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View Diary: War on Science Rages On. (17 comments)

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  •  Nice Diary. T&R. (2+ / 0-)
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    Tinfoil Hat, LeftOfYou

    You said this:

    Scientific method has a record of general success sorting these things out.
    I remember Isaac Asimov wrote an essay once about scientific theories being wrong and he used the fairly simple example of the shape of the earth. People once thought the earth was flat (maybe supported on the shoulders of Atlas standing on a turtle, or whatever). Then the theory said the earth was a sphere. Then it was discovered that (because of the rotation of the earth), it’s bigger at the equator (oblate sphere). Then that was modified a bit, because one hemisphere stuck out slightly (so it’s very slightly pear-shaped).

    His point was that science gets closer and closer to the truth. More and more exact. Pear is better than oblate is better than sphere is better than flat earth. And no scientist would seriously suggest going back to the flat-earth theory.

    People like Newton or Galileo worked out pretty good theories of gravity (which explain it pretty well). But Einstein’s theory goes further and explains light bending around planets and lots of other things.

    Sometimes scientists are a little bit (or a lot) wrong. But the whole idea of the scientific theory is that you can test the results. You can repeat the experiments and check the measurements. If the theory is wrong, you either throw it out or modify it. But that process inexorably leads you closer to the truth.

    --

    People like Inhofe (and various others) who doubt climate change throw out all sorts of arguments, ranging from

    -- It’s not true. 3000 scientists said they don’t believe it (based on some survey of people who said they were scientists, including veterinarians (!) and people who supposedly filled out the survey after they died), to
    -- It might be true. But we should wait until 100% of scientists agree (because a couple of guys who work for oil companies say it’s not happening) to
    -- It is true. But even if it’s happening, it might be good! (see that WSJ article) to
    -- We can’t afford to believe the truth. It’s gonna be expensive if we have to stop using cars.

    That’s bad enough, but then you look at people who say God will be starting the apocalypse soon, so it doesn’t matter. And people who say, “Well the Bible says God gave humans dominion over the earth.” Which isn’t science.

    "Stupid just can't keep its mouth shut." -- SweetAuntFanny's grandmother.

    by Dbug on Sat May 18, 2013 at 04:51:06 PM PDT

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