Contributed by: filbert Wednesday, April 30 2008 @ 11:37 AM CST
Contributed by: filbert Thursday, April 17 2008 @ 10:28 AM CST
(And no, the above statement is not itself a statement of science, but of philosophy. It is an a priori statement–a statement of the mindset which is a necessary but not sufficient condition for doing science. If you can’t say “I could be wrong, but . . . ” then you’re not arguing science.)
Let’s try it:
I could be wrong, but Evolution is how God decided to make the biological world work.
I could be wrong, but Evolution is not an accurate description of how modern species came to be.
I could be wrong, but global warming is primarily caused by human activity.
I could be wrong, but global warming is not primarily caused by human activity.
I could be wrong, but “string theory” is an overly complex dead-end shell of a physics theory.
I could be wrong, but “string theory” is the long-awaited “theory of everything” which will unlock the universe for our understanding.
Notice how the simple admission “I could be wrong” turns the phrase following it from a dogmatic statement of perceived fact, to a hypothesis which can be researched, discussed, and possibly discarded based on better evidence?
Let’s also remember that many now-discarded scientific ideas were once the “consensus views” of scientists of the day. Agreement between the majority of scientists does not equal truth. Phlogiston, the ether, and the earth-centric universe all were, in their day, the leading explanations of how the world worked. And they were all wrong. Einstein showed that Newton was, in essence, wrong. Modern physicists are now beginning to wonder if Einstein was wrong. To be scientific is to be skeptical, even of those theories which seem most true.
More science, less religion, please.
Contributed by: filbert Thursday, April 10 2008 @ 10:22 PM CST
|Now this is one impressive spring storm!
Image credit: NOAA