You Call That Science?

Many, many, many years ago I became interested in science. I read all kinds of scientific journals, I watched the National Geographic specials, I watched shows like Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom, and I was always fascinated by what I saw and heard. What a magnificent world and solar system and universe we live in! And what a fantastic job it must be to go around and try to figure it all out! Years later, in high school and college, I took classes in physics and biology and learned about the Scientific Method. I learned what the Scientific Method was, why it was needed, and how it is applied by scientists to try to gain a better understanding of the world around us.

Time passed and I went through several different careers that had nothing to do with scientific pursuits. My attention was absorbed by other worldly distractions, but I never lost my childlike fascination with our surroundings and my interest in science. Recently, I have had the luxury of time to once again wonder about the world we live in, and as part of that wondering I have again been reading and listening to what the scientific community has to say about our world. Frankly, I am disappointed and dismayed by what has become of what was once the noble pursuit called science.

The Scientific Method {The following section is reproduced from The Scientific Method }

It has been quite a long time since I have applied the Scientific Method, and even longer since I was first introduced to it. So I feel it appropriate to reintroduce it here as a primer for the rest of this essay. My recollection of the Scientific Method is that it is a process where, after observing some phenomenon, a person derives an explanation for the cause of that phenomenon. Next, the person develops the explanation into a more formal statement called a hypothesis. The person then attempts to disprove the hypothesis. If the person fails to disprove the hypothesis, the hypothesis is then said to "hold", meaning that it has not yet been disproved. If a hypothesis continues to "hold", then it may later become a theory. A theory never becomes fact and a theory is never believed or considered to be true because some other person may perform an experiment in which the theory does not hold, at which point the theory is either thrown out or modified to take into account the conditions in which it doesn't work. A theory is simply the best explanation that we have at this time for the observed phenomenon that caused some person to come up with an explanation in the first place. A theory is not, and may never become, a fact. In fact, in science there really is no such thing as a fact, if by "fact" one means something that is indisputable regardless of circumstance. It is this fact that makes our Scientific Method so wonderful. The Scientific Method acknowledges that we humans do not truly know about anything in our world; we only have a best guess at this point in time about our world, and tomorrow we will probably have a better guess. In other words, we are never right, we may only ever be, hopefully, less wrong.

An example of the above occurred in my high school biology class. When I took the class, the text book being used to teach the class was brand new, meaning that it had been printed that very year. On our first day of class I sat there with my text book open and the teacher stood at the front of the class, held his copy of the book over his head and said these words, "Everything that I teach you from this book will be proven wrong within the next ten years." My jaw dropped; I finally began to truly grasp the enormity of the journey of scientific discovery.

The above paragraphs are what I remembered from many many years ago. To test my memory, I turn to two authoritative sources. The first source is my college physics book "Physics for Students of Science and Engineering" by A. L. Stanford and J. M. Tanner of the Georgia Institute of Technology (c) 1985 ISBN: 0-12-663380, pages 1 - 2.

"Physics is a natural science. It is one of humankind's responses to its curiosity about how nature works, about how the universe is ordered.
Like other modern natural sciences, physics has evolved to become a logical process based on the scientific method . This method is rooted in a philosophy that recognizes no truths and embraces no dogma but seeks to be completely objective and practical. The scientific method may be considered an investigative process composed of three parts:

  1. Physical processes are observed and measured both quantitatively and qualitatively. This step necessarily includes the conception and definition of appropriate quantities by which measurements may be made.
  2. A hypothesis is offered, usually in the form of a general principle or a mathematical statement of relationships between physical quantities (time and distance, for example). These principles or relationships can be used to predict the results of other similar physical processes.
  3. The hypothesis is subjected to experimental tests of its validity. Its predictions are compared to actual measured values.

Hypotheses proposed according to the scientific method are retained only if they enjoy continued and unfailing success. A single instance in which a hypothesis fails to predict successfully the outcome of a pertinent, repeatable experiment requires either rejection of the hypothesis or its modification to rectify that failure. Throughout the history of science many hypotheses have been discarded, and many have been changed. Those that have enjoyed some measure of success but are without extensive experimental verification over a long period of time are referred to as theories (those that have not had some success are not referred to at all). Hypotheses that have withstood successfully the repeated and diverse trials of experiment are accorded the title law, but even the most venerated laws of physics are not considered "true" by scientists. Laws are, along with all the tenets of science, acceptable only as long as they continue to coincide with measurements of physical processes. Scientists do not "believe" the laws of physics; they merely use them in very practical ways, maintaining a healthy skepticism that permits continual checking of current laws and theories and encourages speculation about new hypotheses. In this way the scientific method provides a rational approach to an intellectual and logical comprehension of natural phenomena."

