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People reject science because...

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Frank Merton

I'm underwhelmed by the "scientific method" at least as it is taught in the first chapter of my son's high school physics. It seems to be simply, observe, ask questions, be organized, form a hypothesis, test the hypothesis. Sure, fine. I dare say that is rarely if ever what really happens -- at least on the conscious level (it may be what happens instinctively or when the scientist sits down and thinks about what he or she did).

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aquatus1

Surely you acknowledge that the "scientific method" taught to a high schooler is hardly the same scientific method used by working researchers?

I have seen high school physics books introducing children to basic physics, but these are hardly sufficient for what professional engineers have to incorporate into their calculations. This does not, in any way, make what they learned in high school any less valid.

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Frank Merton

Well of course. I think people talk about this thing called "the scientific method" as though it were some arcane procedure only scientists do, when as far as I can tell it is just organized, somewhat institutionalized, common sense.

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aquatus1

In all fairness, what scientists are doing when they refer to "the scientific method", goes far beyond anything that could be referred to as common sense in the non-institutionalized world, and is arguably one of the foundational definitions that makes up the actual institution to begin with.

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Frank Merton

In all fairness, what scientists are doing when they refer to "the scientific method", goes far beyond anything that could be referred to as common sense in the non-institutionalized world, and is arguably one of the foundational definitions that makes up the actual institution to begin with.

I'm not sure what you just said, except you did seem to say the scientific method goes "far" beyond common sense. How?

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aquatus1

Common sense describes a state where someone asking a question is able to come to a satisfactory answer within their own mind based on previous experience, either directly or indirectly related to the question being asked.

The scientific method outlines a process in which a question is being asked which either has little to no precedent, or which the previous answer has been found either incorrect or insufficient. Accordingly, the documentation in regards to how the new "correct" answer came about must involved the removal of far more variables than the original answer did, in a manner which must satisfy any third-party that objectivity was maintained to the best possible degree.

Common sense merely implies a set of thoughts regarding a subject that are either true or taken as true. The scientific method is a cultural system that certifies the validity and credibility of the data regarding a given subject, and of the conclusions drawn from that data.

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jsowersby
deadpool_common_sense.jpg

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FurthurBB

Exactly, but apparently (or so current research indicates) the older one gets the less effective ones immune system appears to be in developing antibodies to these pathogens. So, a vaccinated 75 year old probably won't gain as great a chance at immunity as would a vaccinated 35 year old. See what I mean?

You spend 23 years of your life building your immune system. Then you have you have a very strong immune system for about 40 years, after which it continually declines.

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badeskov

You spend 23 years of your life building your immune system. Then you have you have a very strong immune system for about 40 years, after which it continually declines.

Didn't know that! One learns something new every day :)

Cheers,

Badeskov

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FurthurBB

Science has reduced some diseases. It has also kept them in deep freeze so they are not totally extinct. Some of the diseases that were supposed to be eradicated are now weaponized.

Science itself is a valuable service to mankind. Scientists are a whole other story. Scientists, including medical doctors, or any other "logist" are not above corruption. They are bought and sold routinely to conduct "studies" for anyone who has the cash to line their pockets with. Scientists said xrays were safe, DDT was harmless, the list of things that have proven to be harmful is very long. Science has lost some cred due to scientists who have no moral fiber. There is also the gruop think aspect of the medical establishment. Many scientists won't risk their reputation to blow the whistle on other scientists with less than altruistic motives. There also needs to be a major paradigm shift in the materialist world view.

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Matter, according to quantum physics, is dependent on our own consciousness to change it from wave to particle. Meaning what we see as real is just a reflection of us, our awareness. Thuis view is virtually the same as Taoist and Buddhist cosmology. TO hold on to the view that Western science has the ultimate understanding of the universe and reality is naive. It's like saying only one view can be right. There are many views with many perspectives and alll have their strong points and serve a purpose. Western science is great at catagorizing the material, studying the physcial but it lacks in seeing past the end of the microscope into the unseen. If it can't be measured it's not real is the mantra of many scientists. Theoretical physicists say matter is just a possibility. What the scientist is actually measuring is an illusion made solid by his own consciousness.

People knew that X-rays were dangerous before they ever used them clinically. I do not believe anyone ever thought they were safe. DDT was always more an issue of benefits versus risks. It was definitely overused here, but it is so cheap and effective at destroying insect vectors that using it in developing countries is important. Corruption in any field is unfortunant, but in science it is hard to get away with it very long because everything is available for duplication.

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Erowin

There was a study done (oh no! a study!) that asked people with very strong opinions on a topic to read two articles, one supporting the topic and one rejecting it. Everyone easily remembered facts about the side of the argument they supported. Say you believe A is bad. When asked about the articles, you would remember details very vividly from the article saying its bad, and almost block out the support article. They couldn't remember as much from the one that contradicted them, and left feeling more validated in their belief, because of the facts they learned that supported them.

It's proven that people FILTER OUT information that contradicts what they believe. We dont take information and use it to form a belief- we form a belief and find information to support it. Its human nature to actually become personally offended when seeing things that contradict us.

I think another big reason people distrust new science is simply thats its new, strange and confusing. People fear vaccinations and GMOs, and climate change has very distrubing implications- we're not infalliable and need to act.

I think this is why new scientific breakthroughs realted to the body or climate are rejected, is out of fear. It's also easier to be afraid. You hear someone saying vaccinations gave their children autism, that its bad for you- its human nature to then decide to avoid that certain thing just in case. It's harder to say 'No, this is safe'- especially if you don't know all the science. Every time you vaccinate you'd remember that 'vaccinations are poison' thing you heard, and simple fear will take over, wanting to keep ourselves safe. Even if you heard they aren't dangerous many times, the ones saying 'its bad' will stand out more, because we have an instinct to avoid what we think might even slightly be dangerous.

It's a staple of pseudoscience. Hearing some information causes you to seek out others who believe the same thing, boosting your belief. You then find facts to support it- even if you have to dive into a paper pile of essays that find no link between autism and vaccines, you will rumage right on by without a second glance until you find that one paper at the bottom that said there is a link- nevermind it was proven to be bad science.

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