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Yet, simplicity in the natural sciences may also lead to knowledge which is discarded. An example of this are superseded, simple scientific theories, such as the Fleischmann-Pons experiment in the 1980s, which lead to the apparent discovery of cold fusion. Involving electrolysis, it was a dream discovery: a “simple experiment with results that reshape our understanding” (Cold Fusion: A Case Study for Scientific Behavior 1). Unlike Feynman’s diagrams, the experiment was heavily faulted in almost all stages of the scientific method. Fleischmann-Pons’ results were unable to be replicated and hence not verified. The scientists were criticised to have a “lack of knowledge” of physics and “refused to collaborate” with experts, limiting their access to shared and past knowledge on fusion (Cold Fusion: A Case Study for Scientific Behavior 5). Furthermore, in a rush to publish, they did not conduct “simple and obvious experiments” which would have provided “key evidence” to support or undermine their hypothesis, and there was a lack of repeatability (Cold Fusion: A Case Study for Scientific Behavior 7). Hence, the Fleischmann-Pons experiment was simple, yet invalid, as in their simplicity, the scientists did not rigorously follow the scientific method. But, was the root of their problems solely the simplicity of their experiment? The experiment was influenced by extraneous variables such as flaws in reasoning, peer review, and observation. Faults in the scientific method effect both simple and difficult experiments. Therefore, my claim remains valid: predominantly, knowledge in the natural sciences is valued due to its logical simplicity, leading to applicability, but is usually the result of a detailed, systematic effort that could be seen as difficult.


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