It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything on this blog. The prime reason is that I really couldn’t think of anything relevant to post on here that was “different” enough in comparison to many of the other science or science-related blogs out there. But I have finally come to a realization of what would be worthy about to blog; delving into what science actually is and all of it’s underpinnings.
There’s a plethora of blogs, websites, and articles that post science or science-related information and findings. Cosmological findings, quantum mechanic developments, neuroscience, etc. However, there’s just as much, if not more, pseudo-science out there. How does one distinguish science from pseudo-science? The issue is made more relevant when both are essentially presented in the same format. Slap a label on it saying “Genuine Science”, by a scientist (or a few), and it’s done.
I used to think that many people were for the most part willingly ignorant. In a world where information is readily available at a moments notice, how can someone accept pseudo-scientific information over real science? But it recently dawned on me that these same people aren’t necessarily declining to accept science, but rather they haven’t been taught the appropriate mental tools in order to weed through all the claims and separate the two. Perhaps to most people, science and pseudo-science are indistinguishable. Again, the issue is complicated when both are presented in about the same manner. Presented simply as facts and findings, headlines to grab attention, etc. The “oh look, this is cool” style of spreading information. And this style of reporting science news is not much different than our own education system (US). It creates this concept that science equates to information presented to you, without actually teaching what science is and what it’s about.
The truth is, science isn’t information. It’s a method, a process, a mindset. It should be able to stand alone, separate from the knowledge it brings about. In this sense, you should be able to insert science into any culture or civilization, and they would be able to come up with the same knowledge about the universe, given enough time.
Teaching about science is more important than teaching scientific findings. Again, if one doesn’t understand science, how can we expect them to separate science from pseudo-science? We can’t. Think about how this translates to society as a whole. The consequences are more dire than most realize. This isn’t an overstatement or fear-mongering. For instance, we have elected politicians who are science-deniers (ie: global warming, evolution, vaccinations), which affects policies and laws.
Now, explaining what science is can’t really be stripped down to one blog, or some quick and simple route (like school textbooks, which end up lying about what scientific method is). So I’m going to break it down by the various concepts, each with their own blog (or two).
My main goals are to educate others on what science is really about and hopefully dispel misinformation. I also hope to encourage questions or even submissions on what to write about next.
Here’s a brief list (not complete) of some of the topics I will attempt to cover (in no particular order): Philosophy (such as Philosophy of Science), History of Science, what Knowledge is (and the various attempts at defining it, such as “Justified true belief”), Critical thinking, logic, reasoning, skepticism, mathematics, explanation of various related terms, arguments and examples, and explanation of scientific peer-review.
Before I end this blog post, however, I want to dispel some misinformation about what scientists in general. A lot of people seem to believe that scientist are cold-hard-logical thinkers and that creativity and imagination aren’t required. This simply is not true at all. Yes, science takes logic (many forms of), but it also takes equal amounts of, if not more, imagination. Quantum mechanics, general and special relativity, evolution, are all examples of findings by thinking outside the box. It takes thinking away from “conventional wisdom” and things that are preconceived in order to make progress and make discoveries of the universe around us. Most things simply aren’t the way we perceive them to be. Science REQUIRES an imaginative mind; it is absolutely essential.
Well, that wraps it up for now. For those reading, if there’s a particular topic you would find more interesting or would like to know more about first, please feel free to “ask”, or if you have any related questions. Thanks for reading. :)