Sunday, October 08, 2006

My hardcore theory of knowledge essay.. lol

PRIOR READING: Don't ask how I did this, I just write it to pass my college... lol... If you asked my about all the theories of knowledge, what I can I say is; it's got to do with perception... lol...

Question 1

For some people science is the supreme form of all knowledge. Is this view reasonable or does it involve a misunderstanding of science or of knowledge?



SCHOOL CODE : 000592



The definition of the word “science” itself signifies a general perception for some people indicating that this is the most trusted and reliable area of knowledge. Today, it is inevitable that the influence of natural science exhibits the tremendous effects to the human life, diverging from the production of a single pen to the mass production of automobiles. These have a direct connection from what have happened in the few centuries, whereas natural sciences have been expanding progressively in recent decades. At the same time, others are still sceptical about the truth and reliability of this area of knowledge. They might observe and experience that sciences have failed to solve their problems or perhaps, bring more disasters. In this essay, we shall dive deep into the ocean of knowledge to seek the truth. In this case, the word “sciences” is actually indicating the whole perspective of natural sciences.

Natural sciences ranged from classical physics, biochemistry, quantum dynamics and also elementary particles; are originated from the nature itself or accurately from the tangible physical environment. Sciences will attempt to investigate the nature by implementing the cause-effect model. According to this general model, the phenomena that happen in the universe are describe in term of the specific cause of the phenomena and how they will affect other things. For example, the phenomenon can be common cases such as food poisoning due to micro organisms such as Escherichia coli (E. coli), one of the most dangerous agents of food-borne disease[1]. In this case, the bacterium E. coli, that is the cause of the symptom; will affect the victims by releasing toxin into the patient’s body. Thus, the scientific approach can be also regarded as empirical rather than based on the imaginary, hypothetical or conjectural approach. Therefore, most people actually trust and rely on the sciences compared to other aspects of knowledge.

Based on the results of the cause-effect study, scientists are able to predict what will happen next based on the theory. The scientific knowledge is inductively acquired from the methodology of science. According to this methodology, a scientist will firstly make a tentative attempt to gain something by normally establishing hypothesis. Then, he/she will conduct series of experiments and observations in order to verify the hypothesis. The results from the observations will lead to the conclusion that is also a proof from the experiment. Lastly, based on these series of methods, a theory can only be derived. Unlike mathematics, the theory derived from science involves inductive logic, rather than simple axiom than is proven deductively. Although the conclusions made from science are not absolute as mathematics do, it exhibits high level of accuracy, thus making it as one of the reliable sources of knowledge. For some people, this might be the reason why they can trust science because sciences deal directly into their physical life with better reliability and accuracy. Back to E. coli, thanks to the great researches by the scientists, this bacterium has been detected as the cause for many cases of food poisoning including other species of hazardous micro organism including bacteria such as Salmonella sp. and Shigella dysenteriae.[2] If science has not been developed very well in the pasts or perhaps, if there is no such thing as it; are we able predict the effects of these dangerous bacteria or others to the human life? Probably not.

When scientists have all the information, they can predict the events that will occur next. Based on the prediction, scientists are able to work on the solutions if the events will be risky to people and environment. Despite the fact that there is no exact solution for some cases, and yet they can devise preventive plans to stop these.

This includes the infection of the certain strains of bacterium E. coli, which is until today has no exact cure or vaccine. However, with the advance application of sciences, the presence of malicious bacterium can be detected accurately, efficient and very fast. According to Scientific American Inc, the new advance technology of nanotechnology is able to detect “even a single E. coli bacterium in a ground beef sample, with no amplification required”[3]. Therefore, people have built a good perception on sciences because the ability and achievement of natural sciences on granting human’s needs,

