Understanding natural science as a social scientist

Even though I study social science, I’m still very much interested in natural science. For this reason, I like to read books on evolution theory by Dawkins. I often like to read about topics associated with this theory, so I don’t find his books hard to understand. However, I also wanted to know more about physics, so I decided to read A Brief History Of Time by Stephen Hawkings. I must say that I had trouble following Hawkings’ explanations.

Though, his book did teach me something outside of all the theories clarified by the author. As someone who studies social sciences, I often feel looked down upon by other fields of research. Psychology and sociology have really been working hard on their reputations and haven’t been around as long as natural sciences to prove themselves. Physics has this image that natural laws hold truth. We know the Earth is not flat, we know gravity is a thing, and we know molecules exist. Yet, social theories such as the Big Five are still met with reluctance.

But reading Hawkings’ book I realized that a myriad of natural science theories exist that we aren’t as confident in as the theory of gravity. What fascinated me even more is that opposing views exist in the natural science field! I was aware of the opposing views in regards to quantum physics, as it is relatively new. As researchers have used it to back up philosophical claims, such as free will and determinism.

Fortunately, I also gained a better understanding of Einstein’s relativity theory, blackholes, and some of the elementary particles. Although I had to do my best to grasp what the author was trying to explain, I did learn several new things. Even if your understanding of physics is whatever you learned in a physic’s class in high school, I do recommend this book. You do gain a better insight of how natural science works.

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