CCL: What is Science?

Good article!


Living is hope and you have it.

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From: "Mark Zottola mzottola[-]";
Date: 2012年8月18日(星期六) 上午9:17
To: "Tao, Yunwen -id#nh-";
Subject: CCL: What is Science?

I think most of us agree that character assassination is not part of the scientific method and has little place in science.

While the line between personal and scientific criticism may get thin at times, it is an easily seen line that should not get crossed.

I believe the original poster does miss the salient point about science, that it is something is built upon the panorama of communal observation. That is, if I add potassium iodide to a solution of methyl chloride in Pittsburgh PA, I observe the same rate of formation of methyl iodide if I ran the same experiment in Luzanne, Switzerland.

The power of that shared observation is that we can accumulate a body of knowledge which allows us to explain, predict and learn. One cannot do that if the bar to scientific knowledge is set at the level of unsubstantiated observation. WIthout examination, criticism and reproduction, all science becomes nothing more than jargon-filled gossip.

In a day and time when Luddites want to reinterpret science as flights of imagination (e.g., climate change), peer review and the scientific method are the guarantees that rational decisions based on science are trustworthy.