Invention vs Discovery
Since invention and discovery appear to have similar meanings, but as it is not so, it is important to know the difference between invention and discovery. You invent something that did not previously exist. You discover something that existed but was not found before or not known until then. The physicist invents a transistor where as a biologist discovers the molecular structure of DNA. By inventing something, you would have thought upon it and put it into that form. You discover something that was already there, but you have come upon it with a view to finding it out. Now, let us explore these two words, invention and discovery, further.
What does Invention mean?
Invention is the noun of the verb invent. According to the Oxford dictionary invent means, “create or design (something that has not existed before); be the originator of.” Therefore, invention means as mentioned before, creating something that was not in existence before.
By inventing something, you create a product that was not existent on earth before. Invention is purely original in the sense that it is the result of your brain work. Your experimentation has resulted in the invention.
Invention does not necessarily involve exploration. Invention amounts to creation. Alexander Graham Bell created the telephone. People still came to know about it when the announcement was made that Bell invented it.
What does Discovery mean?
Discovery originated from the verb discover. According to the Oxford dictionary discover means, among its many definitions, “be the first to find or observe (a place, substance, or scientific phenomenon).” In this sense, you discover something that was already there but you have come upon it with a view to finding it out.
By discovering a thing, you find that thing which was on earth even before your discovery. Discovery of a thing has led people to know about it now though it existed well before it was found out.
Can you still call discovery an accident? If the discovery was done by someone such as a scientist or a biologist who was experimenting, it cannot be called an accident though since it had a purpose. The scientist or the biologist purposefully found out the thing. Therefore, discovery cannot be called an accident.
Discovery necessarily involves exploration. When something is discovered, it is made public so that people could understand it and its concept. Columbus discovered America and hence the place was made known to people. The place already existed even before Columbus found it.
What is the difference between Invention and Discovery?
There is a kind of philosophical binding too between invention and discovery. You invent something sometimes by using a principle or law that was discovered earlier. The converse may not be true at all times. It can be true also. You might discover something with the help of an invention, for example, a scientific tool or appliance. Thus, each is not exclusive totally of the other. They can be mutually dependent too. Logically speaking you can say that discovery is a subset of invention.
Invention is a process, whereas discovery needs not be a process. Invention can be the result of experimentation whereas discovery is the determination of an existence. You determine the existence of something in a discovery, whereas you create something by experimentation in an invention.
Invention has nothing to do with nature, whereas discovery has everything to do with nature and surroundings. Discovery involves civilizations whereas invention does not involve civilizations. Mohenjodaro was a discovery whereas aeroplane was an invention. Mohenjodaro has to do with a civilization while aeroplane has nothing to do with civilization.
Invention vs Discovery
• Invention is something you create by experimentation whereas discovery is finding out something that existed, but not known until then.
• Invention is a process whereas discovery is not a process.
• Invention has nothing to do with nature, whereas discovery has everything to do with nature.
• Invention is scientific whereas discovery is natural.
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- Difference Between Invention and Discovery