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I've noticed a fairly big distinction in what I learned as science and the philosophy of science as it was practiced up until around the last 20 years or so and now.

Science was based on rigorous falsification. Scientists actively tried to prove themselves and other scientists wrong. Science has always been more about, 'well we know it's not all of these things, so it's probably that until we prove that wrong too'.

Sometime in the last couple decades, it's stopped being like that. Instead it's, 'my models and data say this, so it is this and everything else is wrong'.

Science at this point is really only authority driven because journals and even governments charge exorbitant prices for access to them, cutting out a vast majority of the population from actually partaking in any part of the scientific process.

When all you get is contradictory news reports on a handful of selected research from journalists that barely understand what they're reading, you're going to be stuck with an elitist authority driven system.

There's zero reason for this in todays world other than control and profit. Even within the scientific community, there's 'caste' systems, financial guardianship and other such barriers, keeping again, many people from learning and partaking.

Science isn't hard, it isn't magic, it's a systematic way of looking at the world through observation and falsification. That is all science is. Anyone can do science. I've taken groups of kids, volunteers and many people and in short time, taught them to do science.

It's just people don't really get taught to do this. It's easier to control a population that's trickled information through 'authoritative' sources than it is one that's educated and capable of thinking for themselves.

This is stuff I was literally taught in school, by other scientists. Like, we were actually taught that most people need to be given only the information they need to know, because essentially they're too dumb to understand and scientists should just run things in the world. I'm not making this up, we were actually told this by several of our professors.




I have two comments on your takeaways:

> Science isn't hard, it isn't magic, it's a systematic way of looking at the world through observation and falsification. That is all science is.

Science is also being open to critique from others, and listening to what others have found. If you only focus on your own observations, you can test Newton's and Maxwell's laws, but you'll be hard pressed to discover relativity or quantum mechanics. Some discoveries are hard because they require foundational knowledge and equipment and insight.

> We were actually taught that most people need to be given only the information they need to know, because essentially they're too dumb to understand and scientists should just run things in the world.

A more charitable explanation is that it takes time to learn things, and we can't know everything. For example, you don't need to know the experimental design to use the results from an experiment, but you would if you're evaluating the experiment. It takes time and effort to do peer review. You're delegating effort to scientists so that you can use the results of multiple experiments without a large investment of time.

I totally agree with teaching everyone the tools of science though. I just think you're overestimating how well those tools will protect people against charlatans. Some claims take expertise to debunk.


Science was never purely driven by falsification, or authority or anything. It was actually never pure, it was always driven by an equivalent of "hey, it works on my machine" and proven by successful application in some engineering or other practical discipline.

That broke since the late 20th century because science got much broader than any possible application.


I agree with that to an extent too. Actually, the whole history behind the modern scientific method and the various competing philosophies behind science over the centuries is pretty amazing and I recommend anyone that's interested to start here:

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philosophy_of_science

And go on to.read the referenced papers by Kuhn and others. There's a lifetime's worth of stuff to be studied there.

The thing is, much of our modern scientific progress has been through following these principles

>1. that there is an objective reality shared by all rational observers

>2. that this objective reality is governed by natural laws

>3. that reality can be discovered by means of systematic observation and experimentation

>4. that Nature has uniformity of laws and most if not all things in nature must have at least a natural cause

>5. that experimental procedures will be done satisfactorily without any deliberate or unintentional mistakes that will influence the results

>6. that experimenters won't be significantly biased by their presumptions

>7. that random sampling is representative of the entire population

The main issues I see these days fall around 5, 6 and to a lesser extent 7. Agenda driven, ego based research is prevalent in a lot of fields these days, tied directly into that authoritarian mind set. Scientists must be correct, the people funding their research must get the results they desire and to bring 7 in their, sampling will be done to skew results to that effect.

I've witnessed this first hand on projects where industry would have been impacted by results. In the case of one project, tens of thousands of dollars were spent mitigating absolutely nothing, while the actual issue was ignored because that would have cut into profits of the largest company in the community. I had a water sampling cup in my hand still, when they told us to stop and sample elsewhere after we found pH spikes suspiciously near some runoff. Those high pH samples never made it into the report.

In the case of my own project, our results would have impacted an active mine, so we were told by government not publicly release our results, under threat of loss of funding.

This type of bullshit occurs in every field of science. This type of bullshit is why authority driven science is not real science and is holding back human progress and honestly, puts the entire human race and much of life on Earth's continued existence at risk.


And perhaps

- that it is possible for humans and/or machines to understand and/or describe said natural laws

- that it is a good idea to attempt to do so

(e.g. scientific progress could lead to technology that eventually makes it impossible for anything to live on the Earth)




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