I thought science was all about confirming beliefs. Newton: I think that this apple was attracted to my head because there is a force that attracts them proportional to their masses and inversely proportional to the distance between them.
So by what you say, science is merely choosing not to observe what, it doesn't want to.
I'm afraid that this is inaccurate in no less than four ways.I thought science was all about confirming beliefs.
: No, that's ordinary induction. One study - a bit anecdotal, in my opinion - tested how non-scientifically trained people find patterns by giving them sets of words and numbers. Some of the sets contained genuine patterns, while others were randomly chosen.
The researchers found that nonscientists, in discussing their reasoning, would do the following:
* Come up with a pattern.
* Look for every piece of evidence that could confirm it.
* Ignore all evidence against it.
While it's hard to get out of this pattern of thinking, the purpose of peer review, training in working with hypotheses, and scientific competition is to encourage people to knock down their own ideas and the ideas of others if there's evidence against them.
Science is not about confirming beliefs. In the Popperian view, it's about falsifying inaccurate models until we get closer and closer to the truth, even if we never reach it precisely.Newton: I think that this apple was attracted to my head because there is a force that attracts them proportional to their masses and inversely proportional to the distance between them.
No, he observed large amounts of astronomical data, worked on the hypotheses of his predecessors, and ended up creating an entire branch of mathematics (along with Leibniz) in order to make sense of the behavior of the planets... and even then, he had reservations and doubts about this idea of "action at a distance."So by what you say, science is merely choosing not to observe what, it doesn't want to.
Inaccurate on two counts:
1) "Science" is not a person; it's a tool, and does not make decisions. Scientists are people, some of whom are spiritual, some of whom are religious. Many great scientists had a mystical/supernaturalist bent, including Kepler and Newton. But eventually, future scientists learned from their experiences that this tended to lead to mistakes. For example, Kepler assumed that a perfect God would create perfectly circular orbits, which stalled understanding of elliptical ones. And let's not even get started on alchemy, a system that worked fine until you actually tried to explain
2) If credible, reproducible evidence of divine or supernatural activity appeared, scientists would be the first ones to want to investigate. Being remarkable, such a find would be subject to increased scrutiny and skepticism, just as extreme natural results are, but it would be investigated.
Whenever I hear a claim that "scientists have ignored the latest PROOF OF GOD," I suspect that somebody else has an interest in that proof not being looked at too closely. Take the recent alleged find of an overlapping human/dinosaur track. Investigators noted that the track's features suggested an impossible weight distribution, a hitherto unknown species of dinosaur that, incidentally, has a lot in common with a forgery
, and very odd behavior from the people who reported the find.