Day 177 – Science rules, you suck!

2009/03/08 § Leave a comment


Yet one more time someone forced me into one of these fruitless “discussion” about science and how the world “really” is. What is it with you people? Why can you not simply go, learn SOMETHING about science first, then come back (if you then still need to discuss then) and tell us scientists how to do it better. Or something…

Do people feel so inferior and intimidated when they meet a scientists that the only way to inflate their deflated ego again is by trying to deconstruct what they believe science is and scientists do?

This chick from Canada (who, as you can see seriously annoyed the hell out of me) tried to explain to me how science works and that it is wrong- and that scientist are not open minded. Well, first off, as always when people say things like this, she had no science education, other than what she was forced to at school (which has nothing in common with a science education in most cases).

I mean, I do not walk around and try to mock, let’s say fashion designers. Maybe what they do seems pathetic to some, but I cannot claim however that I have a clue about what they do, so I zip it.

Why is it that when it comes to science everyone seems to think they are entitled to an opinion about it? Trust me, if you are not an educated scientist or have familiarized yourself with the facts in another fashion you are not entitled to an opinion about what we do, because you do not know what you are talking about. I am NOT trying to tell a fashion designer what to do, since I do not know what it is they do exactly. The same is true for you when it comes to science. Zip it!

Now, let me give you some of the “esoterical” arguments the Canadian girl had: “Science only proofs itself” (what does that even mean, she could not really say, when I asked her). “Science changes its opinion all the time, there is nothing for sure in Science” (is that so? Her proof was, that it was not ok- she believes to have heard someone say- to eat eggs because of cholesterol. Now it is ok To eat eggs, she believes to have heard someone else say now).

“There is no real reality, so Science has no meaning”, she then threw at me (if there is no really real reality, what the heck are we doing talking in the first place, for all you know I may not even exist). When I said that this was an insane believe she said that she was in trouble for that believe when she was younger. Why am I not surprised? And why did I again continue the conversation with this insane person? Too much time at hand in Mancora, I guess… 🙂

I asked her if she has ever taken a plane. She must have had quite a lot of trust in science in order to do so, I said. She was visible startled by the argument, but insisted that that was a different thing, since there were different sciences at work. (I fail to see how one Science can be crap while in a bunch they rule and are cool?)

If this “conversation” would have been an exception I would be cool about it, but in the last couple of months I have not been lucky, there are too many of these people around. I have a proposal: you people read up about what it ACTUALLY is you are trying to attack about science and then we argue. As long as people like this girl, do not even know the scientific principles and the scientific method I must require that you stay in your corner of the ring.

Interestingly, the fallacy here usually is a straw-man argumentation. People say: “science is like this and it works like this, and it wants this”, and then they start hacking away at it, while the truth of the matter is, that science is not all the things they maintain it were.

Fact 1: Science does not come up with random ideas and then tries to proof them. In fact, the modern scientific method maintains that you cannot “proof” a theory, you can merely disprove a hypothesis. Hence, in most cases the ideas come from the fact, that former ideas were disproved by experimentation. Check Karl Popper [1] for more details! (Check “falsifiability” of hypothesis’ [2])

Fact 2: Science does not try to proof or disproof God. While we can agree that pre-scientific scholars had that in mind at times, scientific revolution [3] roughly during the Renaissance was the exact opposite: the attempt to separate religious ideas from the systematic endeavor of understanding the material world by experimentation.

Fact 3: Science is of practical use, and all of us use it on a daily basis. If it were just make-believe and made up stuff this were not possible. Think of examples of things we use daily that are based entirely on our scientific knowledge: every drug you take against maladies, your daily transport based on combustion- or similar engines, your entertainment, like iPods, TV, computers, etc, your food is in your supermarket to the largest extend because we have used science to make fertilizers and optimized agriculture so you can have cheap and high quality food. Basically, your life would not be the same without science. In fact, you probably would not be here, because you would have been killed by some infection already, were it not for the invention of antibiotics and vaccination.

You may not like it, and you may not have the mental and/or psychological faculties to comprehend it, but science is the single most influential development in human history. Please, just do me a favor: as long as you are obviously so unaware of all this, stop having “opinions” about science. Thank you.

P.S. The Canadian girl furiously left the table to sit somewhere else after my explanation (which I extended here for you- you’re welcome!). So much for being “esoterically open minded”… 😉

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