8 Limitations of Science with Examples

Science is the knowledge of the universe and its principles based on facts and experimentation.

It has helped mankind to understand nature and explore it for benefits in healthcare, communication, food yield, and more.

However, it is also a fact that human problems have increased many folds with the advancement of science.

Today the number of diseases and the number of people with diseases is higher than in the past.

This indicates science also has limitations that are hard to overcome by scientists.

Limitations of Science

1) Science cannot look beyond physical experimental proof

  • Science relies on perception through the 5 sense organs. It requires perceivable proof through vision (physical change), odor, taste, touch, or noise.
  • But, there are many things science can’t be perceived, like death, and emotional reactions like love, anger, jealousy, and fear.

2) Tries to narrow down and not look in broad terms

  • Science always tries to narrow down things to smaller units to study and manage.
  • In doing so, it gets complete views of physical structure up to microscopic levels.
  • But many times, it loses focus that the entity is unique as a whole and not dependent on pieces.
  • For example, you might have heard of dermatologists, nephrologists, gastrologists, and neurologists. These are physicians who know more about one part of human anatomy and try to handle the diseases concerning that one part.
  • But if you notice, the whole of the human body is formed from a single cell called a zygote. So all the body systems are interlinked and need to be corrected as a whole. But the science of medicine aims for one system in narrow terms.

3) Analytical limitations

  • Many scientific studies rely on statistics.
  • These statistics rely on factors like probability, frequency, distribution, etc.
  • Though the results are reliable for large-scale usage, still, they are not applicable to the whole 100 % population.
  • A drug can pass clinical trials due to a lack of side effects or efficiency in the treatment of a disease.
  • But interestingly, there will still be side effects and a lack of efficiency in a certain number of people at any given point in time.

So, the scientific data have limitations that can’t be overcome.

Limitations of Science

4) Inadequate experimental methods or models

  • Experimental models are used to verify facts in science.
  • However, some experimental models are not a correct replica of the actual problem, which leads to vague study results.
  • For example, human anxiety and depression can be induced in animals to study drug effects.
  • This is because animals cannot think and get emotional like humans. So, medicines validated on them cannot be effective in humans.

5) No moral or ethical consideration

  • Science helps in the discovery of new products and concepts without moral considerations.
  • There are so many nuclear weapons in the world that can destroy the earth by 2000 times.
  • But scientists do not know how to neutralize or dismantle them safely.
  • Also, plastic development by polymer science is the cause of the huge amount of plastic accumulation. This leads to environmental pollution.
  • Similarly, there is an unprecedented effort in Artificial intelligence. Once discovered, it could lead to human society’s weakness and lack of ethics further.

6) It has associated problems

  • Many discoveries of science have some troublesome issues.
  • For example, the radiation effects of cell phones can lead to the disappearance of honey bees, sparrows, and health issues.
  • Side effects due to medicine usage in treatment for a certain disorder. These associated problems are equally harmful to the benefits they provide.

7) Follows a shortcut approach to problems

  • In health care, the body is treated in different systems like nephrology, neurology, etc.
  • But the same science discovered that a single male and female gamete forms a single-celled zygote.
  • This zygote is a single cell that multiplies to form the embryo and then forms the entire body with billions of cells.
  • So, all the cells have the same origin and exist in mutual harmony despite differences in their functions and locations in the body.
  • But, when a person has diabetes, science refers to it as a sickness of only pancreatic cells.
  • In reality, all the cells and organs might have got deranged to a certain extent.

So the aim should be to correct the whole problem and not just mitigate the malady of pancreatic cells alone.

8) Some theories of science fail.

Some of the principles of science that are accepted by the whole scientific world seem to not function at certain levels.

♦ For example, Newton’s law of gravity holds good only to a certain extent in the universe.

It is found that the law of gravity is not obeyed at certain higher levels of astrophysics in between large celestial bodies.

♦ Science believes in evolution theory, which means the first single-celled microbes were born, and then progressively higher animals came into existence.

  • But how does the malarial parasite, a single-celled organism that lives only in a mosquito, monkey, and man, emerge after initial protozoal evolution?

If it had emerged well before, along with other microbes, then how did it survive without mosquitoes, monkeys, and man on Earth?

9) It explains things in a finite way, while universal principles are infinite

  • Science works to imply a principle for everything, saying it is finite and there is nothing more than this.
  • But still, the universe is full of new surprises daily for science to explain.
  • At the end of the day, science still lags way behind in understanding universal creation and principles.

Frequently asked questions and answers

Which best describes the limits of science

The dependence on proof that can be accessed by current technology

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