a pony trying to science
My OCD sense goes off every time people say “I believe in science”… no, if you believe in science, you fail. Science is not faith. Faith requires no test, no questioning, just an ability to go with what you are told. This is not science, but it might be science class. Currently I am a student in college. I am getting my 2nd set of degrees. I am about ten years older than the bulk of my fellow classmates and as a result I have more experience. I watch in horror as they absorb what ever the professor says without thinking about it. There is no thought about what they are told, they just ape and parrot and it makes them look like jackasses, (lol, three animals).
Science is very misunderstood. It is not the body of knowledge that we know. It is a specific form of discovery and explanation. It is not magical, hard, or difficult to do. The individual research steps might be complex for complex subjects. It takes a lot of knowledge to smash atoms to find subatomic particles. You have to be pretty experienced to identify all the little bits under a microscope. It takes time to collect enough data to know what you are doing, But science itself isn’t complex.
Put simply science is looking at a problem and asking “How did that happen?” Then you sit back and think about some possibilities. “Maybe it did this, then this, then this” you get a few of these possibilities called hypotheses. The next step is the important one. (The ancient Greeks stopped at hypothesis and said it was so, this is also what religion does) After you have your ideas, you TEST THEM.
A great example is Galileo and his gravity experiment. He asked “Do things fall faster if they weigh more?” The ancient Greek Aristotle said if its heavier it falls faster (dude never tested things) and because he was ancient and Greek, the church assumed he was right. It became dogmatic. Galileo built a machine to test this. you can see them in Firenze (Florence) Italy in the Galileo Museum right on the Arno river, Very nifty stuff. He demonstrated that weight and mass do not change the rate at which things fall. (So did I with my 4th grade science fair project). That second bit is important, OTHER people do the same test as you do. And when the same results come up we Know something is true.
Once we know something is true we construct a Theory. This is key, a theory is not an untested idea like too many people think it is. “Oh that’s just a theory” to me that is some one saying “oh, that is just a highly tested and repeatedly demonstrated true statement” The problem is non science fields also use “theories” in their nomenclature. Hollywood writers improperly apply the word when writing about scientists in their dramas. So people don’t use it correctly.
Too many people sleep through science class (i watched a few in both my bio and my earth science classes while in college) and have no effing idea what science is. When I debate scientific things in public or in chat rooms people attack me as unable to discuss such things because i lack a scientific degree. This second part is very unnerving because it assumes that only the indoctrinated are worthy of discussing such things. This is very far from the truth. Anyone can be a scientists. I am one. It’s a process, a method, anyone can do it. Just observe, ask questions, test to see if those hypotheses work. If they don’t work, revise hypotheses with what you learned in testing, and repeat until you demonstrate that it works or does not work.
If you are OCD like me and watch the comment section in various news articles about scientific discoveries you might blow a gasket. You watch people make huge failings in the realm of science. Humans become devoted to ideas and often times those ideas are divorced from reality. People will support things contrary to the evidence because they have worked so hard for them. Including Ph.Ds Many doctors of science work decades on their pet projects and refuse to accept new data because it would require a fundamental world shift. Even Albert Einstein is guilty of this. He discovered quantum mechanics and spent the last half of his life trying to disprove it. He failed. He is an icon of scientific excellence and he too ignored reality because he didn’t want it to be so.
Dr Dean Edell had (maybe still has, i can’t find it anymore) a medical talk show on radio. He said something about doctors that is important here. “Doctors will get off their pedestals if patients get off their knees” meaning we worship at the sight of a doctor (medical or scientific). We treat them as priests bringing holy writs that are unquestionable. Historically doctors were treated as holy men, in the middle ages a doctor would read from a text book while a barber would do surgery. The doctor would sit on a throne like chair while doing this. (the medical text books came from the ancient Greeks and were very very poorly done as they didn’t have any kind of real scientific investigation at the time, very few Greeks were what we would call scientists, and they were generally not the famous ones.)
People hear a doctor on TV or the radio and think “they are smart, ill do what they want!”
Michael Mann and Memmet Oz are two such media whores who promote horrible flawed science for profit and fame. They might actually believe what they are saying but reams and mountains of scientific evidence show both to be promoting buffoonery. The actual real world tests show what they say is false and dangerously backwards. They are doctors of climatology and medicine respectively. Both are highly respected in circles of people not known for thinking critically and questioning things.
I question everything and get savaged for it. But It’s who I am. I will end this rant with an Einstein quote that I came across but can not find a time or date to source it, it might be urban legend.
“No amount of experimentation can ever prove me right; a single experiment can prove me wrong.”
The idea that people hold to their “Faith” in science in the face of evidence that proves them wrong is painful to me. Even Einstein failed in this regard. I have failed in this regard, I have held things true even when the data showed me otherwise. I work to fix that, but see that it is not uncommon, it is a pastime.
Fuck facts, go with what I like…. and we all suffer for it.