Throughout the scientific and historical field may congregate and

Throughout the multitude of centuries that humans have thrived on Earth, we as a species have incessantly pondered upon the various aspects of life. Our intimate interactions with the physical world and it’s intricate peculiarities leading to the formation of the natural sciences such as biology, in addition to the process of garnering evidence to explain our ancestral periods thereby creating the field of history. A common thread between these seemingly distinct disciplines is the fact that an abundance of knowledge, both significant as well as substandard, has been manifested in each of them for a prolonged amount of time. This led me to question whether our understanding and perceptions of the quality of knowledge in different disciplines changes over time or if they remain the same. Subsequently, it is debatable whether it is right to assume that long-standing knowledge implies certain validity and reliability that is unparalleled to newly founded knowledge. These are some of the knowledge issues that will be analysed in depth in my essay by comparing and contrasting the progress of the aims and methodologies of biology in natural sciences and history over a vast timeline.Historical development is a specific term that is used in the title which in this context means the creation or evolution of knowledge throughout the past years that mankind has studied various disciplines. Naturally we may question what quality knowledge even is, and whether it is possible to quantify it. In general, the ‘quality’ of knowledge produced is vastly dependent on the accuracy of the instruments, technology of the time and the data available to test the existing or prevailing theories. For example, in biology the “quality of knowledge” could refer to how accurate the knowledge is to real life. Since a lot of processes in biology are represented by models, the accuracy of the models to reality could change over time, usually for the benefit of the discipline, and therefore the quality of knowledge increases as well.In Biology, ‘scientific knowledge’ may be delineated as information that has been found to be valid through empirical evidence and rational deduction such as the scientific method, and has not yet been disproved. By tradition and practice, biologists have used reason, evidence, and empiricism to build the foundation for knowledge, as compared to History which is dependant on using reason, language, intuition and sense perception for putting together evidences garnered from various artifacts and scriptures and making analytical sense of it through extrapolation of data. They have similarities as both involve inductive and deductive reasoning skills to provide detailed evidence to support the theories made. With the passage of time, a collection of experts in the scientific and historical field may congregate and either arrive at similar findings to support the theory along with additional reasoning to provide a sense of soundness in the theory, or develop contradictory evidence and completely barrages it, which leads to further advancement in validity of knowledge in the field.When pondering upon the title, I wondered about the characteristics of the methods by which knowledge is produced. In particular, how long it has taken for us to produce knowledge, and in what manner we arrived at its origin. The question that arose through this contemplation was debating over which knowledge possesses greater relevance and accuracy, that which is gained by a new methodology that relies on advancements in other fields or that which is obtained from multiple sources over a long duration of time.Recent improvements of technology such as systems that allow us to interpret and model various scenarios have tremendously accelerated the pace at which knowledge is gained, as well as improving the accuracy and hence reliability of this knowledge. An instance of historical relevance where this is noticed is when historians discovered new information about the predatorial lifestyle of the infamous Tyrannosaurus Rex. Many movies such as Jurassic Park and other seemingly fictional mediums such as story books portray the T-Rex as this large, formidable beast of tremendous pace that ruthlessly chases its prey to feed itself. Nonetheless the T-Rex is a humongous creature of an enormous weight and this fact, which was modelled using computer simulations, lead to the conclusion that the creature could not have travelled at speeds above 20 km/h, slower than man made automobiles! This is because if it moved from a brisk walk to a sprint, the dinosaur’s legs would have snapped under the weight of its body, especially once skeletal and muscular strength is factored in. Although fossil footprints already indicated that the dinosaur was not as agile as its Hollywood image suggested, this was further established with the use of computer models. According to historians and scientists, as it grows up, the T-Rex would get larger and slower and it is expected to see a change in its hunting behaviour. Hence we see that advancements in technology over time aids the production of relevant knowledge in history, which otherwise would have been speculative and inaccurate due to problems such as generalisation (forming general conclusions from just a few facts or pieces of evidence), myth building and eurocentrism, all factors which makes the discipline of history less credible.On the other hand, due to the discipline of history being affected by evidence gathered from various sources under varying scenarios in the past, it is possible that the manifested  knowledge has elements of bias. As Winston Churchill once said ‘History is written by the victors’ which implies that in history usually a one sided perspective is noted leading to myths and rumours being spread rather than the facts, thus diminishing the reliability and accuracy of knowledge produced. An example of this is Eurocentrism, which is when the past is observed from a purely European point of view. Eurocentric histories, in the attempt to justify conquest and colonisation, have dominated the historiography and historical understanding through ignorance, downplaying and disregarding of the stories, contributions and achievements of non-European people by presenting a narrow and skewed account of the past. This is worsened by the fact that non-historians are often more interested in the value and meaning of a story than its historical accuracy. Over time, myths and stories have become accepted as historical fact, simply because they sound appealing or fit into a particular narrative. Many myths have come to be repeated generations down, which lends them undeserved credibility, however most historians are aware of these myths and either ignore them or declare them as either apocryphal. While these distortions are not usually the work of historians, they tend to create a popular but misleading narrative of historical events like the American Revolution. Over time, the possession of accessible data combined with advancements in biotechnology of computing algorithms and analysis, provides opportunities to acquire and produce knowledge that is both accurate and objective, which leads to the production of quality knowledge. One major example of this phenomenon is the growing field of Genetic Engineering (GE). In recent years we have seen larger, more bountiful harvests from crops such as corn and soy, even fruits such as apples which are made to taste better, grow larger and last longer without losing their quality. This human intervention in the life cycle of flora seems to offer a radical contradiction to Darwin’s theory of evolution (1859), specifically the notion of natural selection. Darwin wrote that natural selection acts to preserve and accumulate minor advantageous genetic mutations meaning that only the fittest would be able to survive and adapt to their surroundings, hence avoiding extinction. However in recent years, with growing advancements in GE, crops such as corn that need warmth and long sun filled days, can be grown in harsh environments such as cold winters, in a lab. This makes generations of corn grown in these conditions adapt to these environmental changes, thus making it advantageous for farmers to gross higher yields during harvest. Without the progress of technology over the duration of historical development of biology, this betterment of quality knowledge in biology would not have been possible, hinting that the proportionality of quality of knowledge and duration of development of a discipline may be present.”The complexities of cause and effect defy analysis” (Douglas Adams) perfectly analyses that for two things to be directly proportional, multiple criterion must fit exactly into place, otherwise this proportionality cannot be observed and an incorrect distinction between correlation and causation will be formed. There exists an infinite number of ways for the proportionality between quality of knowledge and duration of historical development not to be direct, but only one way for it to be precisely proportional. This leads me to approach the question by evaluating whether knowledge displays static tendencies because it comprises of great value to mankind or because of dogmatism and the proscription of critique. In the past, we have seen the negative impact of taking information for granted. An example is when Galen (AD. 130-200), most noteworthy of great ancient medical practitioners, made critical errors about the heart and blood vessels that remained unchallenged for 1,400 years. He incorrectly presumed that blood passed through the heart through pores in the septum and also believed that blood formed in the liver and was circulated from there throughout the body in the veins. Although he correctly showed that arteries contain blood, he thought they also contained pneuma, a vital spirit. These ‘discoveries’ were believed by many experts for a long time as Galen had proved his worth in the field and had credibility in the past with numerous other contributions that are actually valid. This erroneously boosted the value of all knowledge that was provided by Galen. His teachings became the ultimate medical authority and were approved by the Christian church. Eventually the world moved on from these inaccurate ideas when Andreas Vesalius’ work on anatomy in 1543 and William Harvey ‘s studies of blood circulation in 1628 proved Galen wrong.