To what extent is it fair to say that some AoK are more useful than others?

In order to understand Areas of Knowledge, a metaphor is often used. If each Area of Knowledge is a map, then the knowledge each one studies is the territory reflected in the map. There are many different maps to study each territory, that vary in size and in ways of studying the territory, and that study specific territories within the Areas of Knowledge in more detail. However, having all of these different territories may make us wonder whether there are some that have more applications in our lives, and therefore are more useful, and others that do not provide important knowledge.

For example, some may argue that Natural Sciences is the most important Area of Knowledge, since it tries to study and understand the world around us, which is vital for our survival. But others could disagree, seeing as the sciences have been wrong many times and are not completely reliable. The different scientific methods or the equipment used are only two of the many factors that may influence a result and make the conclusions dubitable.

Mathematics could also be considered a useful Area of Knowledge, since it is applied to problems in our daily lives. However, there is only so much knowledge in Mathematics that is truly useful in day to day situations: while adding, subtracting or multiplying have a real-life application, limits (the value that a function approaches) do not. And although they may be useful in certain areas, they are not essential.

To many, Art is an important Area of Knowledge because it helps us express ourselves and convey messages that we could not get across any other way. To others, however, the subjectivity involved in understanding the Arts may be an obstacle, and they may think that Art does not provide any true knowledge since the information each person can extract from it may be different.

All in all, each Area of Knowledge has its pros and cons, and each provides a different kind of knowledge, but this does not mean that some are better than others. Each Area of Knowledge provides unique and important knowledge that should be known to everyone. Then, each person may decide in which Area they wish to specialize in, but it is essential to know the basics of every Area of Knowledge in order to understand our world and the people who live in it.


To what extent is data considered a a reliable source from science?


Very recently in class we have been covering a very claimed topic, which is the election of Trump as the new president of the United States. This has offered some polemics because of the data the media is offering about Trump´s inauguration speech and therefore the information’s about his campaigns and future demands.

In the past TOK classes we talked about what the president secretary stated about the media. He stated that all media are lying about the amount people that went to the inauguration speech compared to Obama´s inauguration speech back in 2009.

The secretary demanded that the TV, radio, and internet were lying because of the amount of people going saying that they were less and therefore the data expressed by the scientists was wrong to make Trump´s speech less valuable than Obama´s when he first started.


Researching for this type of reaction, I have found the formulas that scientists use to calculate the number of people in a place through a photo an the amount of space in metres square.


This revealed that the amount that went were less than  half of the amount that Obama´s speech had. But the real deal is, how can we exactly know if the data is as reliable as we think.

Human and natural sciences usually are based on data taken by scientist and prepared professionals that through the years have been developing new ideas and methods to be as specific as possible so even if is thought that data can help to rig a situation it is true to say that data is on of the most reliable source that we can use to verify and believe that something took that place and happened in that specific way.

Sciences are all based in information extracted by profesional and as part of an área of knowing, we can always suggest different opiniones and new ways of researching but if we do not trust in data that is particulay the most specific information how is it posible to learn the apropiates lessons.

To what extent is it possible to state there is a one crucial WOK when acquiring knowledge in the natural sciences?

While doing my first essay about how WOKs work a doubt came up to my mind: is there one essential WOK, which is far more important than others?

The natural sciences can quickly be associated to sense perception since it is every experiment basis. However, even though they are not as recognized, other WOKs such as imagination (to come up with a hypothesis) are just as important. Besides, we should never forget scientists must study previous discoveries in order to make useful explorations.

In order to make my reasoning more professional and true, I decided to base my arguments on the prestigious psychiatric William Glasser. His theory about the Learning Pyramid claims there are different actions from which we retain knowledge. However, theres an interaction of WOKs in each of these.


The learning pyramid. (2017). [image] Available at: [Accessed 28 Jan. 2017].

Glasser admits we obtain a 5% of what we’re taught, process in which we only use our language to understand the information and faith in our teacher.Wen reading or listening to information we remember what we have learnt and (memory) we add imagination to try to view the situation. When demonstrating, we also use reason to link information and reach a logical conclusion. If we discuss about the knowledge we have learnt (where there are normally two points of view), we use intuition to support a side. We can practice by experimenting and realize what we were taught was right (or wrong) so sense perception would be used again. Nonetheless, it is when sharing our knowledge that we retain more information since all the WOKs and previous processes are used.

In conclusion, basing my statement from William Glasser’s pyramid, we can clearly see there is no essential WOK, but all of them are used together and knowledge is linked as we learn. In addition, it is proven above that the processes in which we retain more information is by using all of them.


To what extent do we find Art beautiful?

Art is one of the most controversial Areas of Knowledge because it is based majorly on subjectivity. It’s all about expressing your feelings, thoughts, change our opinions on a certain topic or our perception, providing another perspective…

Until around the 1860s, when modern art started, people would only think art was beautiful when it was associated with good (without nudes, properly formal, sanctity related). However, these days our perception has changed.

