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Being a Good Biologist

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Being a Good Biologist

When we think about defining a good biologist, the origin of what is considered in culturally common thought of as 'good' science and our definition of what defines a 'biologist' will differ. A biologist can be often described as a scientist who studies living organisms and their relationship to their environment. When looking at being a good biologist, the gathering and evaluation of evidence is essential to the definition of a good scientist must posses. Whether or not one chooses to challenge the concept of evolution, a general acceptance of the scientific community, does not deny the possibility of being a good biologist.

Some would consider the statement 'Evolution is only a theory, it hasn't been proved' as fact. On the contrary, the lack of proof isn't a weakness and claiming infallibility for one's conclusions is a sign of hubris (Worf, Benjamin. 1940. Science & Linguistics). In this world, nothing has ever been rigorously proved. Often a scientist findings proposes an idea that may attack all cherished philosophical doctrines of what we know about science. Albert Einstien, popular among young scientists, was certainly not taken seriously as a 'good physicist' until the old scientist who rejected his theories had died (Sakimura, Jean. 1998. MCB41X Discussion). To Prove by using mathematical sense, is possible only if you have the luxury of defining the universe you operate in. A scientist should be able to evaluate, using a common definition, the fact based upon empirical evidence. The more and better evidence will certainly build a case to eventually assign a fact to it. Even then, we cannot be absolutely be 100% certain about this (Strahler, Arthur. 1987. Science and Earth History). For all the theories on Evolution proven to 99.999% certainty, it is certainly possible to still be a good biologist and not believe in evolution.

The variable in our definitions for a good biologist are often shaped by first hand personal knowledge and our basic foundation of understanding truths taught from what is known as fact. To the honest scientist, like the philosopher, will tell you that nothing whatever can be or has been proved with fully 100% certainty, not even that you or I exist, nor anyone except himself, since he might be dreaming the whole thing (Freeling. 1998. Lecture). Thus there exist no sharp line between speculation, hypothesis, theory, principle, and fact, but only a difference along a sliding scale, in the degree of probability of the idea. 'But in science, "theory" means "a statement of what are held to be the general laws, principles, or causes of something known or observed", as the Oxford English Dictionary defines it (Futuyama, Douglas. p. 15, Biology 5th Ed. 1989 Worth Publishers). When we say a thing is a fact, then, we only mean that its probability is an extremely high one: so high that we are not bothered by doubt about it. A good biologist should be able to recognize the possibility of flaws in his original thinking and the possibility of fact not being the absolute truth.

Defying the concept of irrefutably true fact occurs frequently through the process of good science. Science is a questioning process. 'A good scientist should always question his/her beliefs (Freeling. 1998. Lecture).' When Kepler questioned the role of the Earth as the center of the ...

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Keywords: being a good scientist, how to be a good biologist, good things about being a biologist, is being a biologist worth it, is being a biologist a good job, is becoming a biologist worth it, what are the pros and cons of being a biologist, is biologist a good career

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