This is going to be a grumpy post. (Remember I am sitting here at the dining room table while my son does his Algebra. I am allowed to be grumpy.)
Consider yourself warned.
If I have to read the words “Science Confims” one more time on my Facebook feed, I may blow a gasket.
Who is the Science they keep talking about? I don’t know anyone by the name of Science, do you? Do they mean scientists? Which scientists? Some group of scientists out of some university that did one study, and now science has confirmed everything?
This is how I know that kids in schools are not being taught how the study of the sciences and research works. Science is never settled.
WHAT? What about the Law of Thermodynamics? What about the Law of Gravity?
Yes, those are laws that have stood the test of time. Research has been done. Conclusions have been made over and over again that confirm them. Does this mean that it will never change? No. It is likely they will change? No. But still.
I also believe that today’s “science” is done backwards.
We all learned in our science fairs that an experiment starts with a question. Why is something happening? We make a hypothesis and then set up an experiment to test the hypothesis. We make a conclusion based on the results.
The trouble with science fair science is that we are led to believe that one experiment makes a definite conclusion. These kids are doing experiments that already have been done lots of times. The conclusion is already known. People already know how they are going to turn out. Kids are not learning that sometimes your experiment doesn’t work out, and your hypothesis is void. You need a new experiment designed to test your hypothesis.
Back to my backwards comment. What I believe that all these “researchers” that show up in my facebook feed are doing is starting with their preconceived conclusion.
For example, I want to show that organic foods are better for us because I have a financial investment in organic foods. So, I start with my conclusion. Organic foods are better for you. Now, I work backwards. I gather data that will only support this conclusion. I can make it sound convincing enough. That person that has cancer who only eats organic? Don’t include that person. Then, I don’t disclose that I threw out the outliers. So instead of gathering random data, I look for the data that I want to use. Then, I say that my experiment supports my hypothesis.
Now, scientists must have their research peer reviewed. Instead of having several different scientists peer review my paper, I gather those scientists that have the same presuppositions as myself. That way, they are already biased in their beliefs and will lean in my direction. If any scientists doesn’t agree with my paper, I will lead the charge to discredit the scientist instead of looking at my own paper.
Now people who already want to agree with me, see this as proof of their beliefs. We want it to be true. Someone did a study. We are right. It is settled.
Except it isn’t.
Rant over. This is my pet peeve. Please use discernment when posting articles on Facebook. Just because it says what you want to believe doesn’t mean it is “settled”.