Cake
  • Log In
  • Sign Up
    • As scientific fields of research mature, it is often the case that theories that replace the established mainstream do not necessarily totally displace the theory that came before it. Consider Einstein's work. It didn't stop Newtonian physics from being useful. Likewise a future replacement for Einstein's findings won't make his theories useless.

    • Part of the problem is that there is a cultivated representation of "the scientist" in modern media which explicitly defines them out of behaving "like human beings." They are a cut above, unconcerned with such petty concerns as our day-to-day lives, their own existence is purely an abstraction and absorb wholly with their field of study.

      Or, more shortly, absolute crap.

      Anyone who has ever actually associated with scientists, doctors, or other members of what we are presented as the intellectual elite, knows that they are just as human with vulnerability to human foible and failure as anyone else.

      That's a problem if you imagine the world can and should and possibly is run by an elite technocracy who are manifestly superior to everyone else at every turn.

      Science, as a philosophy and as a process, is intended to be driven by human beings – flawed, individual human beings who can fail in a multitude of ways. The process is supposed to account for that by replication, by the demand for documentation, by an unflinching view of recognizing that error bars exist, and by making careful claims based only on the available evidence.

      Of course, it is enacted and viewed by mere human beings, which represents not a failure with the process but a failure in existence.

    • Thanks, lextenebris, and welcome to Cake. 😁

      I was once listening to NPR as they interviewed some apparently famous scientist, I wasn't sure who because I tuned in part way, and Terry Gross asked what he thought the greatest advance in science was. He answered, "the double-blind test." It speaks to the biases we all have, even trained scientists.

      I've never been able to find that quote. 😢