From the above description of the Scientific Method, it appears my recollection was not incorrect. One point that is missing from the above description is that when subjecting a hypothesis to "...experimental tests of its validity", those experiments are to be negative tests. In other words, those experimental tests of validity must attempt to disprove the theory. It is a very well known phenomena that when someone wants to prove something they invariably will. So the Scientific Method does not ask scientists to prove anything, it requires them to try to disprove everything. The second source that I cite below brings this point out clearly. My second source is from which I quote below:

"In the twentieth century, a hypothetico-deductive model for scientific method was formulated...:

  1. Use your experience - consider the problem and try to make sense of it. Look for previous explanations; if this is a new problem to you, then do
  2. Conjecture an explanation - when nothing else is yet known, try to state your explanation, to someone else, or to your notebook.
  3. Deduce a prediction from that explanation- if 2 were true, then state a consequence of that explanation.
  4. Test - look for the opposite of that consequence in order to disprove 2. It is a logical error to seek 3 directly as proof of 2. This error is called affirming the consequent.

This model underlies the scientific revolution. One thousand years ago, Alhacen demonstrated the importance of steps 1 and 4. Galileo (1638) also showed the importance of step 4 (also called Experiment) in Two New Sciences. One possible sequence in this model would be 1, 2, 3, 4. If the outcome of 4 holds, and 3 is not yet disproven, you may continue with 3, 4, 1, and so forth; but if the outcome of 4 shows 3 to be false, you will have go back to 2 and try to invent a new 2, deduce a new 3, look for 4, and so forth. Note that 2 can never be shown to be absolutely true by scientific method...; only that 2 can be shown to be absolutely false by scientific method. (This is what Einstein meant when he said 'No amount of experimentation can ever prove me right; a single experiment can prove me wrong.')"

Putting the two together reaffirms my memory of the Scientific Method. I highlight again the preeminent philosophy of the Scientific Method is that nothing is proven and nothing becomes fact. The best way to understand science is that it is man's continual effort to prove that what he knew yesterday is wrong. It's the ultimate admission that we don't know anything. This is exemplified by the quote from Einstein shown above, "No amount of experimentation can ever prove me right; a single experiment can prove me wrong."

As defined above, science recognizes no truth at all. If anyone ever tries to tell you that something is a "scientific fact" or that "science has proven [ insert anything here]" you can confidently know that they are wrong. If the person making such assertions is in a position of authority or presenting themselves to you as knowledgeable of the subject matter, then I suggest you question their motives for making such statements. What does this person have to gain by attempting to mislead you? Money? Power? Prestige? It could be that they're just ignorant. Take the opportunity to educate them.

Science does not, has never, and will never prove anything, hence science does not produce facts. Science only hypothesizes plausible explanations for natural phenomena and then tries to discount those explanations. Any other process may be religion or philosophy or garage logic or a bar room parlor trick, but it is not science.

Our Scientific Mess

Before getting into what I call our "scientific mess" I feel it necessary to give the reader some background on where I get the information from which I draw my conclusion that what is presented as science today, is nothing more than politics, personalities, dogma, and entertainment, geared toward the acquisition of funds, prestige, and power - not the objective and noble search for truth.

As a commuter, I take the time that I spend in my vehicle or on the bus as an opportunity to stay abreast of current events. My primary source of information is the radio and the primary broadcasts for news and information on my radio are Minnesota Public Radio and National Public Radio. I do not listen to these broadcasts because I feel they have superior reporting. In fact the reason I listen to these broadcasts is because of their lack of reporting, meaning the spewing forth of some reporter's opinion of some event. It is very common for these broadcasts to transmit someone's entire speech or commentary on a particular subject without any interjection from a reporter. This open and free from interruption and unwanted opinionating format allows me to hear everything a person has to say about a particular subject - in context, and unfiltered. This format allows me to draw my own conclusions and to have access to all of the subject matter, not just the subject matter that some reporter wants to include to support their own spin. It is quite common for me to hear a person speak on MPR/NPR and then walk into my home not ten minutes later and hear a reporter on the TV attempt to repeat what the person said and get it quite wrong. I'll say to my wife, "That is not what they said", or "The reporter took that completely out of context and spun it to mean something that was not intended by the speaker". These experiences have caused me to conclude that our current news channels are at best unreliable and at worst intentionally misleading. NPR/MPR are not my only source of information. I use the internet, books, periodicals, TV, other radio stations, and other forms of information gathering to better educate myself about the goings on in our world. But it is normally on NPR/MPR that I get to actually hear it "from the horse's mouth" as it were. And so I give a lot of weight to that broadcast because I don't have to wonder what's been edited out, what's been spun, what's been taken out of context, and so many other questions that I have to ask about other sources of information.

