from a different perspective. Seventy years since the formation of the structure of the U.N., we still hear of war in many parts of the world. As a result, different nations have come together to form organizations that help to keep notorious countries in check. Such groups include the North Atlantic Treaty (NATO), which undermines the U.N Foundation in addition to contradicting its aims.
Hanhimaki & Westad (2004, p. 135) notes that articles 51 and 52 of the U.N. charter contradict Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty. For example, articles 51 and 52 of the U.N. were designed to cover up the real belligerent objectives of countries that work together such as NATO. Section 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty allows members to use military power to other countries without approval from the Security Council (Hanhimaki & Westad, 2004, p. 137). Why do the U.N. and NATO contradict in their objectives? To answer this puzzle, it is wise to look at the aims of the U.N. at its formation. U.N. had the goal to maintain peace in the world after the second World War. However, seventy years after its formation, there is still wars and conflicts all over the world. Countries are involved in the development of sophisticated weapons in the twenty-first century more than any other century. NATO came into existence with the goal of keeping notorious countries in check, but does not work in harmony with the U.N. Therefore, during its formation, the U.N. never considered the possibility of polarizing world power in the years to come. The cooperative security system envisioned during the formation of the U.N. never provided room for regional alliances to help in peacekeeping. It is, therefore, hard to merge the two organizations since there is no clear justification whether the U.N. treaty is a regional association or a collective self-defence body. In this regard, Hanhimaki & Westad brings out the idea that the U.N. has been a failure.
History also has different knowledge that shares similar perspective. A good example in history is the conflict between Israelis and the Palestinians. Historians feel that the conflict between the two communities results from land conflicts and not religious reasons. However, knowledge of the events before the conflicts vary for different historians.
Beinin & Hajjar (2014, p. 2) presents the actions by the British government together with the U.N. as the primary cause of the land conflicts in Palestine. After the decline of the Ottoman Empire, the British had the mandate to rule over the region. After the second world war, British gave the order to the newly formed U.N. to partition the land. U.N. gave 56% of the land to the Israelis and-and 43% to the Palestinians. The remaining 1% was the City of Jerusalem, which was to remain under the control of U.N. However before the Israelis entered the land, British left the land leaving the Arabs to attack them.
Curtis (2003, 10) blames the Americans for the conflict in the Middle East. The 1947-1948 decision by the American government to recognize Israel as an independent nation resulted in the conflict in the region. The pro-Zionist senators in the U.S. government significantly influenced the decision, which was against the interest of Arabs and the rest of the world.
In conclusion, individuals were created to think, comprehend and perceive differently. The variation is as a result of their different assertions. The two areas analyzed in this paper were history and natural science. Precisely, the analysis showed that in history and natural science, whenever there is a contradicting claim, there is a difference in perspective. In light of this argument, the findings of the study support its thesis statement.
Alson, H. H., 1989. The Women’s Peace Union and the Outlawry of War, 1921-1942. Second ed. New York: Syracuse University Press.
Hanhimaki, M. J. ; Westad, A. O., 2004. The Cold War: A History in Documents and Eyewitness Accounts. Second ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Lewis, L. R., 2014. The Unity of the Sciences in Unification Thought. Two ed. Washington D.C.: Lulu. Com.
Mettraux, G., 2008. Perspective on the Nuremberg Trial. First ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Swanson, D., 2015. Let’s Try Democracy. [Online]
Available at: http://davidswanson.org/node/4891
[Accessed 16 June 2016].