Anti Science friends and trying to enlighten them. (possibly funny)

  • #26
483
2


Anyone else have friends that fell to the evils of anti science? Is there is like some kind of anti science and education movement?
Yes, there is an anti science and education movement. Millions believe that it's all a huge conspiracy to control the public. Once people fall into that mindframe there is not much you can do. If they want to believe that, they can.
 
  • #27
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I wouldn't recommend those kind of general remarks because you stand a good chance of getting your metaphorical feet whipped out from under you.

We don't know that "science is correct", we believe that we have a set of reasonably consistent models, grouped under the not entirely clear heading of "science", that provide us with a good-enough-for-many-purposes predictive and explanatory explanation of the universe we observe around us. A brief examination of the history of "science", however, will show that these models have, at times, been subject to quite marked changes in paradigm. It is important to remember that these prior hypotheses were often based on observational evidence coupled to the collection of philosophical thought that existed at the time; for example, the earth-centric, circular planetary orbit models were good enough up to the point where observation and model parted company, then epicyclic models were introduced, then sun-centric circular orbits, then sun-centric elliptical orbits and the transition into Newtonian gravity and General Relativity - all very significant changes in terms of their predictive and philosophical impact. Given this history of change (and the fact that there are still many unanswered questions about the nature of gravity and other aspects of the universe), saying "science is correct" is a step beyond that which is warranted by the evidence.
It's kind of funny actually, because I typically use the example of gravity as an example of proof FOR my claim. Take the newtonian gravity model for example, it is not describing the full story, since we've found cases which it can't explain, where we need something better, like the relativity theory. However, incomplete is not the same as wrong. I would not claim that newton was wrong, just because it doesn't describe everything. In fact, the same experiements that newton did to prove his theory can be done today with the same results, that the newtonian model is indeed a good description. similarly, any physical models we have today, although they may be incomplete, will never be proven wrong, because in the setting they were measured today, they will always yield correct results, hence they are correct in some meaning of the word.

Another thing you might like to note is that despite claims to the contrary there are still a number of scientists (practicing or former) who are religious and a subset of those who are priests.
Being religious is not the same thing as believing in a very particular religious text. I agree that some (many) people just have a need to believe, and this is not necessarily correlated with their profession, scientists or not, and is totally fine because no one has disproven all religious experiences. However, some specific religious text are just wrong, provably wrong, and that should not be put on the same footing as models that can be experimentally verified.
 
  • #28
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5,776


I would agree. Logic is very hard to argue with; that would be one of the primary tools in my hand-bag of idiocy-removal.
My friend used to combat logic with illogic. It was a more potent sophistry than any other method and he was an MAA math champion in the 1970's. He could always state that rule of logic no longer apply when dealing with an illogic proposition.
 
  • #29
Darkynx


Whovian: You made my day. Check out this golden nugget (if you can actually watch all of it) of completely not understanding physics. Pretty damn ignorant to call Dark Energy and Matter a bad theory.

 
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  • #30
berkeman
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