Days of Change

The Unscientific Method | July 6, 2014

It is a good sign that scientists in our culture are given a certain respect. What defines a scientist, however, can be in dispute. Do they need to work in research? Do they need an advanced degree in a science curriculum? I have a Bachelor of Science in an Engineering field. Does that count? In most cases, it shouldn’t matter. Unfortunately, politics makes partisans of us all.

Science comes from a Latin word meaning “to know.” Scientists have a lot of knowledge, but their true purpose is the pursuit of knowledge. The scientific method builds a sort of bridge between what we know and what we don’t know yet. Science is observing the world, then asking why something happens the way it does. Scientists fill in the gaps with assumptions and guesses, then try to prove their theory is how something really works.

What worries me is the closer ties between science and politics. Political ideology is not monolithic among scientists, but political patronage can affect the work of scientists, like any other human being. Conservatism is still high among engineers, but science has a more vested interest in big government. Government provides valuable funding to do science for science’s sake. That arrangement eventually became reciprocal, where science in the government’s favor was rewarded.

Liberals now take a moral high ground on their beliefs about the natural world, (not all of which has actually been proven) economics (which is not largely provable) and politics (which can’t be tested). Dissent is ignorance. Science is not about knowing the answers. It is about proving the answer. When your answer is “shut up,” you’ve lost all science and sense.

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1 Comment

  1. political patronage can affect the work of scientists

    One reason I try to learn who paid for a study before acting on its “conclusions.”
    ————————————————-When your answer is “shut up,” you’ve lost all science and sense.

    It’s called bullying, and it’s libfasc standard operating procedure. It is hat communiry organizers do.

    Comment by Mary — July 7, 2014 @ 9:16 pm


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