TRADITIONAL KNOWLEDGE AND SCIENTIFIC DEVELOPMENT IN GHANA

Some believe that there is a gap between traditional knowledge and western science which can be bridged. Both traditional knowledge and science deal with knowledge about the structure and behaviour of the natural and physical world, science is based on facts that can be proven for example by experiments while traditional knowledge in most cases is not proven but have gained their reputation over generations and sometimes include the non-physical (spiritual) world.

 

Many agree that Traditional Knowledge and western science can complement one another however there is widespread debate as to how and to what degree Traditional Knowledge and western science should be integrated.

 

Scientists are said to add value to traditional Knowledge. While some believe that Traditional Knowledge should be held to the same methodologies and standards used in science, others argue that while “scientific practice generally excludes the humanistic perspective, traditional knowledge assumes a holistic view including language, culture, practice, spirituality, mythology, customs and even the social organization of the local communities, thus to suggest that traditional knowledge is only the equivalent of science is to diminish incorrectly the strength and breadth of traditional knowledge” (Castillo 2009).

 

The question thus becomes, how can Traditional Knowledge and western science contribute to solving the challenges identified by Castillo (2009) without compromising the integrity of either one of the knowledge systems?