What is it about theories in the human sciences and natural sciences that make them convincing? Everyday in life, theories and beliefs are endlessly questioned, doubted, re-experimented and put to the test. Religion, for example, has been subjected to millenniums of questions, disagreements and clashes that have led to bloody conflicts and persecutions. What can be seen from this little fact of history is that humans are the ones who question, disagree and clash over theories formed by one another.
Humans usually never disagree on the knowledge that is “scientifically proven”. We question the information that we claim, but not outside knowledge, and this is because of the way people perceive information, the language of knowledge, the roots and the reasoning behind the knowledge. We judge knowledge by credibility and occasionally by emotion; we determine to accept or reject it from the source it came from and the way we react to them. Theories in natural sciences have been especially convincing because it is what we are taught.
We are taught from a young age that men lie, women lie, but numbers do not, and we are indoctrinated this concept from a young age which instills a judgment in us to take what seems like convincing facts from outside sources, not humans, as knowledge and question the “facts” that are created by men or said by men. In the natural sciences, the only theories that could be unconvincing are the theories that deal with subject matters that are small or matters that could clash with religion and ethics.
In chemistry, the theories are less convincing because the scales of studies of these subject matters are so small. For example, we accept the Atomic Theory that states that matter is composed in discrete units called atoms, but no one knows for sure the existence of an atom or an electron. Virtually all of this knowledge is studied and accepted without ever witnessing atoms or electrons with the naked eye. We accept the knowledge because the scientists publishing these studies have noble degrees from distinguished universities, yet we never find the validity of these statements for ourselves.
If we had a mindset of argument ad ignorantiam, we would reject every theory because we were not sure of the validity; so to make life simple, we accept these theories as conventional and move on with our lives to get degrees. The fact that the teaching of natural sciences usually adheres to straight facts and figures limited to interpretation makes the knowledge in this area convincing. It is almost like a black and white field where something either is or is not.
For example, we generally do not question the process of meiosis and mitosis because we can perceive published photos of this theory with our eyes. The pictures, then, convince the population that the process of mitosis and meiosis does exist because pictures have surfaced from experiments, and the skeptics are silenced. People will not find this process out for themselves, because textbooks that are accepted as credible in society have already noted the process.
Natural sciences appeal to the logic and reasoning aspect of knowledge, which is acceptable to most people because it simply makes sense. We perceive the data, and we use a process called the scientific experiment to test out the theories before they are published to the public. The fact that most theories have been tested, or so we are told, tells us that it has happened before in the conventional world, and because of that, it has to be accepted as sound. Human sciences have generally been disputed over because of how open facts and figures are to interpretation.