There Is No Hope of Doing Perfect Research (Griffiths, 1998, p97)
The unadorned meaning of research provided in most dictionaries is any systematic investigation or the quest for knowledge, with the main objective of consolidating facts. Hope on the other hand implies an emotional belief in positive results with regard to events and situations in one’s life, while perfection means entirety or completeness. The Greek philosopher, Anaximander, demonstrated the world as infinite and the utmost but while acknowledging its superior attributes to the world, he never considered it perfect, meaning there was no absoluteness or perfection. As a systematic investigation, research attributes the search for knowledge to tackle newer or existing problems, validate new ideas, to extrapolate new theories, and to institute narrative facts. From the above descriptions, it is obviously acceptable that the realm of knowledge and research is not ever absolute, ending, and perfect. Griffiths was not wrong by observing that there is no hope of doing perfect research; there will always be subsequent research executed to complement earlier findings.
There is a non-ending array of reasons for imperfection of research. Since, ideology, environment, religion, culture, society, and economics are always dynamic, influencing the needs and objectives of a researcher, the existing knowledge is viewed as insufficient, and today’s knowledge is felt as inadequate on tomorrow (Wladyslaw 11). At the same time, a researcher might override the outcome of a particular study or the predetermined attitude of the researcher inflicting errors in the quest for information to make it flawed. If research was perfect, then we would be stuck with black and white television sets, the first brick-size phones, no laptop computers, iPods, iPhones, and the list could be endless. Nevertheless, there would no opportunity for enhancement, knowledge would be inadequate, and life would be more tricky for individuals.
A typical example demonstrating the imperfection of research is the argument that, including buffers in the food of lactating ruminants, increases the content of fat in milk. Researchers conducted cycles of experiments to determine the hypothesis and draw valid inferences (Wladyslaw 12). Documented ideas from this study leaves a gap; scientists still require further research to supplement existing information concerning several other implications of its outcome before suggesting it to the farmers. Therefore, the deduction here is that earlier research regarding the same was neither ideal, nor this since the knowledge generated was insufficient. Furthermore, during the Indian green revolution, farmers were encouraged to deploy usage of insecticides and chemical insecticides in different ways based on recursive experiments on crop productivity. Consequently, soil properties and environmental patterns transformed faultily because of introduction of such elements at farmers’ level on the ground. With no perfect research to provide an immediate fixation, the community of researchers now advocates for the restriction of such chemicals in agricultural production and advising farmers to embrace organic farming.
Notably, knowledge regarding the solar system has changed drastically due to continuous research. Tombaugh’s 1930 discovery of a new planet, Pluto, by use of a new astronomic principle of photographic plates, altered the understanding of the solar system: it now consisted of nine planets (Pluto Discovered). However, in 2006, courtesy of research conducted by the International Astronomical Union, Pluto’s title of being among the nine planets became obsolete in our solar system. This change was due to the new procedures that required that planets must clear the environs of its orbit; this new planet did not meet the outlined attributes. Hence, the idea of nine planets vanished, principally due to research. Deregistration of Pluto was thus made public. Had research been perfect, would there have been a need to improve the previous theory? Astrological inferences also culminate Griffiths’ idea of no perfect research. Early astrologers used the constellation of stars and location of the sun as guidance in forecasting human providence (Sign of the Times). These signs can attribute personality to a particular individual and offer farmers sufficient information that they should grow and harvest crops. Nevertheless, January 2011 announcement by the Minneapolis Star Tribune was a shocker: Minneapolis instructor, Parker Kunkle, confirmed the shift in the zodiac signs due to a change in earth’s wobble. This change implied a change in people’s personalities as well as affecting many lives of individuals dependent on horoscopes for livelihood.
Thanks to modern research, ancient theories are either being adapted or completely challenged, as in the aforementioned instances. Conclusively, if it were not for experiments and scientific inquiry, technological advancements would have been very mysterious to humankind. On the other hand, limitations and the imperfect nature of humans denote the hopelessness of an ideal research. There is no such research, which can be termed as ‘perfect’; otherwise, people may not be rehabilitated and innovated themselves. Who knows in near future, a simple pill will have the capability to cure current serious diseases like AIDS, cancer and leprosy.
"Pluto Discovered — History.com This Day in History — 2/18/1930." History.com — History Made Every Day — American & World History. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 June 2012.
"Sign Of The Times: Astrology Story Soars Like a Comet | StarTribune.com." StarTribune.com: News, weather, sports from Minneapolis, St. Paul and Minnesota. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 June 2012.
Wladyslaw, Tatarkiewicz. Ontological and Theological Perfection, Dialetics and Humanism, 1981. Print.