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Re: Roslin Chapel and other matters
With regards to the current influx of different viewpoints to the list,
I thought I would chime in, hopefully not to throw gasoline on the
fire, but to state what I hoped would be obvious, but perhaps is not.
Science, friends, is fallible. Mistakes are made, wrong paths
are followed, completely incorrect assumptions are made and errant
results are obtained. And yet, with all these problems, the so-called
"academic elite" continue to trust in it! Why would that be?
Because there is no better system. Science is the grand total of
every mind on the planet that wants to solve a problem. It is a
self-correcting system. If a result is wrong, a hundred people will
chime in and say "Look, your results are wrong, and this is why..."
The whole essence of science is peer review and criticism. Some of
the best minds in history have been blasted by critics, only to
be proven correct later. But without this critical process, we
would have absolutely no basis for our formal thinking. We would
be utterly lost. Criticism, review, and reformulation of ideas that
are shown to be wrong are essential to science.
Science is itself often criticized as being something of a religion,
something you can have faith in. Nothing could be further from
the truth. There are a few poor souls that seem to put some awkward
amount of faith in science, but they will either see the error of their
ways, or have some other rude awakening down the road. Science is a
process for learning the truth by weeding out what is wrong, so it is
absurd to assume that science is always right. In general, however,
it IS always making itself more and more right.
So if you have an idea to offer our group, it will be tested. It will
be criticized. And if it can be shown not to work in the framework of
all the other facts at hand, it will be rejected. You have to accept
the idea that if we simply threw up our hands every time we encountered
a different viewpoint and said "He must be right, because he says he
is!" we'd have never made it out of the stone age. You absolutely
cannot say "these other facts may be proven incorrect at some time in
the future, so my viewpoint is still as valid as any other", because
then progress simply stops, and we might as well all just give up.
All of us have been wrong at times. The real gift is being able to
recognize it, change our viewpoint, and discover what really works.
When in doubt, apply Occam's Razor.