If there are people who simply think that sciences are the most perfect form of knowledge, they are wrong. It cannot be denied all the benefits brought by the vast development of many areas of sciences. However, the pure scientific methods sometimes are very limited and rigid when dealing with some aspects of human life. The methodology of science itself does not take into account the human’s behaviour and manner which is directly related to ethics and human sciences. Moreover, since sciences are not able to value the wonders of art, scientific perspective regarding a specific matter might be different from art. Sciences may mainly differ with these areas of knowledge in term of logic and reasoning. When dealing with sciences, we usually infer something using inductive reasoning and the result of the logic is always have a specific level of accuracy. Human sciences and ethics may use logic when interpreting a specific human-related matter but the outcome may be varied according to people’s perception. Once again, we must bear in mind that the natural sciences are not directly capable to explain the human behaviour. So, it may not be regarded as a supreme form of knowledge despite it is one of the most important knowledge to human. Only human sciences are capable to explain the human behaviour while ethics can value the ‘quality’ of the behaviour.

Ethics itself is, indeed, a sense of human conduct that is morally right or wrong. It is relative and subjective in nature according to some factors including cultural, religion, belief and values. Moreover, it is somehow related to the conscience, the internal sense that governs human’s thought and action, leading him/her to do morally good actions instead of wrong. However, sometimes, we might experience that it is difficult to know that our behaviour is ethical or unethical because ethics is relative based on of personal knowledge, culture, religion and authority. When it deals with ethics, one must follow the ethical principles or code of conduct and some of them exist as the law and regulation. Here, we can see apparently that natural science is very limited in this sense, and sometimes clash with the ethics. When scientists try to unveil the mystery of the natural physical environment, their actions might be contradict to the theories of conduct. For example, automation and the progressive development of new technologies including robotics and information technology are viewed as inevitable for most people. At the same time, the implementation of these technologies to the current system, including commerce, medicine and, art and entertainment; may results thousands of people will lose their jobs and affects human’s social life. For the sake of science, it is worth for these to happen? Common problems like this cannot be solved by science except ethics.

Moreover, application of science may sometimes contradict with the philosophy of religion and belief. Being in an Asian country with strong Islamic belief, I believe that sometimes, science alone is not capable to solve human problems and needs. Everything that come nevertheless from the perspective of natural, social sciences, or ethics must be consistent with the Islamic law, (Shari’ah) which is the law from the God for human, including all aspects of human life for the sake of the world and hereafter. Shari’ah mainly originated from the Holy Book, Koran and Sunnah, which are the practices and examples from Prophet Muhammad. When dealing with problems that are not directly stated in Koran, fiqh method is carried out by fair jurists. The jurists will view the problems according to the Koran and Sunnah perspective and thus, define and state the laws and regulations for the problems. Cloning issue perhaps is one of the most controversial issue regarding sciences and ethics. Islam, generally, does not ban the techniques of cloning except when it deals with human life. Nuclear transfer technique for reproductive reasons and therapeutic benefits for human is strictly prohibited based on the result from the Malaysian Shari’ah study panel.[4] According to this panel, human cloning is clearly invading the human true nature and the rights.[5] It will create destruction to the Islamic family institution, social problems and perhaps men is not need for production.[6] This is corresponding to the universal principles of ethics that is the rights to live. From this example, it is apparent that science is sometime too rigid in a sense that it cannot explain what can be explained by ethics and religion.

Finally, we get to the point that sciences are very important for human civilisation. Sciences help people in providing the needs, solve their daily problems and thus, enhance the quality of life. At the same time, sciences may be too rigid and limited to nature-related things because natural sciences is not capable to predict, solve or even define human behaviour and social problems. Thus, the idea that science is the supreme form of all knowledge might not be always true when all areas of knowledge are taken into account. Nevertheless, science cannot be regarded as one the most important knowledge for people to rely on because other areas of knowledge are important as well.

[1] Graham, Sarah. Nanoparticles Enable Speedy E. coli Detection, Scientific American, Inc, 12 October 2004, 27 October 2004,

[2] No author given. Microsoft ® Encarta ® Premium Suite 2005, USA, Microsoft Corporation, 1998-2004.

