Thursday, August 13, 2015

The Science of Science

The confusion about what science is has grown to epic proportions, even among those who do not deny scientific findings. First, we created science, it was not discovered nor taught to us by some outside force.

Science is a tool, a method of finding which claims are fact. It is not a secret, elite society, it is also not a collection of knowledge.

The first use for science was to weed out fraudulent claims of miracles made, the Catholic church developed the tool. Ironically, it worked too well and soon they discovered that there are no divine miracles, just a bunch of natural phenomenon.

So the church locked up all the "miracles" that were not yet debunked to keep the masses from questioning them, and regretted having created the most powerful tool. Of course they cannot deny the facts found by thus tool, and they don't, instead they just rule like a autonomous government, a boys club.

As for science, it became the standard method of discovery, in spite of the fact that it doesn't actually discover anything. There is the crux of it, scientists do the discovering, they notice some phenomenon or event then work to understand it.

To do that you need to know what is fact and what is not, such as the claim of DNA driving the traits of organisms. Once this claim or phenomenon is noticed it gets tested.

Now when we say tested we mean rigorous testing, but to make the tool work you need these tests verified. Enter the peer review process.

A scientist who has tested evidence, found it to be fact, then submits their evidence and the tests they performed. Then every scientist in that field does their best to find an inconsistency.

Tests are done to find flaws, not to prove anything, being unable to find a flaw in the evidence determines that the evidence is fact. Facts do not change, no matter what happens, they always remain fact, but what we think are facts can be found to be a phenomenon instead.

Phenomena are subjective, they can, and often do, change based on circumstances. Unlike facts, phenomena can appear as fact until one variable changes.

One phenomena that is often used as a grounds for many biological sciences is cellular mechanics. Cells usually behave a certain way, but only under certain conditions, changing the conditions changes the behavior, meaning there is no one fact of cellular mechanics, it is a phenomenon.

Another common phenomenon is planetary motion, while there are a lot of facts that can help predict the motions, by changing one influence by a fraction the motions can change drastically. This means that how they move is not a fact, but a lot of facts explain why they move the way they do.

The next aspect is the theory, the most misrepresented aspect of science. A theory is an explanation, yes, but it explains the interrelations of facts. No one bit of a theory depends on another, though they do influence the others.

This means that fact A will be a fact even if B is wrong. Thus you don't debunk theories, they are established relation and they are explanations that have produced workable results.

You can attempt to show that a fact is not a fact, by testing it then having others try to find flaws in these tests. But renown is important to prevent any of the clueless folks from poisoning the findings.

To accomplish this scientists base renown on honesty, integrity, and demonstration of knowledge. You must also fully understand the scientific method, one thing no creationist understands.

Now you know the grit of science, the work that must be put into it is not for the intellectually lazy, uneducated, or feint of heart. It's long hours, often banging your head against your desk, then many more hours listening to everyone else telling you where you went wrong, then repeat.

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