What is science? What is the difference between science and pseudoscience?

Do you know what science is? Are you sure? Can you tell the difference between what is honest well-researched science that is based on verified evidence, and what is philosophy and religion dressing itself up as legitimate scientific research? If you can’t the difference, because you are not sure what science really is, then don’t you think it is important to learn how science arrives at conclusions – before embracing any claim to knowledge and certainty that happens to spark your interest and hopes, all because it sounds good or feels good? What if what you’ve been thinking are scientific proofs and truths are, in fact, refuted by real science? Are you willing to embrace what really is the reality, based upon the well-tested evidence that supports it? Do you know what science is? If not, would you like to know? …

In a nutshell, as I’ve heard it said, science is the cautious effort to discern fact from fiction, to discern what is real and what is belief only, based upon rigorous questioning, testing, and drawing conclusions from the evidence. Science proposes theories about this reality that are, then, tested. Science seeks the evidence that actually exists, whether it validates or invalidates the theory that is proposed. If the majority of evidence stacks firmly against the theorized belief, then the theory is discarded and a new theory is proposed. In fact, science has rewarded scientists with Nobel prizes for having debunked by evidence what was established scientific beliefs, and this willingness to change beliefs based on sufficient evidence is what advances the accuracy in knowledge and know-how of modern science. Nothing is taken for granted, and there are no absolute inviolable pre-ordained truths. Science is not afraid of seeking for truth, but science does not accept established belief as truth without the rigorously tested peer-reviewed evidence that supports it. As well, one of the main objectives of science is to continuously test our cherished beliefs, deliberately looking for weaknesses and instances that debunk our present beliefs. It is only through doing this that we know what is true and what is false, what is real and what is not real. …

In contrary, religion and pseudoscience, take a deliberately opposite stance. With pseudoscience – whether it be philosophical, cultural, or religious based – the pre-determined belief being upheld and being called a “fact” is presented to followers and to the general public as an absolute inviolable pre-ordained truth. In other words, it has already been declared (by belief alone) as an established fact, and the evidence is out there somewhere that proves it – if you have enough faith and belief to connect the dots. As I personally like to explain it, with pseudoscience pretending to be science the arrow is shot into the tree first and, then, the bull’s–eye is drawn very carefully around it to demonstrate how it must obviously be true. Therefore, all research that is engaged in is done strictly to prove this pseudo-truth. Pseudoscientists put great effort into sifting from all the evidence only such evidence that supports their believed-in truth, and they discard any methodology and any evidence (no matter how great!) that disproves their cherished beliefs as being false methods and data (and they, then, call this science!). Some popular pseudosciences of today include germ theory denial, the anti-vaccine movement, beliefs that extraterrestrials are visiting earth or seeded the human race on earth (UFO movements), Creation Science, Flat Earthers, Flood geology, climate change denial, and so forth and so on. All of these mix fervent religious belief with a poor understanding of the Scientific Method, or by deliberately avoiding addressing and using the process of real science. What good is belief, if it is easily disprovable, right? …

Now, take an honest moment to look closely at the beliefs that you have accepted from others, and dare to ask yourself: Are these beliefs I’ve accepted based in science or pseudoscience? Do I wish to actually know what is real and what is not? Does it really benefit me and others around me to believe in false truths about this reality we call life? Or is it really more dangerous to do this? Am I willing to question and change my mind based on sufficient evidence being presented to me? Do I know what real science is?

If we raise a generation of students who do not understand the process of science, the methods of discerning factual knowledge, or who are fearful of science that contradicts established social beliefs – because they don’t understand science – and readily give creedance to pretend science that feeds upon this ignorance, then we are headed as a nation towards the superstitious thinking of the past that has failed to resolve all of the challenges we have successfully addressed in our Scientific Method times.

