what science is

"Science can give us answers, but they are not true just because science says so. They are true or at least a usefully accurate approximation of reality because anyone (at least with training and equipment) can perform the same tests or experiments and replicate the results for themselves."

From a commenter over at Science-Based Medicine. Says it all, really.


and also, from the same thread (different ‘speaker’):

"You can have faith in religion, you can have faith in leadership, you can have faith that a treatment will help you since it is based on scientific study, but you cannot have faith in science. In science, you should only have skepticism and curiosity. The only faith that you should be asked to accept in Science-Based Medicine (which is not science), is that what has been observed in the past, will likely be observed in the present.

"You need only believe in a part of science when you repeatedly observe that part of science being correct. That belief is justified so long as you continue to observe the same results. Science should be belief in what you observe, not faith. There are questions that science cannot answer, faith can be applied to those questions.

"In a scientific argument, the better argument will lead to a better hypothesis or experiment, not to a change in policy or lifestyle. Scientific arguments are often obtuse to anybody who has not been involved in the study of a particular subject. There are many who take advantage of that obtuse nature, and use sounding sciency to sway opinion without having the data to back it up."

2 thoughts on “what science is”

  • Part of this reminds me of Feynman’s excellent chess analogy. (Didn’t you post a video of this some time ago?) It was wonderful, although it helps to know chess, which is a bit of a catch.
    Must check out this SBM post when I have time.

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