[3] Graham, Sarah. Nanoparticles Enable Speedy E. coli Detection, Scientific American, Inc, 12 October 2004, 27 October 2004,

[4] No author given. Isu Pengklonan Dari Sudut Syariah, Jabatan Kemajuan Islam Malaysia, 2003, 27 October 2004,

[5] ibid

[6] No author given. Isu Pengklonan Dari Sudut Syariah, Jabatan Kemajuan Islam Malaysia, 2003, 27 October 2004,

Digital camera 101? Is't?

Terima kasih kpd pengunjung2 sekalian. Today's post is about digital camera, just wanna share some facts, review, tips and tricks or whatsoever you name it, about digital photography. Once I was introduced to digital photography, like most people, I interested in photo resolution. Generally, I used to think that the higher photo resolution, the better image quality. Yes, this's indeed true, but there's many other major contributing factors that determined photo quality. (I'm not talking about photography techniques here, just merely my perception about photo image quality). Despite reading all the internet reviews and facts, I've also done some testing on my camera to test all the theories.

i'd better put this into points, just to make it clear.

Image Resolution

Like I said before, the higher, the better. Think of tiny dots that fill up a space. Assuming a contant density, wider space means that more dots can be put in it, or more information can be pack together. So, we can generally say that a 9M resolution can hold more information or photo details compared to 5M. Personally, 5M might be enough for average criteria for a normal 6"x4" photo printing or maybe up to A4 size. Here's some guidlines about this:


Maximum Printing Size

3M to 4M




8M - 9M


# If I’m not mistaken.

Image Sensor Processor

Currently, there are two main type of processor; CCD (charged coupled device) and CMOS (Complimentary metal oxide semiconductor). It’s a very wide subject, refer to Well, generally putting aside all the technical content, most high-ended camera generally used cmos processing rather than ccd. To some extend, I can deduce 2 main equations:

CCD = not high end camera = lower cost

CMOS = high ended camera = higher cost

However, the truth is I don’t know. I hope my next years in electrical, electronic engineering course will help me to understand more about this.

ISO Speed

Refering to Wiki’s, ISO speed is also known as the film speed or the measure image sensor sensitivity to light. Less ISO means lower light sensitivity, thus requiring more exposure. Generally, you can take more “static” photo using higher ISO. But, implementing quantum mechanics here (haha poyo, aku tak tahu pon), high ISO will produce more grainy image. From what I understand, it’s like light passing through tiny fringes. Some nodes will be packed with photons, while the antinodes won’t. (if I’m not mistaken as I left physics long time ago). Thus, using higher ISO might solve “washed-out photo”, but at the same time producing noises to the image.

Type of Digital Camera

There’s no yes or no for this, the type of digicam depends on your usage. For simple photography, you might want to choose compact digicam with most aoutomation, or better known as point-and-shoot camera. The operation is pretty intuitive; just point your camera for focusing and shoot to take that photo. However, as the name suggest, full automation might prevent you to shoot pics in difficult situations. Generally, it’s quite hard to well-exposed image for low-light condition or at night, especially using low ISO and less powerful flash EV. This can also make your images to be “washed-out,” in which the background will be less illuminated.

The most high-ended digital camera is DSLR type (digital single lens reflex). The construction of this type is entirely different that point-and-shoot camera, and definitely it’s not for novice and lost lots more. Personally, I couldn’t afford to buy DSLR although working in the summer might help me to get some money. But, I’m just too lazy. Lol… With DSLR, you can generally have higher ISO image, faster shutter speed, and better image quality.

There’re other non-SLR cameras which designed for semi-pro users, which offers extra features like high-zoom (telephoto) and manual controls like SLR. But, definitely these cameras won’t match SLR. I used to have Kodak Z740, a high-zoom camera. It might be quite hard to focus at telephoto range and lowlight conditions, but it’s has been a great camera for its price. Unluckily, it was stolen. Pretty bad aye…

Other factors

There’s lots of contributing factors, but what I’ve mention previous is more important (I believe). Yea, you know... things like memory type etc…

Maybe in my next post, I’ll show you some of my photos for ISO vs noise production comparison.

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Subscribe to Posts [Atom]