The new evidence arising against an existing theory

The quality of knowledge produced by an academic discipline is directly proportional to the duration of historical development of that discipline.” Explore this claim with reference to two disciplines.Each discipline has gone through its own set of developments throughout its existence. The duration of a discipline’s existence can give rise to several developments and changes in that particular field. But to what extent can we investigate the correlation between the quality of knowledge and the developments and progress in a discipline. According to the prescribed title, we are investigating “knowledge” in a discipline as a qualitative variable which is affected by the “direct proportion of the development” in that discipline which has to be considered as a quantitative variable in terms of time. As we explore the “direct proportionality” between these two variables, we would infer that the quality of knowledge production would progress in a linear manner.The “quality” of knowledge can be measured through various criteria such as information accuracy and relevance. The accuracy of knowledge refers to being close to the truth or fact, resulting from due diligence and care taken to ensure a precision by continually comparing several measurements from the same or various sources. Relevance refers to knowledge being appropriate for a given situation, or meaningful in the context of the social or cultural framework.To understand how the quality of knowledge progresses over time, we need to see to what extent can the development in methodology in a discipline affects the quality of knowledge? In the methodology used in Natural Sciences, knowledge is derived from observations and experiments. The scientist devises a hypothesis to explain a particular phenomenon and performs experiments to collect evidence to prove or disprove the hypothesis. The results are then analysed and the hypothesis is accepted or altered to eventually formulate a theory. This concrete methodology which prioritizes empirical evidence ensures the accuracy of the knowledge produced is consistent. However, over time the possibility of new evidence arising against an existing theory can result in that theory being replaced to maintain the accuracy of knowledge. The discipline of Medicine also incorporates the scientific method in knowledge production which has existed for more than a thousand years,  has provided sufficient time for developments and progressions to occur in the field. Here we see the examples of “superseded theories”, which are theories that were once widely accepted but were replaced by a better theory over time. An example of this can be seen in the discipline of Medicine under the AOK of Human Sciences and Natural Sciences, with the evolution of heart transplants. For much of our history, the majority of people, including medical practitioners, considered the human heart as the most sacrosanct organ of the human body, and the notion that a malfunctioning heart could be replaced by the heart of an animal or another human was unthinkable. However, with successive advancements in the field of medicine, heart transplants have now become a routine procedure. These advancements have been brought about by the progressive knowledge in conducting surgery as well as in the development of immunosuppressants and anti-rejection drugs. This example supports the claim that development in methodology in the discipline can affect the quality of knowledge produced.However, in some cases we that the duration is not a primary factor that correlates with the developments in knowledge in a discipline, which in turn affects the quality of knowledge in the development. The Ebola epidemic which started in 2013 initiated a worldwide effort to tackle this global crisis with expedited research and experimentation in the issue. Clinical trials were conducted a large-scale solely based on the hypotheses constructed by experts in the particular discipline. Here, we see the application of a modified scientific method  From this example, we see how in short span of time, the desperate need for a cure for the disease that can have a global impact influenced accelerated research and knowledge production leading to increased quality in the discipline of Medicine, providing evidence that the duration historical development does not have to be directly proportionate to the quality of knowledge. Knowledge production in disciplines similar to Medicine that fall into the AOK of Natural Sciences is always subjected to revision and question since any concept or theory cannot be proven to be true forever. In light of new evidence over time, these concepts or theories can be modified or altered to accommodate new knowledge or be entirely rejected and replaced by the new concept.  It can also be beneficial to understand the relationship between the quality of knowledge and the quantity of knowledge as in some cases the classic adage of “the greater the quantity, the lower the quality” can serve to be true.  But we should investigate to what extent the quality of knowledge in a discipline progress linearly in order to further explore the relationship between the correlated variables of quality of knowledge and duration of historical development. In the discipline of Psychology, we can see the example of knowledge not progressing in a linear manner as there have been several paradigm shifts throughout the historical development in the discipline. Paradigm shifts can be defined as major shifts or changes in the core concepts of a discipline. The various paradigms transitions that the discipline of psychology has experienced over the development of the discipline include Psychoanalytic, Behaviourist, Cognitive and Neurobiological. This transition from each paradigm has occurred in the discipline to accommodate new perspectives, methodology and concepts that had not been considered before. For example, the transition from the psychoanalytic paradigm to the behaviourist paradigm had occurred to integrate the scientific method in explaining behaviour. Similarly, the transition from behaviourist paradigm to the cognitive paradigm occurred in order to integrate emotional variables while studying cognitive factors. From this example, we can see that as paradigm shifts take place in a discipline the quality of knowledge arguably gets better in terms of accuracy but would disrupt the linear progression of the quantity of knowledge in a discipline. After each paradigm shift, the transition stage can adversely affect the validity of pre-existing concepts and since new concepts have to be clearly established through research and evidence, thus affecting the manner in which knowledge progresses.