However, everyone has got different tastes in Art: some like classical music, others like rock; some enjoy contemporary art, others prefer traditional instead, an so on. There’s even sometimes where people don’t agree whether something is a piece of art or not, like the ‘Fountain’, a porcelain urinal by Duchamp.

As human beings we have some things in common and those are emotions.  We find the beauty in Art when something impresses us, when suddenly we see something we weren’t expecting at all, and makes us WONDER. When a piece of art is able to awaken wonder on you, then you’ll find it beautiful. In addition, in the 18th century , the philosopher Edmund Burke hypothesised a connection between aesthetics in Art and fear. And in some way, I think he was right, there’s a visible connection between wonder and fear. Why are we continually seeking for more episodes of a crime serie? Because it elicits curiosity through the fear that is causes us. Artists are continually looking for different ways to shock and make their public wonder. For example: little children love to go to the circus because every single time they go, it shocks them, they are terrified by the things they see but in a good way. Most adults don’t find it entertaining anymore because they are used to the show, they know what it is about and it doesn’t shock them like it used to. They prefer new activities to do.

In conclusion, in spite of people’s art tastes, there is one thing we all have in common in order to find it beautiful: wonder as curiosity and sometimes impacting or terrifying art that satisfies our sense of intrigue.

Why wonder is the most human of all emotions – Jesse Prinz | Aeon Essays. (2017). Aeon. Retrieved 23 January 2017, from

(2017). Quora. Retrieved 23 January 2017, from

How do the Arts provide knowledge?


Usually, when thinking about knowledge, we tend to think more about Natural Sciences or Maths, which give us specific knowledge with a clear objective, whether it be understanding the world around us, solving a problem… However, we usually do not tend to think about Areas of Knowledge such as The Arts, since the knowledge that we can gain from them is more subjective, and therefore arguably less reliable. Still, it is undeniable that Art provides knowledge. But how does it do it?

Art is mostly used as a means to communicate. This means that the knowledge we gain from art usually comes in the form of a message from someone else. There is a wide variety of messages that can be sent through art, ranging from simple jokes to political or ethical statements. Each form of art has its own ways of communication, and is fit for a different kind of message.

For example, Literature is usually used for two main purposes: to provide a moral (the moral of the story) or to help us understand somebody else’s experience. An example of this could be the book “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime” by Mark Haddon, which tells the story of a 15 year-old  boy with autism. By narrating in the first person, Haddon helps the reader understand what goes on in an autistic boy’s mind, how he sees the world around him and the difficulties that he is subjected to because of his autism, such as being forced to go to a school that does not offer the course he wants to study.

The knowledge the author wants to provide to the reader in this particular example is how autistic people differ from non-autistics, and how despite being very smart, they are set apart because of their lack of ability to understand human emotions. So, he is trying to help readers understand the experiences and difficulties of a group of people, passing on his knowledge in the process.

To sum up, knowledge in the Arts is usually a message sent by the artist that can have many different intentions: making the public laugh, changing a certain situation or understanding each other better are just a few of the endless possibilities.

How do WoK influence in the arts?

When we plan on defining what is art, we realise is not easy and in the contrary very ambiguous. But if we have to try and make definition it would be: Art are all the human activities in creating visual, auditory or preforming arts, preforming the authors imagination.

We not only find art when we are looking at a sculpture or a painting. Art is everywhere. But every person has a different concept about what it is depending on their WoK. We will put some examples down.

If we analyse a piece of clothing made by a famous designer such as Karl Lagerfeld, we can have the people who says it is art or not. Here it influences intuition and emotion. If you have passion towards fashion of course it’ll be art and your emotion will make you have good feelings towards that line of clothing.

Another example which can also be diversity of views is mathematics. As I said before, art is different depending on the person. For example for me mathematics is a art but at the same time it isn’t. Of course a person that is dedicated to mathematics they feel an emotion towards it that I do not feel the same.

Finally we will talk about science. Most people don’t find science as art. But in my opinion they do are art. A scientific that is searching a cure for cancer will tell you that it is art. In science the WoK that play a role are emotion and intuition. When you are trying to search for a cure for a biological disease and you finally discover it emotion is there. Last but not least intuition is a very important due to the fact that because of intuition you can reveal infections or cures that no one found out or realised.




To what extent does a change in scientific methods of statistics draw different conclusions?

Nowadays, we are constantly hearing new discoveries and studies that prove different hypothesis: the newest example in Natural Science shows that heterocyclic amines are chemicals formed when meat is cooked at really high temperatures, that may potencially increase the risk of developing cancer.

But, actually, a lot of times the conclusions they draw may contradict themselves over time, specially when talking about food.

Do you remember that statistics study that claimed that butter was the worst product for your health? Well, now it’s not. Or that eggs are bad for your heart?

The infinite nutritional advice claimed by tons of investigations raises a difficult situation when assessing which foods can be harmful and which aren’t. Proof of this are some of the studies that the World Health Organization itself revealed with reference to the consumption of red meat. However, today these foods are renowned and now, it turns out they are completely healthy! This is the case of eggs, spreads, potatoes, dairy and dry fruits, among others.

