In think that our doubting is justified,

In life we come across knowledge that we rely heavily upon, ¨facts¨ that are supposed to help guide us to answer or our truth. This leads me to the knowledge question; does robust knowledge require both agreement and disagreement? What we understand from the knowledge question is that in order for us to have robust knowledge about anything we need  to explore both sides of an argument, so how do all the facts present look not only on one side but on both sides of an argument.  The keywords are “Robust” , “Consensus” and ” Disagreement”.  Knowledge can  be considered robust if it can survive continuous criticism, and the only way to test this is with disagreement of the knowledge. Disagreement is vital in process of refining knowledge and is often seen through the process of falsification by Karl Popper and what   scientists refer to as ” The scientific method”   in Natural sciences.

“Robust” is a value that has been placed on the knowledge that we discover and is referring to its practical uses or significance to us.  For example knowledge that everyone uses on an everyday basis can be assumed to be “robust” because of its value to us, so does the usefulness of the knowledge help determine if it is robust or not? . For instance the discoveries of quantum physics can be referred to as “robust” knowledge since its applications have lead to the information technology that is a key characteristic of our age, such as: phones, computers, lasers, etc. Quantum physics in the world of physics goes through loads of consensus and disagreement, but with no disagreement over its applications in our world, it is referred to as robust knowledge. In this example the usefulness does not determine if the knowledge is Robust, but it helps increase the consensus or disagreement of the knowledge making it more robust.

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If Knowledge is only robust if it can survive sustained criticism, then the only way to test for  robust knowledge is with disagreement. If it emerges with consensus  it can then be called robust knowledge otherwise it cannot be called  knowledge at all. “In order to determine whether there is anything we can know with 100 % certainty, we first have to doubt everything we know.” This is a theory made by René Descartes, a well known rationalist french  mathematician and philosopher. Such a radical doubt may not be seen as reasonable, and René Descartes is not implying that we should doubt everything we are told, but he does suggest, is that in order to know if there is some belief that cannot be doubted, we should momentarily pretend that everything we know is questionable. This pretence is a hypothetical doubt.

Descartes suggests there might be good arguments to think that our doubting is justified, and thus more than simply something we should pretend to do. These arguments can be split into two categories: those aimed against our sense of experiences and our supposition that we know how to distinguish between being dreaming and being awake, and then there are those aimed against our reasoning abilities. We cannot be sure that we can trust our reasoning abilities. Using  the AOK mathematics as an example. We cannot be sure that 5+2 = 7, that squares always have four sides, or that if X=Y and Y=Z, then would  X= Z, because by some high power, it is possible that we are being deceived into thinking such things when it is possible that the propositions and our judgments based on it may at the time seem obviously true might actually be completely false. Descartes, as a rationalist, thinks that the idea of God, or perfection and infinity, and knowledge of his own existence is innate and believes in people basing their opinions and actions on reason and knowledge rather than on religious belief or emotional response.If all robust knowledge requires consensus and disagreement then isn’t all knowledge robust?  If all robust knowledge needs to have consensus and disagreement to be present then all knowledge is robust and when all knowledge is robust then it’s just knowledge. Where there is consensus there is always disagreement.

If a piece of knowledge is only agreed upon then that would make it the truth and a fact  and you can’t agree or disagree with a fact. We can determine that knowledge is robust when the knowledge is dense through how useful, interconnected, predictive, teachable, measurable, falsifiable, and growing the knowledge is. Karl Popper is a Philosophy that in the early 1900s that noticed that not all natural science achievement were achieved equally.

In his book The Logic of Scientific Discovery (1959) he focuses on one major criterion for telling the difference between legit science and pseudoscience. This criterion is known as the  process of Falsification. “There can be no ultimate statements science: there can be no statements in science which can not be tested, and therefore no one which cannot in principle be refuted, by falsifying some of the conclusions which can be deduced from them.”By using Natural science as an AOK I am going to use Creationism and Darwin’s theory of evolution to present a clear case of how one’s side knowledge is more robust than the other.I am doing this because the knowledge from Creationism and Darwin’s theory can both be considered robust knowledge following the logic of the prescribed question “Robust knowledge requires both consensus and disagreement”.

So how we know which sides knowledge is more robust than the other?. First, we have to consider everything that evolutionary scientists have learned in the last 150 years. Their discoveries collaborate with new evidence from genetics, paleontology, game theory, and more.  If the creationists are right, we should be able to use genetic analysis to trace the races of humanity all the way back to Noah’s three sons and their respective wives. This would be confirmation of Noah’s flood and useful information for understanding the origin of  human race. But creationists are not putting much effort into trying to link human genetics to the Flood. Scientists have instead traced humanity’s genetic lineages back to our evolution in Africa about 200,000 years ago. The theory of evolution also proves itself by being useful to people other than evolutionary scientists.

People use evolution to understand the spread of viruses, the control of agricultural pests, and the nature of living things in general. If you ask a creationist why birds have feathers, the answer is that God created them that way. As new evidence comes in, it gives scientists new information to disagree about. For instance, consider the question of whether humans have evolved into five or more distinct “races,” or whether evolution has resulted in a single, basically homogeneous human race. Scientists are studying genes to find out, and in the meantime, there’s heated debate.

Creationists don’t debate each other. There’s a split between “new earth” and “old earth” creationists, but there’s no public debate over the issue. Old-earth creationists think the new-earthers are blind to science, and the new-earth creationists think that the old-earthers are blinded by Satan, but both factions work happily together on the “Intelligent Design” team. The amount of intellectual work being accomplished with the theory of evolution is much larger than that of creationist. So because of both sides knowledge can both sustain  some criticism and has both disagreement and consensus,  following the logic of the prescribed question “Robust knowledge requires both consensus and disagreement” then both sides knowledge can be considered robust knowledge. But to determine just how robust it is we have to look at how how useful, interconnected, predictive, teachable and measurable the knowledge is to us.

So in conclusion i would consider the statement that “Robust knowledge requires both consensus and disagreement” to be false because all of our knowledge has both both consensus and disagreement. So to determine if the knowledge is robust or not we have to also look at how useful the knowledge is instead of disagreement and consensus. This way we can also see how robust the knowledge is.

knowledge about the theory of evolution can be considered to be more robust than the knowledge about creationism. It can be considered more robust because of it ability to sustain criticism and be applied to obtain more knowledge. In the theory of evolution, evolutionary scientist  have tried to disprove its theory through genetic and ect, testing the robustness of their knowledge.

When the knowledge couldn’t be refined it then  ended up refining its knowledge making it more robust and useful for our society.


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