Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Science Deniers

I recently came across an article in Salon about the scientific method and those who deny its validity.  It's an excellent article.  Here is a bit that outlines its core thesis:

"People learned that science, as a tool, as a lens to create an upside-down way of looking at the world, made life better. Your natural tendency is to start from a conclusion and work backward to confirm your assumptions, but the scientific method drives down the wrong side of the road and tries to disconfirm your assumptions. A couple of centuries back people began to catch on to the fact that looking for disconfirming evidence was a better way to conduct research than proceeding from common belief. They saw that eliminating suspicions caused the outline of the truth to emerge. Once your forefathers and foremothers realized that this approach generated results, in a few generations your species went from burning witches and drinking mercury to mapping the human genome and playing golf on the moon."

The article is actually an excerpt from a new book by David McRaney, "You Are Now Less Dumb."  It sounds like it might be worth buying.  The author also has a blog called "You Are Not So Smart" and a previous book with the same name as his blog.

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