Many of them were on the WHO list of the five worst products consumed daily. However, Professor of Nutrition Science at King’s College London, Scott Harding, wrote for the web ‘The Conversation’. In it, he highlighted those cases that have gone from being “bad for health” to almost “essential” in our diet.

In the case of eggs, cholesterol was the enemy to fight. However research has shown that when consumption is moderate, its influence is minimum. Now, they have been removed along with others such as seafood or chicken liver from the lists of products of concern. They are sources of protein, healthy fats, vitamins and minerals.

Spreads were identified as causing coronary problems. However, again scientific advances found the problem in hydrogenated fats. That is why today margarines are made free of such lipids, but butter is free of these an is totally healthy itself.

These inaccurate conclusions happen a lot, and there are a lot of reasons why they may occur:

-GENERALIZATION: the sample group may not be truly representative of the whole population, opinions change over time so if the study is not quick, the answers they give may vary due to fashion and interests.

-NULL HYPOTHESIS: they may not prove alternative options correctly or even neglect it when testing hypotheses, which is a poor practice and can have adverse effects.

-REPLICATION: sometimes scientists may not replicate an experiment in order to minimize the chances of an inaccurate result, because some of them can be difficult to repeat.

-EXTERNAL FACTORS that we can’t see or control may be the cause of false conclusions.

-ASKING QUESTIONS. The way they ask you a question can really influence your answer,
if they ask you: Don’t you think butter is bad for your health? They are forcing you to answer YES, that you think it’s harmful, even if it is unintencionally. So, scientists should be really careful when using this method and should take care of how they formulate a question.

-DATA (error bars) can be calculated incorrectly due to range errors in numbers or it may be analysed incorrectly (not taking into account other factors, for example).

In conclusion, when proving a scientific experiment through statistics in Science, we should really take into account the small details and factors that influence our topic to avoid complete opposite conclusions or just imprecise ones.

Drawing Conclusions in Research – Judgment by the Scientific Method. (2017). Retrieved 20 January 2017, from

Five foods that used to be bad for you … but now aren’t. (2017). The Conversation. Retrieved 20 January 2017, from

To what extent is the use of animals in scientific issues acceptable?

It is known that scientists usually use animals in their scientific research. I believe, although most ethical codes say the use of human is unexcused, the use of animals is still unacceptable based on animals’ right. Animals also have right to live freely and naturally on the earth and we as a human do not have power to treat them the way we want.

Scientists have to ensure that new products are safe for people. Animals are known to be a perfect experiment object because they have similar reaction as human. Another reason of using animals as research object is also based on an ethic code that bans scientists for using humans for experiment.

Although there are many reasons to use animals, I disagree for two main ones. First, genetically talking, primates are ideal animals that could be used for testing new products, but the small population of primates causes scientists to use alternative animals such as mice,rabbits…

Second, using animal as experiment object also hurts animal’s physically as they have to be injected several times during the day. In some cases they react in a way that causes them to suffer and die slowly. According to some statistics, more than 100 mice are sacrificed to discover one drug and some of them have genetic mutation or die tragically.

In conclusion, I prefer that the scientific experiments on animals only if we do not have any other options available and also i think the government should impose rules and regulations about using animals in experiments and propose other ways of experimenting.



Should living wills be legalized? To what extent are the ethical?

The living will is a written document that allows people to give instructions in order to be killed when they are terminally ill or permanently unconcious. At the moment, this document is ilegal in the vast mayority of countries; however, it is legal in Belgium, Luxemburg and The Netherlands.

The living will preserves personal control and eases the decisión-making of a family. Nevertheless, who takes the decision of killing the patient when he or she reaches such conditions? It can be very controversial for a family member to take the decision of killing that loved member even if those are his or her wishes.

Furthermore, what do religious people think on this aspect? Most religious people believe life is a present and destroying that present because someone cannot enjoy it might not be the best solution.

On the other hand, people are free and if legalized, nobody would be forced to sign it. In case of legalization, each person will be able to decide whether or not be killed when reaching unwanted conditions.

In my point of view, I think living wills are not ethical and shoudn´t be legalized.





To what extent does religion shape moral belief?

Many say that religion is the basis of morality, these theist believe that without religion or a belief in a God(s), the world would be a total chaos because we wouldn´t be capable of determining right or wrong.

This question has been up for debate for a long time, one answer based on sociological surveys is thought to be that people who attend religious services and pray frequently (regardless of what religion they believe in) report more “moral behavior”, such as charitable work and donations; for example, in the United States, 91% of people who attend religious services often, tend to donate more to causes, compared to the 66% of people who either attend religious services once or twice a year or even less.

On the other hand, there have been many other studies which report mixed findings, meaning they have not found any associations between religious involvements and prosocial tendencies.

But I believe that religious people are not always better people o more moral than non believers, I think it simply depends on the kind of person you are and what you´ve been taught. And I also believe empathy creates morals.

I´m not saying at all that people who don´t have a religious believe are better than those who do-as religion does encourage people to do good- I just think that it´s up to each individual to choose the path that they want to follow.