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Invention and Discovery - Essay Example

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Invention and Discovery

Invention is of our making while discovery is what we can learn of God's making. How can we tell I suggest there is this first and most simple difference. A discovery is something someone else can test for himself and find out if it is true or not. An invention is something that is true only because of the inventor. (...) Science is therefore a discipline of discovery while engineering is a discipline of invention. And if we compare the findings of science and what we can learn from engineering, we discover that science is always surprising while engineering is always explicable." (Brownpanda, 2006).
Even though there is a thin line between discoveries and inventions, the factors stated by Brownpanda are very convincing since discoveries can be associated to science and inventions to engineering. In this case, the difference is quite clear. Brownpanda makes the following assertions in order to find the difference between discoveries and inventions:
"I want to suggest something further. Discovery, if we touch upon truth, will always reveal the divine intelligence. And this divine intelligence has certain characteristics: its laws are always simple, its consequences are always amazing, its forms are always beautiful, and while it can be appreciated by all, it is always beyond our understanding. Invention, however wonderful, can always be picked apart and understood. It is often complicated. Take for example a car, it is essentially an internal combustion engine. But there are so many other bits to it and each of the bits is there to solve a specific and particular problem. Take an animal, in contrast. On the surface, it appears simple. You can easily draw anaologies between the animal or human body and the car. But what makes an animal or a human being is not the body but the fact that they are alive. And the reason why they are alive is because they came from another living thing." (Brownpanda, 2006).

On the other hand, Fll explains the difference between inventions and discoveries as follows:

"Discovery means that the laws of nature exist in a defined form, totally independent of humans or anybody else below the level of an almighty being, and that there is a possibility to discover them in total (if there is a finite number of natural laws) or at least in parts and to describe them in some language (including the language of mathematics). Maybe we find only parts, or we see the laws coarse-grained (i.e. in some approximations), but it is out there to be discovered." (Fll, n. d.)

So there is a point of connection between Brownpanda and Fll when they associate discoveries to the divine intelligence or God's making.

Klint finds that discoveries and inventions are differentiated through another point of view as stated below:

"In the natural sciences there is a conceptual tool to make a distinction between discovery and invention: discoveries are embodied in nature while inventions are embodied in artefacts. Notions such as reality'' and observation'' are used to explain that the instruments--being artefacts--used during experiments lead to valid conclusions that are independent from the actual instruments being used." (Flint, 2006).

Regarding the different ways of knowing, there are 4 distinct ways of getting knowledge: sense perception, language, ...Show more


There is a thin line between a discovery and an invention. While a discovery belongs to the realm of science, an invention belongs to engineering. It can also be said that inventions are copies of original things that we have discovered. That is the case of an airplane and a bird…
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Invention and Discovery essay example
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