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View Diary: Rick Santorum does not know what 'science' is (241 comments)

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  •  Can we reclaim the word hypothesis, please? (1+ / 0-)
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    What Santorum is advocating, if he could express a thought clearly, is that we put guessing into the science class.  

    There is a difference between a guess and a hypothesis.  If I'm out in nature and I look at a flower, I can guess that it comes from God, or I can guess that if has something to do with the plants reproduction.  It's totally okay to make either guess.  Guessing may lead to science, but it's not yet part of the Scientific Method.  Until I am able to design an experiment to test my guess, it may not be called a hypothesis.  

    I would think that framing the conversation around these semantics would save some time in explaining to the Santorums of the world why faith is not part of science.

    •  Yes, we should reclaim the language. (0+ / 0-)

      It is really tiresome to have to deal with all of the ways that words have been co-opted.

      But testing hypotheses takes thought and time. It's easier to just give it all to God.

      I've always been puzzled by fundamentalists' sense of peace. But I think that is the beauty of it for them - they don't have to think, or puzzle, or wonder, or figure anything out. Hunter had a recent diary in which he bemoaned the laziness.

      Reminds me of that wonderful Tom Stoppard dialogue in Shakespeare in Love,

      Philip Henslowe: Mr. Fennyman, allow me to explain about the theatre business. The natural condition is one of insurmountable obstacles on the road to imminent disaster.
       Hugh Fennyman: So what do we do?
      Philip Henslowe: Nothing. Strangely enough, it all turns out well.
      Hugh Fennyman: How?
      Philip Henslowe: I don't know. It's a mystery.

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