Late Summer Saturday Open Thread August 25 [KT] | Main | Truth Or Consequences....Moron Edition
August 19, 2018

THE SCIENCE IS SETTLED!

The scientific method is unforgiving, and not quite as simple as one would think. I was having a conversation about it with a friend who knows a lot more about it than I, and he corrected my lazy definition with a more complete one:

Instead of "true" and "not true" I'd substitute "consistent with what we know so far" (i.e., not yet disproven), and "not true." The problem with characterizing an explanation as "true" is that it gradually accretes more and more credibility over time, until it becomes received truth. It's important to remind oneself that any explanation could be overturned tomorrow.
Does that sound familiar?

So I was immensely amused to find this article recently about a scientist whose theory is upsetting the "settled science" apple cart, and it is awesome. The Nastiest Feud in Science: A Princeton geologist has endured decades of ridicule for arguing that the fifth extinction was caused not by an asteroid but by a series of colossal volcanic eruptions. But she's reopened that debate.

There are many instances of accepted science that were disproven in a flash, and years or decades or centuries of fact were simply discarded. And that is as it should be. Having an emotional or financial or egotistical connection to a scientific conclusion is an invitation to sit at the head of the table and get the first and largest serving of crow.

I have no knowledge or expertise in this field, but her theory certainly makes sense. it may be right..it may be wrong, but it should battle it out honorably on the field of logic and science, not on the post-modern field of malleable rules and acceptance of the popular as the truth.


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posted by CBD at 12:15 PM

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