Ramblings on Science

in StemSocial27 days ago

As for scientia, they defined it by its object, the knowledge of nature. And humans are the only beings capable of producing or treasuring knowledge. They acquire it through observation, which allows them to identify things of the same type and beings of the same species, by virtue of the presence or absence of certain characters (properties), as well as to measure the measurable aspects of reality, the magnitudes.

José Manuel Sánchez Ron, The Pillars of Science.

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The arrogance of some

Science, thanks to the quality it has demonstrated in its predictions and its technological benefits, has fallen into arrogance. Of course, it must be remembered that it is not a homogeneous thing as far as opinions are concerned, one scientist might say he believes in god as another in the sun. These personal opinions of those who make up the body of science often generalize the form of science.

Therefore, when I say it falls into arrogance I make an erroneous generalization. Its users fall into arrogance - why do they do that? Because it is a really effective tool and gives the feeling that it can't be wrong. Unfortunately, what we get from it, scientific knowledge, is a human process, prone to failures. Moreover, it is humans who use this tool that is science.

It clearly does not apply to everyone. Many scientists know that no knowledge obtained by science is definitive and that everything written can be rewritten, as has already happened. They just have to remember it. The method is so good that it generates false security and can tend to idolatry.

It is a fact that almost nothing in science is definitive, those who use it must maintain the humility that comes with it.

If a pilot knows more about how to fly a plane than a scientist but less than a scientist about genes, isn't it a tie? Why should we act arrogantly, then? Neither has the right to think they know more than the other. And science doesn't make anyone special. What makes you special is the insight to use it and answer the questions. People's behavior has nothing to do with science.

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Science belongs to everyone

As I said, science is a tool and as such can and is used by anyone. The ones we know with the adjective scientists, are those who use it to obtain a specific knowledge, for example physics, biology, etc. However, we could all be scientists just by using it for almost anything. Therefore, I think it is a mistake to separate "ordinary" people from it. We all are or can be "scientists ", and those who have as a profession a discipline that uses it would be "science specialists".

Science, in a way, is a natural human tendency. In our early years, when everything is a great mystery, we conduct unconscious experiments on what surrounds us to generate knowledge of the world. Then we are taught that curiosity is synonymous with ignorance. You should not act like a curious child.

That has been changing. More and more inquiring behavior is maintained to discover what we are curious about. Astonishment is the first step, just as it was when we were children.

Curiosity begins with wonder. And from curiosity we go to questions. And from questions to a way to answer them.

That the knowledge obtained by science is difficult to understand for some does not mean that the one who understands it is superior when, after all, anyone can understand it if they want to, they only have to make an effort.

And it is the task of those who understand scientific knowledge to teach it to others. No subject is unnecessary or a waste of time to try to answer even if it is "stupidity without the slightest scientific value, without the possibility of being contrasted, and is based solely on lucubrations or falsehoods". If such stupidities cause harm or could cause harm, an attempt should be made to clarify them, whatever the results.

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Scientific Religion

As we know, science is not a religion, it is a tool as well as a hammer. It is used to obtain knowledge that is as objective as possible, testable and useful. Users of science should not assume that everything they get from it is the final truth, but one under construction, nor that knowing and using the method makes them superior or better prepared. Probably many scientists see science in this way and it seems to me a very logical way of looking at it.

In the past, we believed as true whatever the wise man said. Now, we believe whatever science says. But there is a big difference. What the sage told us we couldn't check, we had to trust him. What science says we can verify it and see that it works. We worship the sage, we worship the scientific icons as well. And because of this idolatry, we did not judge nor did we deem it necessary to question their affirmations. And from the sages could come religion and from the scientific icons... also.

In religion there is a dogma, unquestionable, undeformable. Scientific knowledge has the equivalent: universal laws. The difference: the first is undeformable, it will not change; the second is molded with data, error correction mechanism and evidence but tends to dogma because one of the objectives of science is the formulation of universal laws.

This problem of science, the tendency to dogma, can generate in the long run a problem of objectivity. Perhaps a deviation from the most correct path. And if it were not rectified, we would have to return to the point of the supposed deviation and start again.