The Value of Imagination in Scientific Reasoning

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Since scientific discoveries are not made only on the basis of reality, imagination is an important component of scientific thought. Copernicus and Kepler's observation of the three laws that describe the course of the planets between 1609 and 1619 is a clear example. This discovery was made by more than just routine measurements. To reach their conclusions, the scientists had to use their imaginations. Copernicus, for example, pictured himself in the light, overlooking the planets, from a drawing he made as a child. On the other hand, Kepler’s curiosity and imagination of relating music intervals with the speeds of the planets can be said to be the starting point of his scientific reasoning and eventually the discovery.
Therefore, it is important to understand that scientific theories involve imagination and not simply collection of facts. This is evidenced by the ancient theory by the Epicureans that was based on facts to arrive at the conclusion that matter is made up of atoms. John Dalton brought change and gave life to this ancient theory through imagination. He fused the ancient theory as well as new facts of chemistry to come up with a coherent picture about atoms being built up by different kinds of atoms that can today be concluded as a true scientific theory. Scientific theories that have no sense of imagination are usually viewed as meaningless items because they add no value to other young scientists who have joined the field.
Imagination is what makes a scientific theory different and authentic, for instance Isaac Newton’s theory of gravitation. This is because, the concept that the apple must be drawn by gravity t the earth was a concept in existence before, however, he imagined and though about the extent to which this gravity would go and therefore wet ahead to calculate the force that would hold the moon from the earth, making it a new theory. In summary, imagination vital in scientific reasoning as it creates a sense of free creation and progressive advancement in the field of scientific discovery.

Works Cited

Bronowski, Jacob. The Nature of Human Reasoning. Harvard UP, 1956.

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