Science and science methedology

Discussion in 'Alternative Theories' started by quarklet8, Sep 12, 2013.

  1. Yazata Valued Senior Member

    That sounds like a call for science to become something more like poetry. So why continue to call it 'science'?

    Science has to conform to observation and to experimental evidence, simply by its nature.

    Up until the 19'th century, science was largely conducted by amateurs. University programs in the sciences didn't exist. I think that scientific amateurism worked at that time, in part because science was simpler then and easier to learn.

    I guess that amateurs are still making important contributions in some areas of science. Amateur astronomers and naturalists do good work. There are lots of amateur geologists around.

    The problem today is that subjects like particle physics or genomics have become so incredibly complex that only a handful of specialists are fully up to speed on cutting-edge developments. It's increasingly difficult for amateurs to acquire the background necessary to make their own contributions, without years of post-graduate study.

    So to some extent science is evolving into kind of a priesthood, whose authority the general public is supposed to trust largely on faith. Of course that faith is buttressed by the magic that scientists can perform (advances in medicine and engineering).

    I think that this growing disconnect between the people and science might become a significant problem in years to come.
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  3. Yazata Valued Senior Member

    I don't see anything wrong with amateurs speculating about science and trying to form hypotheses of their own. That's a good thing.

    But calling those speculations 'breakthroughs' sounds grandiose. It's the grandiosity that typically gets people labeled 'cranks'.
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  5. brucep Valued Senior Member

    Saying he has done his homework is grandiose.
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  7. brucep Valued Senior Member

    It's already a 'big problem' just based on 'ignoring' the science for climate change. Most people don't even understand the scientific method. Amateurs reading about important scientific work should be able to figure out whether they can trust the science just by following the method. We should have been teaching the scientific method, and how to utilize it, from kindergarden to senior year in high school. Think of the scientific illiterates we elect to public office. The scientific literature is available for everybody to read. It's one of the 'few' things humans can be proud of. You'd never think that was true based on the 'noise' coming from the mouths of cranks. Mobil oil is a crank company lying to the masses and the masses are to stupid to realize it. IE the scientific literature is for nerds. Really dumb in my estimation.
  8. paddoboy Valued Senior Member


    Wow!!!!! What can I say?
    With attention to the smallest of details, yes, obviously you are quite correct, but we are not a couple of scientists trying to establish a space/time manipulator to achive FTL travel.
    What I'm saying is that forums such as this are not usually a vehicle for great discoveries and/or some new physics.
    Although I will say, that as a layman, I have learnt quite a bit, particularly off two blokes that readily come to mind from another forum...a young GR expert and an Astronomer.

    With the lost Mars probe that actually then, and still does, make one question why the US has not followed the rest of the world and switched entirely to metric.
    Australia did in 1968, and it was far more difficult [though not hard] for us, as our currency was based on pounds shillings and pence, with 12 pence in a shilling, and 20 shillings in a pound.
    Yet they [the US] still maintain the f.p.s system of weights and measures.

    On the subject of the thread, I have said it in other posts, the scientific methodology is not perfect, but it is the best we have and has certainly stood the scientific discipline in great stead.
    And as long as the qualities of knowledge, standing on the shoulders of giants, Imagination, speculation outside the square, and Innovation, all are maintained, it will continue and advance humanity in many fields.
    So far the optimism in the amount of Imagination/speculation by some scientists, is tempered with the more critical and just as necessary pessimistic mainstream approach by others.
    One side cannot achieve much without the other.
    I'm with the optimists in most fields particularly with the existence of ETL and getting to the stars in time.

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