The beauty in science is nothing is absolute. Ever.
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28-10-2013 12:04 #11
28-10-2013 12:10 #12
The thing is, you can have your own opinion, but not your own facts. Some things are conclusively proven facts. Let's use an example- the earth is a rounded shape. We know it is because scientists have studied the earth and sent cameras and rockets and spacecraft with men on board into outer space and they have seen it, filmed it, photographed it. Many other areas of science confirm that yes, the earth is rounded. Say I tell you all this, and you say "well, I believe the earth is flat, it's my OPINION"- do you see? It might BE your opinion! But that doesn't make it any less incorrect.
Science is not infallible. Science is not perfect. Science is ever evolving and changing as we learn more. What more do you want? Really, what more can you possible ask of it? We are humans, humans don't have all the answers- but we have scientific study and practical science that can be credited with the advancement of human kind. All the years of "research" and "scientific facts" mean we don't die at the age of 30 anymore, we can treat illnesses that used to kill people (like diabetes for example), we can actually prevent and eradicate deadly disease through vaccination, we can fly around the world, drive around the country, we can connect to people everywhere with the touch of a button, we have tv, we have refrigeration, we have laser freaking hair removal- ALL these things possible because of science!
The reason 'personal experience' is not as valuable as scientific research when discussing things like alt med treatments is that personal experience is anecdotal and subjective. You have no way of knowing if a treatment worked or if another factor came into play. Just recently in that other thread someone stated their child got hyper from drinking sugary juice- other people showed her research showing that sugar doesn't cause hyperactivity. There were other reasons given as to why the child might seem hyper (perception, expectation on the parent's part- excitement on the child's part) and other chemical reason not related to sugar but related to salicylates. So one person has an experience and attributes it to sugar. But the facts are, sugar doesn't cause those issues. Correlation (child had sugar now child seems hyper therefore sugar causes hyperactivity) does not equal causation (child had juice, seems hyper, may be just excited or may be sensitive to salicylates).
You say yourself that you aren't a scientist and rarely research. Should I moderate my posts because I do like to research things? Someone else choosing to research and choosing to share that knowledge is not done to make you feel stupid. If you "can't be bothered" to research or learn about something, that's your call. If I have bothered to do so and you say something I know to be factually incorrect, I will say so, because I don't like to see misinformation spread. Like is someone said vaccines cause autism- I would be the first one there correcting that- misinformation can be blardy dangerous.
To answer your actual question, do I believe everything science is proven- it's a strangely worded question- science isn't a religion, it doesn't require believers. The role of scientific evidence in my decision making is this: I base my decisions on the best, most reliable and available information.
So to reuse the homeopathy example, I have read numerous studies and a few cochrane reviews that have concluded that homeopathic remedies are no more effective that placebos. That has been demonstrated in numerous studies, over and over again. I have also looked at the theory of homeopathy and how is is supposed to work and have read scientific articles that explain how homeopathy is a scientific impossibility. So based on an overwhelming body of evidence and information, I can conclude that homeopathy is ineffective.
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28-10-2013 12:14 #13
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28-10-2013 12:26 #14
Not everything, no. I mean, the Earth is round and the moon orbits the Earth which orbits the Sun and blah blah blah, those things are proven without a doubt. But with a lot of things, we're still learning, still testing theories. So for me it really comes down to the amount of proof and if it's absolute or not.
28-10-2013 12:30 #15
but there never is absolute proof in science and no scientist will ever claim there is. It comes down to reasonable doubt. even the earth and the sun and moon we know those things happen but its still never given as an absolute by anyone. it may be 99.999999% but its still never 100%
28-10-2013 12:34 #16
So... who is to say even largely believed, government promoted "facts" will not be disproved n the future?
For me, I try to do the as much reading as possible about a subject close to my heart or of personal interest, and use my personal experience, insight and even - most unscientifically - intuition to make decisions. Scientific research can be fascinating and enlightening but yep, it's fluid and should be taken as such, not the absolute answer to any given question.
28-10-2013 12:37 #17
My background is in humanities rather than the sciences, but I am a primary school teacher so I teach science and have to do a LOT of background reading because it is not an area that I naturally understand very well. I think there is, or can be, a disconnect between scientific data and the interpretation of said data. I learnt in my years and years of essay writing at university that you can prove/support any argument you want by providing a quotation that seems to support what you say, even if it's one sentence taken completely out of context. And I think this happens a lot in the science world. Climate change is a great example of this. Often you really need to go to the source to understand the full scope of an investigation and its results. Science is not always 'right', and our understandings of the scientific world are mutable and constantly evolving, but I think it is always the 'best fit' for what we know at the time.
I don't believe it's patronising or discounting to say in response to someone giving an opinion, 'yea, but this is what science says'. An example of that was the discussion in another thread about tiles and carpet being the same temperature. Thanks to the explanation I now accept this to be true - it doesn't *feel* true to me, though! If you asked me I would swear black and blue that tiles are colder than carpet. In fact I remember reading that and thinking 'I don't believe that!' My feelings about the situation don't match up to the science of it. So to answer OP question, I don't always 'believe' Science, in that it doesn't match my view of the world, but I accept that the science is more likely to be correct. I'm wrong, despite my life experience and perception. My perception remains the same. I think it would be arrogant of me to decide that because this isn't my experience, then therefore the science is wrong. What I do believe in 100% is the scientific method, and level of academic rigour that studies are subjected to. And I trust that, so therefore I trust the results.
28-10-2013 12:41 #18Senior Member
- Join Date
- Nov 2007
Absolutely. I freaking love science! I find it very fascinating.
I don't believe everything that is thrown at me and sold as 'fact' though. People could show me a study concluding one thing, yet another research paper could conclude differently. There is room for different interpretation, and this is often why many researchers disagree on many topics.
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28-10-2013 13:00 #19
Having a critical eye is good- it's how we separate good research from flawed, for example. I don't think I or anyone has said that science is absolute- it's constantly evolving in many areas.
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28-10-2013 13:03 #20
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