Wednesday 4 December 2013

Science, now with less science

Science has been a bit of a buzz word lately, especially since everybody 'fucking loves science'. The unfortunate thing is that most of the 'science' that I come across isn't science, and is often in no way scientific. This is clearly anecdotal, but I've heard similar concerns emerge unsolicited from from other fully grown people. Lets start with something simple. Atheism != science. If you were indoctrinated into atheism by your family, that has nothing to do with you being 'sciencey' or analytical. Pictures of animals and the natural world could quite easily be relabelled 'I fucking love God', and be used to support claims of his engineering prowess.

I'm not down with religion. I don't dislike it. It just isn't my scene. I'm very fond of people who do it in their life, but I don't do it in my life. I lack faith, and while there are times when I wish that I was capable of it, at the end of the day I am who I am. I perceive the world in a certain way, and the thing that I really get down with is improving that perception. I kind of like being wrong these days; That is how you learn, and learning is where it is at.

I think there is also this animosity towards science from certain groups, because they think that science is this completely unbending thing made of facts that have to be known. Science is a methodology and an approach. It is a way of taking the information that we have and then figuring out what other information we might need. Through science we change the way that we understand things. That's cool. Science says to us, "We're not done. We may never be done." We do our bit, and then the next generation does theirs, and then it just goes on like that. That's cool.

If you are one of those people out there who 'fucking love science', you should read What is this thing called science? Actually, it doesn't really matter who you are or what your deal is, this book is fantastic. Read it and then ponder on how the people around you process 'the news' and political leanings and cultural opinions. It is interesting to me how many people cite a lack of evidence as the justification for not being religious, and then espouse non-evidence based rhetoric without even taking a breath. It's ludicrous. Especially around election time. I will warn you that this book is highly likely to make the vast majority of political discussions that you are likely to come across sound irredeemably imbecilic, which might actually be a plus.

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