Science is not only wrong, it is not ashamed yet. I explain why this is happening

I always enjoy the fact that there is heated debate under my texts that promote scientific worldview. I am particularly pleased with the statements of opponents of science and doubts about its achievements. Why?

First of all, because the very fact that they decided to speak under the text in writing means that they have something to defend. And if so, it means that they felt subconsciously threatened - it's a normal reaction, called cognitive dissonance . It is a painful experience, but we are dealing with the first step towards revising our own views, often simply ill-considered or imposed by the environment or by parents.

The arguments cited by opponents of science can be roughly divided into several repetitive currents and rhetorical tricks. Discussing all of them, I would bore readers more than usual, so today I just wanted to briefly discuss only one of them: "Science was already wrong, how can we be sure that it is not wrong now?" (And by default - "so probably vaccines kill babies") .

Science was already wrong!

Most often this argument is found in a form similar to the following:

  • Person A: There is scientific agreement around theory X (gravity, evolution, climate change), supported by a lot of evidence and research.
  • Person B: But science has already been wrong in the past! So homeopathy can be real! And don't vaccinate children!

Science is not infallible - on the contrary, the constant pursuit of an ever-more-accurate explanation of new data means that all the theories it formulates are constantly verified. In their place, new ones are formulated that explain the new data better. This does not quite mean that the old are "overthrown", as is commonly believed, but that they did not explain all the cases.

The fact that some scientific theory will prove to be insufficient will not cause that the already discredited theories from other fields will become true (e.g. similarity theory, the foundation of homeopathy, which turned out to be groundless in reality, i.e. in almost no law) .

The argument 'science was wrong' is based on a misunderstanding of how the scientific process works and the assumption that there is only a binary distinction between 'is right' and 'is wrong'. In fact, the discredited theories still explain a limited set of observations, and often the next queues are waiting in queue, which may become binding when we collect observational data confirming them.

Example: geocentric theory

The geocentric theory was the theory of the Universe's construction, assuming that the immovable Earth is at its center - and other celestial bodies revolve around it. In parallel, there was a heliocentric theory that was lacking in observational data. Greek astronomers could not observe parallax (which would be due to the change in the position of Earth on the journey around the sun and would prove heliocentricity).

The researchers of the time assumed that either the stars are still in the sky (geocentrism) or the stars are so far away that no parallax can be observed. Since then, the second assumption has proved true. At that time astronomers lacked the tools to measure the phenomenon. When it succeeded, it was one of the evidence that the heliocentric theory better explains the world around us.

To sum up: more than one theory existed in parallel, but the first one explained the collected observational data better. It is still so in science today. So you can say that science is wrong all the time, otherwise scientists would have nothing to do.

If the pseudoscientist invents something, it will be considered binding law and binding theory by the end of the world.

Meanwhile, pseudoscientific theories are never refuted because they are never subjected to verifications (actually they are subjected to them, but their supporters ignore their results). No new observation data is also provided. Instead, only anecdotic data is given (all the famous "I could not cure my nose cold until engineer Zięba came and helped me").

Not surprisingly, seeing the changing (by providing new observational data) scientific theories, some feel that it is the pseudoscience that will give them the support and confidence they need.



Science is not only wrong, it is not ashamed yet. I explain why this is happening

Comments

  1. Parse words much? Science is never wrong, oh no no no... it's just incomplete in it's inefficiencies! Science is gospel! Scientist are beyond reproach.. just like politicians.

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