Something to chew on along with your Easter chocolate.
Originally shared by Chad Haney
How are the scientific method, free market, and natural selection related?
Read Sabine Hossenfelder’s blog post to find out. I particularly like this paragraph:
In science, the most relevant restriction is that we can’t just randomly generate hypotheses because we wouldn’t be able to test and evaluate them all. This is why science heavily relies on education standards, peer review, and requires new hypotheses to tightly fit into existing knowledge. We also need guidelines for good scientific conduct, reproducibility, and a mechanism to give credits to scientists with successful ideas. Take away any of that and the system wouldn’t work.
I write to try to undo the hype in a new scientific findings where a newspaper has lathered on too much hype. I also moderate the Science on Google+ community. So I often get comments about how we should question everything, that science is about challenging everything. If you don’t question everything, e.g., evolution, climate change, etc. then you aren’t doing science. Sadly, these comments often come from climate change deniers, believers in pseudoscience or conspiracies. So I often have to explain that skepticism is fine, however, when you have an extraordinary claim, you need extraordinary evidence. I’ve written about that before.
Skepticism doesn’t equal question all things
I’m not sure many people truly understand the scientific method and IFLS doesn’t help with catchy GIFs with no science or attribution.
Science is not about certainty. Science is about finding the most reliable way of thinking, at the present level of knowledge. Science is extremely reliable; it’s not certain. In fact, not only it’s not certain, but it’s the lack of certainty that grounds it. Scientific ideas are credible not because they are sure, but because they are the ones that have survived all the possible past critiques, and they are the most credible because they were put on the table for everybody’s criticism. […]
Image source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/neotsn/4947989561
h/t Filippo Salustri