#evolution #creationscience #floodgeology #climatechange #climatedenial
#Resist #ResistTrump #Indivisible #UnitedWeStand #WomensMarch #NationalPopularVote #maga #inhisimage #inhislikeness
#Alllivesmatter in the United States when America begins to fully embrace its history and its constitution, and when #WhitePrivilege ceases to have meaning in U.S. society.
#BlackLivesMatter #LGBTQ #NativeAmericanLivesMatter

It’s What You Know For Sure That Isn’t So That Gets Everyone In Trouble

Trump’s America – courtesy of NYT “The Two Americas of 2016

‘‘It ain’t what you don’t know that gets you into trouble. It’s what you know for sure that just ain’t so.’’ – Mark Twain

Imagine being born and raised in a world of humans where, most of the time, everyone looks just like you. Imagine being taught incessantly that all fundamental absolute truths are found only in just one book alone, and that your parents, teachers, and preachers are the authoritative interpreters of what this book is saying is sole truth. Imagine being taught all your life that those who disagree with the absolute truths, as interpreted by the religion you were born into, or dare offer a different view of this world are sinners and “God haters” or, even worse, misguided and possessed by demons who are trying to steer you – specifically – away from this truth. Imagine growing up in a community where education and learning new things is only acceptable up to the point where such learning could now potentially disagree with the beliefs and truths of the community – and, if it disagrees with community truths, then it is a lie, plain and simple. Imagine growing up in a community where you are taught that only your community knows what is true and good, that only your community is civil and righteous, and that all other communities and physical/cultural ethnicities are less than you, because they are caught up in sin and destined for hellish destruction. Imagine growing up in a community where you are subtly and innoculously taught to fear ever going astray from community’s doctrines of belief and faith, lest you be eternally damned for it.

If you can imagine this, then you can understand the fundamentalist communities that make up a great majority of this planetary world of humans. If you can imagine this and live in the United States, then you can understand the beliefs and the plight of the majority of white rural Christian Americans. You can understand that political, religious, and capitalist charlatans have played upon this community mindset for decades, distorting their understanding of American history and why their communities have fallen from middle class prosperity to near third world poverty. You can understand why they insist defiantly on believing that it is outside forces and people who have put them into the social economic place they now find themselves. If you can imagine the world from the heartfelt believed fully in perspective of white rural Christian Americans, then you can understand why they refuse to see the rational self-evident facts of life, and why they are so staunchly resisting even the temptation to see another’s truth. The only way I know of to “possibly” reach these people – until they themselves are willing to change their views – is to somehow help/guide them into seeing you as a friend and not a threat, and to somehow help/guide them into seeing the struggles of others in a directly “self”-personal way. Until then, there is no other successful way to address the virulent fundamentalist nationalist supremacist mindset of a good majority of present day United States citizens.

Clinton’s America – courtesy of NYT “The Two Americas of 2016

The Confederacy mindset is alive and fully well in today’s United States of America, and an asymmetrical second Civil War may be on the verge of happening. Like in the 1800’s, the Founders “democratic experiment” may be under a survival test, yet again, here in the 2000’s. Throughout the world, there is battle going on between fundamentalist nationalism and democratic globalism. But, more specifically here in the United States, the battle is still about the unaddressed issues fought over during the first American Civil War. Until the white population of the United States of America actively embraces #TruthandReconciliation, like Africa and Canada has done, and embraces #RestorativeJustice, then this cycle of white fundamentalist nationalism and supremacy will continue on unabated here in the United States, and no constructive change for the better will happen. That is until – ultimately – demographic changes take over, rendering the white population of America so minor in numbers that they are now forced to change their views about their place in this world. I hope that it doesn’t have to come to this to see an American Enlightenment that rivals the European Enlightenment that birthed forth our nation!

Thomas Jefferson wrote, “The legitimate powers of government extend to only such acts as are injurious to others. But it does me no injury for my neighbor to say that there are twenty gods, or no God. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg.” – in Notes on the State of Virginia, 1784

#Resist #ResistTrump #Indivisible #UnitedWeStand #WomensMarch #NationalPopularVote #maga #inhisimage #inhislikeness
#Alllivesmatter in the United States when America begins to fully embrace its history and its constitution, and when #WhitePrivilege ceases to have meaning in U.S. society.
#BlackLivesMatter #LGBTQ #NativeAmericanLivesMatter