1. notleia says:

    (computer voice announcing: English degree auto-engaged)
    If you turned this into me as a paper, I’d tell you to cut about half of it, ’cause this is a lot of splashing without much actual swimming. Ideally this should have been combined with your intro post. But seriously thank you for defining your parameters about what you’re trying to accomplish (i.e., not any kind of tedious anti-science junk).

    More on-topic: Stephen Hawking said at some point that black holes do not exist, which most likely translates into lay-people speak as “those things we call black holes do not follow the current rules we have laid out for black holes.” I guess scientists like to be melodramatic, too.
    But science is supposed to be self-correcting rather than dogmatic. I get that some scientists act like it’s dogmatic, but besides human stubbornness, I imagine a lot of it is due to being fed up with Dunning-Kruger types who try to engage them with exasperatingly flawed understandings of their field (and/or reality in general. There are WEIRD people out there, y’all.)

    • Travis Perry says:

      Fortunately you are not my English teacher.

      I wind up being a bit redundant because I’m trying to be sure to be clear, while at the same time being nuanced about what I actually mean. I have trouble being pithy when pursuing both goals. Perhaps you would not have any such trouble.

      I can only offer an honestly half-hearted apology about that–half sorry because I don’t want my prose to be boring, half not sorry because this isn’t a simple topic and I’m doing my best. This series will stand or fall on the ideas it presents anyway and not my prose style.

      As for what I think about how scientists act, I think from your comment on the topic that I understand scientists better than you do. There are many dogmatic scientists, nor is science entirely self-correcting, but of course a large number of scientists are willing to listen to evidence that contradicts their presumptions–and in general, science learns and progresses over time in most but not all areas.

      As for the Dunning-Kruger effect, I don’t think that applies to me on this topic. But keep reading–perhaps you’ll be certain it did once you come to the end of the series.

      Or maybe you’ll be surprised.

      • Autumn Grayson says:

        Science and religion probably have more in common than people would like to think, at least in terms of the positive and negative affects those things have. Science and religion both have things they are supposed to accomplish, rules that people are supposed to follow when people participate in those things, etc. But people, being people, often completely deviate from what science or a particular religion is supposed to accomplish, and thus both institutions end up being a bit mutilated by human behavior.

  2. It’s almost as if you’re saying the universe has a mechanic of sorts. But forgive me, Travis. I give women a bad name because cars are wonderful feats of engineering that require a fluid called gas and something about changing the oil. I’m almost old-school in the idea of a car being ‘a man’s thing’ .

    But I’m enjoying this!

What do you think?