Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Why Science Matters (and Conspiracy Theory Doesn't)

I like this heartwarming passage about science:
But here’s the thing. The reason science really matters runs deeper still. Science is a way of life. Science is a perspective. Science is the process that takes us from confusion to understanding in a manner that’s precise, predictive and reliable — a transformation, for those lucky enough to experience it, that is empowering and emotional. To be able to think through and grasp explanations — for everything from why the sky is blue to how life formed on earth — not because they are declared dogma but rather because they reveal patterns confirmed by experiment and observation, is one of the most precious of human experiences.
And the opposite of it is called, well, conspiracy theory ---the game of blaming everything to neo liberals, marxists, foreign power, own weaknesses, capitalism, socialism, infidels, (....insert whatever you want...).

Alas, it seems that even many of our educated class, self-declared scientist, and supposedly respectable media just love it.


  1. I doubt that many self-proclaimed scientists genuinely see the virtues of empiricism. Many simply adopted what our science proponents have said to be great about science (namely those you quoted above: discovering nature through careful observation, systematic testing, and what not), without testing themselves whether science IS the appropriate method to understanding life.

    Doesn't that sound a bit dogmatic too? What's more important here? the content of your beliefs, or how you arrive to them? What if you end up believing that love (yep, all those squishy mooshy stuff) is the answer to all aspects of life, and yet you arrived to this conclusion through careful introspection and contemplation, wide readings on various investigative methods on love (including psychological, metaphysical, any discipline you can think of), and even by experiencing both events that support and disprove 'the power of love'?
    (now you know I'm talking rubbish here)


  2. irma: how do you test whether science is an appropriate method to understand nature?

    my test would be to see if it works. science, so far as i know, works. it works regardless of your subjective outlook on things.

    take gravity. one who says gravity is subjective would simply be a hypocrite, because i bet he wouldn't dare to free jump from a building.

    now contrast this to love, and the likes.