For more comment, visit columns
Treat science right and it could help save the world
My definition of science — and it’s an arid
term, and almost no one really understands it
as far as I’m concerned: The most important
aspect of science is that it’s a philosophical
construct, which man (and woman) has developed to determine what is true, might be true
and can be true.
Once one [accepts] that, one puts science on
a very interesting philosophical level, because
truth must be universal and must not vary
from country to country or planet to planet.
Truth assumes that the experiment will always
work the same way. That suggests that, basically, it won’t work differently if you pray to
Truth is an intellectual integrity issue. I want
to stress that…. So for science education, this is an
ethical issue. We should be teaching our children
how to determine what is true. It depends on evidence. Without evidence, anything goes. And we must teach young people
how to recognize the truth. And that’s why there is a conflict
between science and dogma, both political and religious. Texas
is desecrating science textbooks, and thus the truth....
We have to weigh the evidence in the balance, and science
therefore equals truth. John F. Kennedy said, “The great
enemy of the truth is very often not the lie — deliberate, contrived and dishonest, but the myth — persistent, persuasive
and unrealistic. Belief in myths allows the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought.”...
I have a four-out-of-five rule for scientific method. Here
it is: If you make an observation, develop a theory you think
can explain it. Then design some further experiments to
test the validity of that theory. If four observations out of
five fit, the theory is almost, and I stress almost, certainly
right. If only one out of five fits, the theory is almost, almost