Wednesday, May 30, 2007

"Popular" Science

Yes, I know that it's the name of a magazine that's been around since the 50's, or 1872 or whatever. What I'm referring to is the concept of mass consumption of the theories that are put out by researchers while attempting to explain the universe. And boy is it frustrating to read, knowing that folks are hanging onto some of these hypothesis' as fact.

My example for today is the "Wunder Blog" by Jeff Masters. I found the article, and his blog, rather interesting; in fact, I found that the concept that ocean life could play a major role in our climate is astounding. What I found disheartening is the fact that he states in the blog that "While the authors admit that their calculations may have large errors, this research shows that marine life may have a heretofore unappreciated large impact on Earth's climate"; he states that the "proof" of the concept is unsound, but the results are not! This is not the foundation that our scientific "forefathers" set forth, and definitely not a part of any "scientific method" that I've used both in school and outside of school. This is more like the "facts" that religions used in ancient Rome and Greece than anything else, to be honest. There is a hypothesis, some calculations, and a result. But the result is not proof yet, because the calculations are under speculation.

I really don't have a problem with this being spread as a "theory", but sadly most people today have no clue what the difference between theory and fact are anymore. They do not allow their minds to have conflicting concepts and linger on it like a wine connoisseur would let a flavor linger and appreciate it for the possibilities that it has. They take all "theories" as facts, and one cannot overlap another. If the conflict, one must be right, and the other has to be false. This "fast food" science intake is creating a society that really does not want to think for itself, and I fear for that.

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