Borrowed off FaceBook....don’t care who wrote it....it’s very true.
The phrase “I believe in science” may be one of the most ridiculous things a person can say in this age of information
Let me explain.
What this statement has come to mean is: “I believe in the current scientific consensus.” or “I trust the scientific results in this study posted right below” it also implies that “anyone who disagrees with me is anti-science, and I have no reason to listen to them” Not often do we realize that a person can find scientific evidence to back up any belief they have about the world.
There was once a scientific consensus that smoking was good for you. Not just benign… but a healthy life choice.
Science once told us it would be a good idea to spray DDT directly on the skin of people - including children.
Science told us Vioxx (a drug for arthritis) was safe and it ended up causing 140,000 heart attacks and killing about 50,000 people.
Why do I bring up these instances? To show that, unless science is your religion, science is not meant to be a belief system. Science is meant to be a process. The minute you “believe” in science is the minute you give away your critical thinking skills because a study tells you how to think. True scientists do not “believe” in scientific results so much as they believe in the process. They have the understanding that science is always changing. We will never “arrive” to a place and time where we know all there is to know. As a science major in college I learned that doing science often leaves us with more questions than answers.
Science is meant to be questioned, not blindly believed in. In the words of Richard Feynman,
“I’d rather have questions that can’t be answered than answers that can’t be questioned.”
The final issue I have with this statement is that most science has been bought by our capitalistic and reductionist culture. We only study the things that can make us money and only those with money can fund the science that they “believe” in. We study what a drug or supplement does to one part of our body without looking at how it affects the whole person long term.
An example of this would be how there is a lack of science on the physiological, normal birth process because midwives don’t have the money to fund it. But when you’re trying to sell pitocin, fetal monitors and epidurals to hospitals suddenly there’s a lot of science to be done. There isn’t much research being done on the effects of a solid community surrounding a newly postpartum mother, but there's endless research on the drugs we can give for postpartum depression.
“Science is too delicate for market forces to govern. It turns scientists into salesman” - Bret Weinstein
Science is a tool that helps us understand the world. Science is not a religion. Science is not a weapon to use against people who don’t agree with you.
If you read an article that cites a study, tells you how to think, and then asks no questions, take it with a grain of salt. If it seems to have everything about this subject figured out, move on. Filter any scientific result through your own personal devil's advocate. What does your gut tell you intuitively? How does it compare to the biological norm? How does it compare to what you know to be true in the world? And, for the love of all that is holy, when someone else has a different scientific opinion - engage in a conversation instead of a debate.”
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