Critical Thinking: Common Sense & Everyday Life

Assignment 2: Concepts of Truth
Before 1972, scientists believed that the rings of Saturn were composed of gasses or dust; on tests, any student who claimed that Saturn’s rings were composed of solids was incorrect because the true answer was that the rings were a gas. Later scientific investigation has shown that the rings are, in fact, composed of solid matter. Did the truth change? Should these students retroactively be given credit? Which group of students originally knew the correct answer?
Similarly, in the 1950s and 1960s physicians knew that stress caused ulcers, although we now know that bacteria causes ulcers. What does this imply for our definition of the words truth and knowing?
Prepare a 3- to 5-paragraph response and submit it to the Discussion Area
Comment on the responses of two other students, promoting a discussion about preconceptions and any thoughts you may have after reading all responses.
Provide helpful critiques of the responses, analyzing the preconceptions regarding the relationship between truth and the knowledge that something is true. Provide your reaction or thoughts after reading the other students’ submissions.

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