Natural Law: Analysis Of Scientific Laws And Theories
When one observes a specific observation in the world, this can be boiled down to a scientific law. These scientific laws do not supply explanations for why these phenomena happens or why it even occurs in our world, they just state the event that is, in fact, occurring. For instance, Newton’s Law of Universal Gravity is the idea that every particle that exists attracts other particles throughout our world and even the entire universe with specific forces (Redd, Nola). The law does not provide an explanation as to why this occurs, for it is just known to exist for some reason. One of the very first things done when a law is being discovered is test it. This not only determines whether it is valid or not, but it determines where and when precisely it is valid. Laws can be viewed at as mere evaluations to our worldly day to day phenomena. With the laws regarding universal gravity, it just observes the worldly phenomena that occurs in that specific event. Yes, the law does accurately evaluate how two separate bodies within a system interact, nonetheless the specific law does not provide an explanation for the concept of gravity and how it precisely interacts (Redd, Nola). Gravity was not fully explained until “three centuries later when Albert Einstein developed the Theory of Relativity” (Bradford, Alina). Regardless of the lack of knowledge of universal gravity, Newton observed the law regarding it, thus it is still called Newton’s Laws. Whether or not he could explain what was happening did not matter. Theories are not laws; and the laws that are created are just mere observations. Since gravity is a theory, the question asked would be “why does this ball fall right to the floor when it is tossed?”. If gravity was looked at as just a law, then it would just state “this ball falls to the floor when it is tossed”.
This can be seen again with Mendel’s Law of Independent Assortment. Gregor Mendel’s law observes how different traits are transferred down to a set of offspring from two parents. This was done with a physical experiment that Mendel ran with pea plants. By breeding and crossbreeding these pea plants, he discovered a trend regarding the outcomes of the plants (Khan Academy). Some plants had rough seeds while others had smooth seeds. Some flowers were purple while other flowers were white (Khan Academy). Regardless of the knowledge behind this discovery, Gregor Mendel still came up with the law regarding the independent assortment of genes and the way these genes are expressed. The law does not describe the process of the law or why this genetic pattern occurs the way it does, for it just describes that it somehow and someway occurs. When Gregor Mendel came up with his Law of Independent Assortment, he did not know what chromosomes or even DNA were (Bradford, Alina). He only observed is own work and came up with the law due to his own research. Even though DNA was not discovered for another century, Mendel’s law is still accepted on a universal scale along with the explanation regarding DNA.
Going deeper into laws, there is an issue when the law crosses the line into a theory. These explanations for the laws are the in-depth proposals and clarifications to the ideas that are created or observed and put in place as laws. There is a huge contrast between these broader laws and these specific theories that is very crucial to take into account. Laws are created as concept of an examination regarding a connection between multiple objects that have a specific relationship together in our world. These laws can stem from specific facts and even be tested. A misunderstanding that is highly common is that natural laws need to have theories to back them up (Bradford, Alina). This is known to be false as this was not the case with both Newton and Mendel. Both of their laws at the time did not have theories to further explain what they examined and viewed. A scientific law can be discovered and created with only these observations.
This brings us to the question, “can laws change or have exceptions?”. Even though an idea or observation can become a law, does this mean that it can never change? When one person discovers a phenomenon and a scientific law comes about, is it concrete? Is there ever any exceptions for scientific laws?
The entire point of the sciences around us is to provide an explanation to the world and to grasp an understanding of scientific discoveries and phenomenons. If scientific laws are concrete, then there would be no potential reason to do any further research our scientific fields. By believing that scientific laws cannot be changed, then at some point there would be nothing else to learn about the world around us. This is not true for there is a never ending amount of knowledge one can obtain from our world. Without digging deeper into science and our world, then what would the point be to discover anything else new in the world? There is always new discoveries happening on a daily basis. As a result, the natural laws of the world are bound to change or have exceptions at some point.
Previously mentioned was the Newton’s Law of Universal Gravity and how it is one of the most known scientific laws. If it was believed to be concrete, then exceptions in the law possibly would not have been found. This natural law does have exceptions when looking at the sub-atomic level. Newton’s second law is no longer a good estimate for reality for very small systems, such as atoms, where the quantum mechanical effects of the world become noteworthy. In addition, Newton’s second laws also do not fully coincide with very large systems where the effects of general relativity become remarkable (Redd, Nola). This can also be seen again with Mendel’s Law of Independent Assortment. Mendel’s laws tend to break down when traits are “linked” together on chromosomes. Further research done with inheritance and genes actually questions how genetics actually works (Khan Academy). For instance, certain plants actually keep the genetic codes of ancestors to use when there are some mutations from their parents. With this discovery, questions arise regarding human genetics and how this may affect us humans. If more discoveries like this are made, then Mendel’s Law of Independent Assortment can have multiple flaws within it. When a law is continually tested, there eventually will be examinations that will tweak these laws. With this being said, natural laws can have exceptions since knowledge and new discoveries are endless.
This is precisely how science works though. Laws are just idealized ideas to the real world and how its phenomenons work. These laws have boundaries, but these boundaries can be pushed in the right circumstances. These scientific laws are meant to be tested when we find them too constricted, and thus we eventually create better descriptions of them. Without this process, then new discoveries cannot be made. The process of pushing boundaries and finding new outcomes and discoveries is precisely why and how humankind advanced. If no questions were asked and boundaries within the scientific world were not pushed, then we may not have the advancements we have today. The natural laws of the world will always have exceptions when looking at them deeper. These laws can be changed and fixed to be more accurate. As time goes on, the way we view our world and the phenomenons around us will change and alter as humanity goes on. There is nothing wrong with correcting these laws, for these discoveries are very important for furthering our knowledge. The natural laws that we deal with everyday can have slight inconsistencies, and regardless of this, they are still deemed as natural laws.