Monday, May 3, 2010
This is the beginning of a new series called "Definitions". This series will look at various words and concepts that are misused and misrepresented in order to create dishonest discourse and garner support for unsupported positions.
At first glance such a series might, intuitively, seem unnecessary as most people do their research, right?
Well after a recent discussion with a BioAccoustic "medical practitioner" who was taking peoples money with empty promises based on bogus claims , misinformation, hijacking scientific terms and false impressions I realized that not only was it necessary, but it was very important. Certain terms carry too much weight to be misused.
There is a common meme in our culture today; to hijack respected terminology and twist its meaning in order to gain informational authority with those who are under-informed on the subject and then to prey on that misinformation to create support for false claims.
Case in point, the current natural health practitioners use scientific terminology, and then deride "western science" as arrogant and unable to examine some health concerns accurately because it eschews the spiritual.
Or when religious folk speak of how god exists outside science.
Or when people say "It's only a theory" to harm our school systems by making it seem like crackpot ideas have equal footing with fact.
Or when people like Deepak Chopra speak of "quantum" healing. He seeks to create and image of being knowledgeable by throwing out words like "Quantum", and "fields of information" so that he can garner a following. (The problem is that his followers ONLY consist of people who have no idea what "quantum mechanics" is.)
Then he will go on to make many unscientific claims using that terminology.
Those people are preying on the tendency to assume that the world we see is not the only world there is and that science can't really be the answer to everything.
I am not here to argue that in any sense. (this time)
I am here to change your perception of a word. Today's word?
Science;The observation, identification, description, experimental investigation, and theoretical explanation of observable phenomena.
In otherwords science is the study of ANYthing that manifests in reality.
If it can be observed, it can be studied.
It is not a confirmation biased realm of understanding that IGNORES spirituality, or other possibilities "outside" of science (see string theory) it is a method of seeking answers for the working mechanics of observable reality by examining the evidence. If there is no evidence, then science moves on or refutes the claim.
This is the heavy responsibility of scientists.
It is the ONLY way to arrive at the truth, but it is misunderstood.
If you only try to verify a given claim, then you will look for evidence that supports it and ignore the rest. That is called confirmation bias. The first step to truth is to attempt to falsify the hypothesis and then failing that, to further develop the hypothesis through testing and the scientific method.
It is not a cynical approach, it is the only approach.
Every attempt to test is an attempt to falsify, and when a hypothesis is falsified scientists rejoice. This is not because they are glad to have taken the wind out of someones sails, but because taking one possibility out of the equation is one step closer to the truth.
Science can examine ANY claim that has a manifestation in reality. If a homeopath claims that a 30C dilution of a substance in water (the dilution that eliminates ANY active ingredient is 12C) heals a condition, then we know that proper science can study it. This is because the condition is real, (we can observe it, see/feel the effects of it, and we can test the effects of it on the body) and the cure would also be a manifestation in reality. So any claim that the cure doesn't follow scientific principles is merely an attempt to lead hopeful people away from the facts.
So when we say "manifests in reality" is there another realm that IS outside science and therefor outside the realm of its study?
But considering the fact that we are part of reality and have no means to observe or discover things outside of it, we would have no way of knowing about it in the first place. If we WERE able to discover it, then that would mean that it had to manifest in order for us to be able to observe it, and therefor would fall into the purview of science.
So the next time someone says that something doesn't fall into the realm of the scientific, you will know that they are saying that it is not part of observable reality and can dismiss it as imaginary or misconceived.
Because with no other way to discover such knowledge, knowledge that lies outside reality and our every ability to reveal it, can only come from one place.......