Assess sociological explanations of science and ideology as a belief system.
Science has obviously had a massive impact on the world and some sociologists argue that science is a open belief while some sociologists argue that science is instead a closed belief system, resisting change.
A belief system is a set of beliefs and ideas that help people to make sense of an interpret the world, for example, Christianity believes that God created the world in seven days and their sacred text is the Bible that guides them on their daily lives. Science’s achievements in medicine have eradicated many once fatal diseases. Science and technology has revolutionised economic productivity and raised our standard of living to previously undreamt of heights. This success has led to a widespread faith in science – a belief that it can deliver the goods. However, this faith has been dimmed by the recognition that it can have adverse effects on the world such as pollution and global warming. It has created its own manufactured risks that increasingly threaten the planet.
According to Karl Popper, science is an open belief system where every scientists’s theories are open to scrutiny, criticism and testing by others. He argues that science is governed by the principle of falsificationism. That is, scientists set out to try and falsify existing theories, deliberately seeking evidence that would disprove them. If the evidence contradicts a theory and shows I to be false, theory can be discarded. In science, knowledge-claims live and die by science. Scientific knowledge is cumulative – it builds of the achievements of previous scientists to develop a greater and greater understanding about the world around us. However, no theory is to be taken as definitely true – there is always the possibility that someone will produce evidence to disprove it. For example, for centuries, it was held that the sun revolved around the earth until Copernicus demonstrated that this knowledge-claim was...