The duration of historical development of a particular academic
discipline is directly proportional with the quality of knowledge produced by that
discipline. Many people find it difficult to rely on a knowledge when it is
still evolving and changing. At the same time, some people may question the
quality of the knowledge which were produced by different types of academic
disciplines. In an attempt to provide a meaning to this claim, I might need to define
the terms “quality” and “knowledge” first. Quality can be defined as the
excellence of something and the distinctive attribute possessed by someone or
something. The other term which is knowledge can be defined as the information acquired
through theoretical or practical experience of an academic discipline which is
a branch of knowledge. Since we now know the meanings of these terms, it is
possible to say that this claim about the direct proportion between time and
the quality of a knowledge raises several questions about the reliability of a knowledge
we acquire from academic disciplines. One of the questions is “How can we rely
on the quality of the knowledge in an academic discipline when it is still
evolving throughout time?” While looking at the academic disciplines of Physics
and History, we will see that knowledge is different in different fields and
the duration of time has affected some of the knowledge we used to rely on in
the past.

 

   
Physics is one of the best examples of Natural Sciences which relies on the
scientific method. The knowledge we use today in physics has been once acquired
by experimentation, observation and hypothesises. However, it is possible to
say that our view of the universe and the surroundings change over time. What
we were once thought to be final theories in Quantum Physics has repeatedly
been superseded. For example, The Einstein’s special theory of relativity was
published and within another decade the entire world of physics as known by Michelson
with his Michelson-Morley Experiment had been overturned. In 1905, Albert

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Einstein proposed the special
theory of relativity. As of today, Einstein’s special theory of relativity is
the most accurate model of motion at any velocity when gravitational effects
are negligible. This has also been experimentally proven with the gravitational
waves observed in 2016. Since physics is an academic field in natural sciences
and it relies on experimentation and hypotheses, it is possible to imply that
the faith of humans and the reputation of the scientist conducted us to accept the
special theory of relativity and overturn the Michelson- Morley experiment just
by a suggested hypothesis on paper.

 

    
On the other hand, it is possible to observe that some of the principles
and laws of physics have always stayed constant, never been evolved and never
lost its quality. Hence, such as the Newton’s Laws have always been accepted as
universal and never lost its quality. While we were learning the topic of
mechanics in physics class, I realized that all three laws of Newton have
stayed constant for decades and created the modern-day mechanics.  Since 1687, we use the first law of Newton to
show that the velocity of an object will stay constant when the net
force acting on the object is zero. Today, we also identify the second law
of Newton as the rate of change of momentum of a body which is directly
proportional to the force applied on the object. Thus, Newton’s Laws of Motion have
always been expressed by engineers, scientists and students for nearly three
centuries. Considering the Newton’s laws of motion when a knowledge is of good
quality, it is universally accepted and stands against time. Newton’s Laws of
Motion did not evolve like the changes in the field of Quantum Physics due to
its quality over time.

 

    
The study of past events and our interactions with it can be defined as History.

History is constantly being updated and reviewed with the continuity of
humankind. History also depends

 

on the perspective from which it is
studied. The first way in which we gain knowledge from history is through
historical evidences. These evidences, sources, are collected and selected by
historians to be analysed. Take for example, The Cold War which occurred between
the United States and Soviet Union among 1947 and 1991. The Cold War which
started in the year 1947

can be seen in two different
perspectives depending on where the historian is from. A historian in the
United States during 1950’s can have a definitive answer on which country was
the guilty one with extensive amount of evidence to support the point. The
American point of view may say that the fault was Soviet Union, under the
leadership of Stalin while referring to Stalin’s takeover of eastern Europe and
his aspiration to spread communism to all places of the world including the
United States of America. On the other hand, a historian in 1960’s may have a
different point of view for the Cold War. The historian may say that it was
America’s desire to take over economic control of Europe and bind all the
countries to United States of America’s economy. You may also be told that the
responsibility for the Cold War was Washington’s and that Stalin merely acted
defensively, after having lost around 25 million people as a result of the
Second World War. By the 1980s and 1990s the story of Cold War may be described
in a different way due to the passage of time. Historians would point out that
the Cold War was inevitable due to the present preoccupations and the
ideological differences that subsisted between East and West.

 

  
As we can see from this historical event, history includes description,
interpretation and explanation. It also relies on perception, memory and
communication and while consisting a lot of paradigm shifts such as the
geographical determinism. The geographical determinism

related to this real-life event states
that geography is the primary cause in the depiction of history. In this real-life
example, the geography determines the knowledge and of course it’s

 

quality in terms of reliability. Due
to that, it is possible to say that history may evolve or change depending on
the geography or the depiction of the historian. This conclusion may raise up a
question on our minds. To what extend does the duration of time change and
manipulate the knowledge which has been acquired through a discipline? If so,
how should we approach to an academic discipline in terms of its reliability
and quality?

   

 
   Even though the past and the
sources we use are based on evidence, we will inevitably arrive at a different
version of what happened in the past by how we perceive it. Considering this
real life event and area of knowledge, it is therefore inevitable to say that
the quality of history can change due to historians and the duration of time.

Sometimes a wide range of evidence is available, but historians choose not to
use it. They do not consider using different evidence that might contradict
with their personal knowledge. In this case, the purpose of historical account
is also something very important which should be considered while acquiring the
knowledge.

 

    
In contrast to History, the methodology of Natural Sciences depends on
experimentation. This results in less manipulation of the facts compared to the
knowledge we acquire through perception, memory, communication or
interpretation in History. However, this does not mean that the quality of
knowledge in Natural Sciences always stay the same. Considering the duration of
time, it is possible to say that natural sciences change over time. Even though
history can be changed and manipulated according to the Great Person Theory which
asserts that great individuals such as the leaders abuse or writ the historical
events. Natural sciences evolve each and every minute with the advancements in
technology. For sure, there are situations in which the quality of knowledge
changes throughout time. However, there are also

 

 

examples which point out that some
knowledge we gained have stayed constant without being changed or perceived in
a different way. The change is unpredictable and it is not right to say that it
will occur in each academic discipline.

 

   
In conclusion, it appears that the quality of knowledge will always vary
during a period of time. In some academic disciplines such as physics, the tendency
of scientists to adopt the simplest explanations first and only accepting a
more complex explanation when it has greater explanatory power shows us that
some of the accepted knowledge may evolve after a decade.

Even though we witness the change
in some of the real-life examples, it does not mean that the quality or the
meaning of another knowledge will also change over time.