JSC Science Suggestion Question 2019-1. Science (from Latin scientia, meaning “knowledge”) is a systematic enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge in the form of testable explanations and predictions about the universe. In an older and closely related meaning, “science” also refers to a body of knowledge itself, of the type that can be rationally explained and reliably applied. A practitioner of science is known as a scientist.
JSC Science Suggestion Question 2019-1
Model Question No. 1
Since classical antiquity, science as a type of knowledge has been closely linked to philosophy. In the early modern period the words “science” and “philosophy of nature” were sometimes used interchangeably. By the 17th century, natural philosophy (which is today called “natural science”) was considered a separate branch of philosophy.
In modern usage, “science” most often refers to a way of pursuing knowledge, not only the knowledge itself. It is also often restricted to those branches of study that seek to explain the phenomena of the material universe. In the 17th and 18th centuries, scientists increasingly sought to formulate knowledge in terms of laws of nature such as Newton’s laws of motion.
And over the course of the 19th century, the word “science” became increasingly associated with the scientific method itself, as a disciplined way to study the natural world, including physics, chemistry, geology, and biology. It is in the 19th century also that the term scientist was created by the naturalist-theologian William Whewell to distinguish those who sought knowledge on nature from those who sought other types of knowledge.
However, “science” has also continued to be used in a broad sense denoting reliable, teachable knowledge about a topic, as in modern terms like library science or computer science. This is also reflected in the names of some areas of academic study such as “social science” or “political science”.
Science in a broad sense existed before the modern era and in many historical civilizations. Modern science is distinct in its approach and successful in its results, so it now defines what science is in the strictest sense of the term. Science in its original sense was a word for a type of knowledge, rather than a specialized word for the pursuit of such knowledge. In particular, it was the type of knowledge which people can communicate with each other and share. For example, knowledge about the working of natural things was gathered long before recorded history and led to the development of complex abstract thought.
This is shown by the construction of complex calendars, techniques for making poisonous plants edible, public works at the national scale, such as those which harnessed the floodplain of the Yangtse with reservoirs, dams, and dikes, and buildings such as the Pyramids. However, no consistent conscious distinction was made between knowledge of such things, which are true in every community, and other types of communal knowledge, such as mythologies and legal systems. Metallurgy was known in prehistory, and the Vinča culture was the earliest known producer of bronze-like alloys. It is thought that early experimentation with heating and mixing of substances over time developed into alchemy.
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