Critical vs creative knowledge plan Essay

Words: 1606
Pages: 7

Alicia Schwarzenbach
TOK Essay
« Knowledge is generated through the interaction of critical and creative thinking. Evaluate this statement in History and one other are of knowledge.”

When discussing the concept of creativity and critical thinking in knowledge, one naturally associates critical thinking with science and thinks of art as a creative area of knowledge. However, I personally will argue the fact that one must use a combination of both creative and critical thinking in order to make a new discovery in any of the areas of knowledge, and I will be concentrating largely on natural sciences and history. In order to evaluate the knowledge statement “knowledge is generated through the interaction of critical and creative thinking” in relation to natural sciences and history, one must define the specific terms of the statement in relation to how they will be used for the purpose of this essay. Critical thinking is therefore the analysis of the outcome of a certain situation and coming up with an answer as to why that may have happened. Creative thinking can be defined as the development of new ideas that can be useful. To enhance my arguments, in relation to the interaction between critical and creative thinking in natural sciences and history, I will use real-life situations to show that these two things are necessary for all aspects of knowledge. Science is primarily about finding the answers to questions about nature and the earth that we don’t already know the answers to, and can therefore be said to exemplify the quest for knowledge. However, despite common misconception, scientific discoveries are not made solely by using reason and sense perception, but rather all scientific discoveries are made because of a certain degree of creativity, and by thinking outside the box. I like to describe the way that scientific discoveries come about as a cycle. Scientists believe a certain theory for a long time, and claim this to be fact, until someone thinks creatively about another possible answer to a problem that hasn’t been thought of before. For a while, this theory and the scientist are regarded as crazy, since it often goes against one’s natural train of thought; however, as more scientists critically analyse the new theory, people gradually start to agree with the new theory. Suddenly, the new theory is accepted as fact, and the old theory is regarded as crazy. Therefore, one must question where that creativity to come up with a new theory comes from, and I believe that it is often the simplest of ideas that can carry you out to the edges of scientific knowledge. Simply by asking oneself why something very simple happens, can lead to a lifetime of research and study into answering this. The concept that creativity is essential for scientific discovery is demonstrated by the idea that children and teenagers can make significant scientific discoveries without having a large basis of knowledge to go off when doing their research. They use the element of naivety because they enter a scientific field without any preconceptions about what may be possible or impossible, and therefore attempt to do things that haven’t been done before, by thinking outside the box, and by using faith to believe that it may be possible. I can relate to this personally, since I decided to create a booklet about sports nutrition for teenage athletes as part of a school project, something that I originally knew nothing about. It turned out to be much more complicated and difficult than I had ever imagined, because of the huge amount of controversy and debate in relation to nutrition. Noone at the moment can definitely state that eating carbohydrates 3 hours before a match is the ultimate form of energy, since other studies have disproved this. Therefore, I had to look at all the data that I was given, and come up with my own hypothesis about the correct nutrition to have. Despite the fact that my final conclusion may have been incorrect, I did