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Under what circumstances is new knowledge
produced? If not all shared knowledge can be categorized as standardized
knowledge and thus, not a uniformity, how do we create new knowledge? New
knowledge can be produced when it has not been scientifically discovered and,
or proven. With the highly dynamic, adaptive and context-specific nature of
indigenous knowledge, it is bound to becoming new knowledge when informed to “western”
and modern society. An example of this is the introduction of Moringa capsules.
Moringa plants are native to the Himalayan-areas of India. It has been regarded
as a superfood and herbal medicine to improve our immune system, curing any
bacterial and viral infections, and calming the nervous system. As it can be
grown easily at low costs, they have remained highly popular among the Indians
for its nutritional values. Once again, due to its informal documentation in
which this knowledge was transmitted through word-of-mouth and demonstration,
many Indians were unaware of the exact values and benefits of this medicinal
plant. It was not until a few decades ago, the Moringa plant was tested and
found to contain high levels of antioxidants and a wide variety of vitamins and
protein. As soon as this discovery was made, many westerners and entrepreneurs
started harvesting them. Today, they are manufactured, made into capsules for
easy consumption, and sold at a premium in many pharmacies worldwide (“MORINGA:
Uses, Side Effects, Interactions and Warnings.”). Therefore, if it was not
scientifically tested, millions of people today would probably have not heard
about this plant which also contributed to the boom in herbal medicine
industry. In short, it would not have become a new knowledge.

 

New knowledge cannot be produced when it
has been accurately and scientifically proven. The reason for this statement is
because some scientific laws and theories were created based on a set of
assumptions and conditions which do not always correctly explain the many real
life situations. For instance, Newton’s Law of Viscosity describes a fluid’s
flow behavior based on the ratio of dynamic viscosity to the fluid’s density,
whereby the shear stress between the adjacent fluid layers is proportional to
its shear rate, and the proportionality constant is its viscosity. Even though,
this law normally applies to Newtonian fluids – fluids with small isotropic
molecules, like water and honey, similar discoveries have been made for
non-Newtonian fluids, like blood, ketchup and paint. The difference is that
non-Newtonian fluids display a non-linear relationship between the shear stress
and shear rate due to the reorganization of the fluid molecules’ when it is
flowing (“Viscosity of Newtonian and Non-Newtonian Fluids.”). Based on this
example, since the law has been proven correct along with other discoveries
made for any variations, the knowledge of a fluid’s viscosity’s behavior is
only left to be applied to develop a better understanding for ourselves by
recreating experiments and conducting our own investigations.

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            As a
knower, I have come to conclude that both with and without the existence of
uniformities allow us to produce new knowledge. Uniformity itself is a type of
knowledge – one that is universally known and agreed upon. History has proven
that one does not always rely on uniformities to generate knowledge. As a
student of the 21st century, many of the information from our textbooks and
online are based on findings from decades and centuries ago. We are quick to
accept them as we ultimately assume that everything taught in our school
curriculum is true. However, our forefathers, especially those from ancient
civilizations, certainly were not able to produce new knowledge because they
assumed that uniformities existed. Instead, it was their curiosity that drove
them into determining the validity of different ideas despite countless trials
and errors, sometimes, unknowingly creating a uniformity. I do not believe that
mankind would have been able to achieve so much if it was not for our
intertwining and equal reliance on both uniformities, along with our
willingness to improve and innovate. As such, it is false to only claim that
there can be no knowledge without assuming the existence of uniformities.

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