Skepticism about science
| The poetry of reality|
|We must know. |
We will know.
|A view from the|
shoulders of giants.
Skepticism about science is an interesting angle one encounters when discussing matters of science with, usually,
pompous gits people of faith who are bright, but find that some science utterly contradicts their deeply held beliefs.
Rather than apply the concepts and knowledge of well-known science to their firmly-held faith, they pursue science that is poorly presented, or not well-worked out yet, in the arrogant belief that their "skepticism" shows that they are intelligent, questioning people. The extra psychological turn of the screw for them is that by showing that some backwater or less well-lit areas of science are weak, they feel they cast a vague, general aspersion on the fields of science (usually much better worked out) that conflict with their religion or politics.
One example of this is the ID attack of "irreducible complexity" on less-well understood biological mechanisms, in order to try to cast all of evolutionary theory into doubt. Their first big "woo" was the bacterial flagellum, which could not possibly have evolved in part, due to its "irreducible complexity". Since the Dover trial they are no longer thumping this tub loudly (and the principal exponent, one Dr. Michael Behe, has moved on to criticizing malaria for not evolving to cope with human solutions to it). Biologists have not only worked out theoretical paths to the flagellum where every tiny change is beneficial (à la Darwin's eye), but have found examples of each of these stages in nature.
So, yes, skepticism in science is a good thing. It leads to new discoveries and explanations. Skepticism among the faithful, however, is rare, and still often leads to premature death in others.
- Faith in science? Why skepticism is risingThis has a different take on skepticism about science.