It is on broadcasts of NPR/MPR that I have been able to hear scientists present findings, debate findings, and ultimately debase one another. It is this last point, the debasing of one another, that has truly opened my eyes to what the scientific community has become. I'll give you just a few generic examples from my memory of interviews over the last couple of years.

Pharmaceutical research is a great example of the downfall of science and the abandonment of the Scientific Method. It is very common for a so-called scientist to release a set of results from pharmaceutical experimentation and be ridiculed by other so-called scientists, not because they attempted to repeat the experiments and found flaws in the conclusion (as demanded by the Scientific Method), or because the conclusions were drawn from experiments based on a flawed hypothesis. No, these scientists' ridicule is based on where the funding for the research originated! Now read the two descriptions of the Scientific Method cited above again, go ahead, I'll wait..............Did you see any mention of funding? What difference could it possibly make where the funding for research comes from? If an experiment is flawed, that will be proven out through peer review and further experimentation. If a hypothesis is flawed, it will be exposed through peer review and further experimentation. In other words, funding sources are irrelevant as long as the Scientific Method is applied objectively. Are these scientists suggesting/intimating/admitting openly and in public that their research, and therefore that research's findings, are not based on the objective search for truth, but instead on producing results that are pleasing to the source of the funds so that they may receive more funds and keep their jobs? In fact, that is exactly what these scientists suggest/intimate/admit about each other all of the time. I've read statements in the affirmation of this in the Wall Street Journal, the Star Tribune, and the Pioneer Press. I've heard statements to the same effect during many, many interviews of so-called scientists. This has lead me to coin the word "scientician".

A scientician is a person who is educated in the sciences and presents him or her self as a scientist knowledgeable in a given subject matter, but who does not apply the Scientific Method in the objective search for truth, but rather to acquire funding to follow his or her own selfish purpose. Scienticians are employed by companies, news media, governments, and public and private groups - such as think tanks and environmental organizations. A scientician will align with any entity who wants to subvert the objective search for truth in order to perpetuate an agenda.

Let me give you another example of scienticians at work: Global Warming. Over the past 10 years Global Warming has become the subject du jour of the scientician community. The scientician community used to be all caught up in evolution, but there's a lot more money and prestige in Global Warming than anything that has ever come across a work bench before. I have heard interviews with scientists that have shown flaws with many of the current theories concerning man's affect's on Global Warming. Many of these scientists were once well regarded and have now fallen out of favor and been ridiculed into silence. Was there something wrong with their experiments? Was there something wrong with their data? Was there something wrong with their methods? I don't know, because I never heard any ridicule of these scientists' scientific work. All they were ever ridiculed for was that the funding for their research originated from Ford, Chrysler, or General Motors. That's right. During the interviews of "opposing scienticians" no one ever questioned the data, the methods used, or the conclusions of the experiments. The only thing the scienticians questioned was motive or influence of the source of the funding. The scienticians did not refute the evidence; they only told the world that they do not rely on science, but instead on motive. And these same scienticians are the ones that currently have the loudest voice and are guiding funding to themselves to perpetuate their own goals instead of the goal of science, which is the objective search for truth.

In case you need further evidence of the existence of the scientician and their power, allow me to illustrate to you that our current scientific community has actually become a religious community. In the Christian Bible, there are descriptions of people creating golden idols that they worship and pray to as if it were a god. These groups of people created a religion around a man-made idol. Our scienticians have done the same thing, except their idols are their beloved theories that they intend to force the rest of us to "believe in" as do they. This transformation from science to religion can be easily demonstrated by how scienticians refer to themselves. The suffix of the word scientist is "ist". If a scientist accepts any other root word other than "science" in front of the suffix "ist", then they are no longer a scientist. Examples of this are "Creationist" and "Evolutionist". A scientician known as a "Creationist" is someone who believes in, supports, and promotes the theory of creation. A scientician known as an "Evolutionist" is someone who believes in, supports, and promotes the theory of evolution. By definition, the act of believing in or supporting or promoting a theory is unscientific, therefore these individuals are not scientists. Another example of this substitution of scientician for true scientists is the scientists who support and claim to have proven mankind's causal affect on our climate, known as Global Warming. Again, by definition these are not scientists, they are believers in, supporters of, and promoters of a theory. They may be a wonderful booster club, but they are not scientists. What they are, applying the well known quote that "...a rose by any other name would smell as sweet ( Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet , 1594 )", are religious fanatics. Their religion is Evolution, man's affect on Global Warming, Creationism, or any other theory that they wish to promote, and their fanaticism is evident in how they relentlessly attack anyone who disagrees with their findings and their opinions, completely ignoring the very basis of the Scientific Method.

