Given Its History, Can We Trust Science?

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Now that I’ve pointed out all the problems with science for about a month, it’s time to make myself clear: I love science! If it weren’t for the organized study of all of the pieces of the world and universe around us, we would still be living in caves and huts, hunting food with sticks, warming ourselves by a fire pit, and treating diseases like cancer with bags of herbs tied around our necks. I, like many people, am fascinated by the way things work and the laws that govern our existence! I am grateful for life-saving medicines, advances in travel, every modern appliance that makes my life easier, and the technology that allows me to communicate instantly with people who live across the entire planet!

However, I see scientific study as a tool. It is wonderful to use as a means of exploring and explaining life on planet earth, but it hasn’t yet explained everything.

History

I will be keeping this one brief, so to those who were looking for something highly intellectual, I apologize.

  • If I had decided that science had answered everything in the 1500’s or 1600’s, I would still believe that the earth was flat and that people could fall off the edges.
  • Science in the 1800’s was not countering the argument that people of “Negro descent” were inferior by nature.
  • Science in the early 1900’s could not put a human into space, but by the end of the century it ¬†could.

I think you see where this is going.

Also, the same arguments that I have already pointed out still apply.

  • Science is a system of study that has been invented and used by imperfect human beings. That alone gives reason to suspect that errors exist — especially in emerging studies. Even the hypothesis and the method/test/experiment have to be created.
  • Researchers have difficulties setting aside all of their bias. That means that may see things that weren’t actually there, or miss important details that they didn’t notice because they weren’t looking for them.
  • No matter what the study, there is room for subjectivity in the interpretation of the results.

Conclusions

I think the most important thing is that science really is amazing. Despite all of the opportunity for error, it is organized enough and accurate enough that we have been able to make advances that have bettered lives across the globe. Science is a worthy tool that deserves respect.

On the other hand, I feel it’s important to remember that science is JUST a tool. To “believe in science” at any given time is to not have all of the answers. To say that science has proven something is to take a leap of faith.

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