The march for science

Quiz #1 — Who made this statement about Saturday’s march for science: “Rigorous science depends not on ideology but on a spirit of honest inquiry and robust debate”?

a) Neil deGrasse Tyson
b) Bill Gates
c) Stephen Hawking
d) Donald Trump

The answer is (d).

Quiz #2 — Did the statement come from

a) His lips
b) His Twitter account
c) His pen
d) A spokesperson

The answer is (d).

Science is not just another belief system or “faith.” Belief and knowledge are two different things. One can say “Joe believes the earth is flat” but not “Joe knows the earth is flat.”

How we know things is called epistemology. Scientific knowledge comes from a rigorous process of deduction from observation and evidence, always open to correction through better observation and evidence. Belief has nothing to do with it.

You can believe the earth is flat, but through science we know it isn’t. You can even do fake science, cherrypicking bits of information (and making up a lot) to deny evolution, but real science knows it’s true.

You can similarly torture facts to deny climate change and/or humanity’s role in it. Or to see harm outweighing benefits in vaccination, or Genetic Modification. Pick your ideology; believe what you like. But if you prefer reality, try real science.

Photo of me at the march by Therese Broderick

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9 Responses to “The march for science”

  1. Wolfgang Kurth Says:

    Great Picture guys!

  2. bruce Says:

    Please take the time to watch this, please
    http://www.coyoteblog.com/coyote_blog/2017/03/updated-climate-video-understanding-the-climate-debate-the-lost-middle-ground.html

  3. bruce Says:

    Oh, I have no affiliation with the blog site, just passing through.

  4. Lee Says:

    Starting with enough alt-facts one can build on them using scientific processes to infer additional alt-facts. Ultimately one gets a huge echo chamber of sufficiently self-consistent alt-facts, which includes alt-reasons for why actual facts should be doubted. These alt-reasons are even scientifically justified in the sense that they are derived using legitimate scientific processes, though as applied to alt-facts from the echo chamber.

    Does epistemology help us to convince those in a self-consistent echo chamber of alt-reality that they have gone astray from actual reality?

  5. Greg Says:

    The war on science originates with fundamentalist religious doctrine which won’t tolerate anything that conflicts with established dogma.

    Followers of such doctrines rationalize away any facts that don’t fit, thereby giving us dinosaur fossils meant to test the faith of the true believer rather than demonstrate a fact of nature, or the belief climate change is impossible because God wouldn’t allow such a thing to happen.

    Religious zealots have dragged their heels for centuries on scientific advancement and I don’t see them changing anytime soon. If history is any lesson, the adverse consequences of their false beliefs have to impact their own lives before they become willing to change.

    This seems like a terrible shame to me, as religion and science are entirely compatible as long as one recognizes where science properly applies. Science has supremacy when it’s findings involve measurable facts or natural laws that are consistently provable. In other words, evolution, cosmology, and climate science are the best truth-tellers we have on these particular subjects. Believers in a supreme being need to accept that and more.

  6. Lee Says:

    @Greg: when I think of organizations that deny climate science, I do not think of Christian, Muslim, Buddhist, Jewish, etc.; I think of Exxon, Chevron, Peabody, etc., and Republicans. When it comes to science deniers, I think economic influences are bigger than religious ones.

  7. bruce Says:

    Lee, was that response earlier about the video? One should never be so accepting of the popularly held belief that he has to contort his perceptions to keep believing.
    Nevertheless I wish you the best.

  8. Lee Says:

    @bruce: I wish I could do justice to your request to watch the full 68-minute video, but … I have other priorities too. In the first few minutes, I notice that the author’s focus is the claim that there will not be catastrophic global warming. Maybe he fixes his claim later, but as it starts he is arguing with a straw man. For several years now, “global warming” has not been the adversary; it is now “climate change.” It is the climate change that has *already* reached catastrophic levels on various islands and the polar ice caps. The author may have some long-winded way of showing that the “global warming” facet of climate change is not in isolation going to be catastrophic to some particular audience, but I don’t have the time to find out.

    If I have it wrong, and you would spend the time to clarify this here, I’d be much obliged.

  9. bruce Says:

    Lee, thanks for clarifying for me. What he tries to clarify, among other things is the discrepancy between what most scientist think about AGW and what it has been claimed they think. Sounds odd doesn’t it, but the “Consensus”, attribution of warming, and the earth’s climatic history are all things most people do not understand. There is a bit about the abysmal record of the Climate models to mimic past or present conditions. With the question, if they are wrong from the beginning … . Acknowledgment of what part CO2 plays in warming and what part Scientists have, through models (that don’t work), will add to the Earth’s climate.

    By no means the end all definitive discussion of AGW but it is a good beginner’s text to start with.

    I have spent on average an hour a day for the last five years reading discussions and reviews of papers by some great minds.(and not so great)
    In my opinion to hold a belief about the total picture of Climate Change without taking some time to delve into the story (beyond what is offered via the believers is short sighted.
    Best regards
    Bruce

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