Remember, according to the scientific method: there are no truths, there are no facts, and no scientist ever believes or supports a theory. A scientist's job is to disprove a theory. All of these people running around in the media supporting theories are not scientists, they are scienticians.

Further evidence of the scientician and their religious fanaticism is who they associate with. They do not associate with scientists within the scientific community. Instead scienticians who support the current Global Warming is Caused by Man theory associate with Al Gore and other politicians that they can use to further their agenda. Likewise, Creationists associate with religious leaders and institutions that they can use to further their goals. None of this is science. None of this is the objective search for truth. None of this is responsible or reliable. None of this is application of the Scientific Method. This is dogma. This is religion. This is fanaticism. This is " Our Scientific Mess ".

I could give many more examples like the ones above. ( For example, I'm intentionally leaving out how scienticians called Evolutionists have harmed the theory of Evolution through their actions because it will be the subject of another essay.) But I feel the point has been made and any further discussion would continue ad nauseam. So I will leave this portion of the essay with the following:

The scienticians are out in public and are not hiding their agendas as evidenced by their willingness to take on titles such as "Creationist", "Evolutionist", or any other label supporting a particular theory.

What has happened to science?
Where are the true scientists?
And why is the public accepting this dogmatization and religionization of the scientific community?

What's the Big Deal?

To be perfectly honest, if the situation I describe above was just an aberration or something that was happening only in academia, I wouldn't give it a second thought. But the scienticians rise is not only in academia, and that's the Big Deal . The situation described above is sapping billions of dollars and other resources away from worthy causes, and it's empowering scienticians of a certain dogma while eliminating the voice of the scientists who, properly, do not believe in dogma and truly want to pursue pure scientific research through the application of the Scientific Method. Scienticians and their methods are the complete antithesis of the Scientific Method. Without unbiased research and open peer review there is no science! Worse yet, our children are observing the scientician's methods and falsely learning that they are good and proper science. The institutions that should be rallying together to fight the scienticians attack against science are themselves part and parcel to it because they desire funding more than objectivity. Science is no longer the objective search for truth; it is the search for money and prestige and power. The net effect of all of this is that we common folk can no longer rely on our scientists or our scientific institutions to give to us unbiased and objective data and conclusions. Everything now falls into question. Not the normal scientific questions demanded by the Scientific Method, but instead the questions of spin, deceit, manipulation, and trust. In short all of the questions that the Scientific Method was developed to dismiss. That's the Big Deal .

Without trustworthy hypotheses, data, experimentation, and conclusions, what are we to base our decisions on?

The degradation of our scientific community into dogmatism and fanaticism and religious zealotry has the potential to erode our ability to govern ourselves because we no longer have an independent source of information on which to base our decisions or on which to rely for objective guidance.

And that's the Big Deal .

Although in this essay I have properly cited my sources, I have purposely kept the actual dates and times of the interviews referenced and the names of those involved in those interviews out of the essay for reasons of liability. If I were to specify the names of the scienticians, or to supply the dates and times of the interviews, those individuals or groups that are behind the scientician movements could, and no doubt would, bring frivolous and baseless lawsuits against me that they know I would not have the financial means to defend myself against. In short, they could attempt to silence me, much as they have managed to silence real scientists. By keeping my examples devoid of these specifics I am able to accomplish my goal of calling public attention to the rise of the scienticians and the subjugation of the Scientific Method to other, much less noble, concerns without giving the scienticians the ability to silence me. I call on everyone reading this essay to listen anew to the scientician community and to hear what their real message and concerns are - not the pursuit of objective discovery, but the pursuit of their individual, personal, and selfish dogmatic goals. I further call on everyone reading this essay to demand the reinstitution of the Scientific Method as the basis for all scientific research and for the true scientists who must still be out there suffering in silence to join together and expel the scienticians and their agents from your once noble community.

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