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

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Joseph T Farkasdi

I am a writer, a husband, a father, a working servant, a complex individual who very few will probably understand! I am actively involved in raising the awareness of social injustice in this world caused by religious idealism and intolerance and the rise of an economic destroying corporatocracy. Take a moment to explore and learn more about me. Thanks!

2 thoughts on “What is science? What is the difference between science and pseudoscience?”

  1. Is Spanking Physical Abuse? Does It Work? Does The Bible Fully Encourage And Justify It?

    The other day, I heard someone say that spanking is not biblical. Implying the idea that our Western Christianity-influenced society, which has justified physical spanking and hitting of children as “good parenting” and the foundation for a good and moral “instruction” or “discipline” for hundreds of years, is not understanding the real intent of biblical “scripture”. As a once religious Jew, who does not rely on generically worded translations* of ancient Jewish writings, I beg to disagree with this modern religious exegesis of ancient Jewish writings. For those who seek counsel in it, the “Bible” most definitely encourages the beating of children with a stick to chastise them into submission. In this case, submission to the cultural ways and social norms of ancient Jewish-Israeli theocratic society.
    (* – For examples of such generic words used in translations: the generic word “sin” used for three different biblical words involving degrees of social and religious “crime”s, or the generic word “God” used for all the various different God-names of the different gods found described within the TaNaKh, thus rendering them all equivalent and the same.)

    Contrary to modern religious exegesis, the “Bible” most definitely encourages beating your children with a stick as a form of chastisement over their behaviors. Let’s take an honest look, shall we? “Restrain your stick, hate your son” (Mishlei/Proverbs 24.13) comes from the bible, which is not known for being a good source on ethical and moral behaviors towards others. Or, more appropriately, the standards of their time of what is moral and ethical were right for their era of human social development – or, at least, so they felt enough to write it down. The modern phrase mostly commonly known and used today is “Spare the rod, spoil your child,” and it is directly based upon this particular scripture. Contrary to another writer’s perspective of this “rod” of physical chastisement or punishment as being not about spanking, but about being a symbolic symbol of establishing ones parental authority, with the example of Moses’ rod being used when he stretches out his rod and parts the Sea of Reeds, this is not the same “rod” and is an example of generic-ising the ancient writings for modern theological gain. They are *not* the same rods! The Moses “rod” is a magical rod, a magically-infused shamanic rod (after all, he was a Levite priest), and the parental “rod” spoken of in biblical writ is an actual whipping stick meant to submit a child to recognition of authority by inflicting pain – like a good modern spanking is meant to accomplish.

    The “Restrain your stick, hate your son” passage in the “Bible” really does mean to whip your child when he gets out of line, and this is showing good authority over your children. In ancient Jewish-Israeli culture, teaching youth to fear one’s parents and the “grey-haired” among you was socially mandatory, enough to warrant death for violation in certain circumstances. “Any man who belittles his father and his mother put to death” (VaYikra/Leviticus 20.9). Further evidence that whipping your child is the intent of “restrain your stick”, “Hold not chastisement from a child, for if you strike him with a stick he will not die” (Mishlei/Proverbs 23.13). … But, now – for what it is worth – there is a biblical passage that is often misunderstood by modern bible-based religions, “Train upon a child’s mouth his path and when he is old he will not turn away from this” (Mishlei/Proverbs 22.6). The emphasis in this is like what is found in Tehillim/Psalms 127 about children being “arrows” in a father’s quiver, meaning that “training upon a child’s mouth” is not based in strikes of chastisement but, rather, training is conducted in the manner one patiently and persistently would train a stick into a useful bow.

    In today’s science and reason based culture, we now know from careful research into this subject that spankings do not actually achieve the desired results. In fact, it only continues the abusive authoritarian social status, while inflicting lifelong psychological harm upon the future-to-be parents being raised in many bible-influenced homes. Such physically abusive parental behavior towards children is indeed “biblical” but, by modern awareness standards, it is neither moral nor ethical to do to a child. There are better more effective and self-esteem affirming ways to discipline a child, without resulting to physical assault – which is always based in one’s status being challenged, and having an emotional reaction to this challenge. (“You’ve defied me, and I must beat you down, now, for your own good.” – the ageless justification of the human primate!) Be careful not to apply modern exegesis upon an ancient written text, if you intend to truly understand what is actually being implied within. If it is your thang to embrace biblical writ, allow the text to speak on its own self-evident terms from the perspective of the time of its writing. And, then honestly question it: “Is this really moral? Is a god that approves of this really worth believing in? What are we actually trying to achieve in supporting such behaviors?”

    Spanking is Physical Abuse, whether Justified by the Bible or not, folks! Alright, I’m done saying.

    ——-

    Fifty year study finds there are no benefits to spanking children
    http://nbc4i.com/2017/07/20/fifty-year-study-finds-there-are-no-benefits-to-spanking-children/
    A study that spanned nearly 50 years has found that spanking is only harmful to children and has no beneficial outcomes.
    According to experts at the University of Texas at Austin and the University of Michigan, who studied 50 years’ worth of data involving more than 160,000 children, the more kids are spanked the more likely they are to suffer from anti-social behaviors, aggression and mental health problems.
    The study, which was published in the Journal of Family Psychology, says that spankings (defined as an open-handed hit on the behind or extremities) led to a detrimental outcome in the 13 of the 17 outcomes examined.

    ——-

    #spanking #sparetherod #parenting #UTAustin
    #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

  2. “In the beginning, when God created the seven Human species to commingle together upon the earth, he looked upon all that he had created and called it good. There was peace among the species of Man, among all humankind, for a very long time. But, when the humans gifted with unusual creativity took to spreading across the world, they warred with the other species for self-interested gain. In time, only one Human species remained and, later, wrote stories about themselves. Fantastic stories about their supreme importance and their glorious status upon this planet. The world that God created has never been the same.”*

    What if human Sapiens hadn’t killed off the human Neanderthalensis, human Denisova, and human Floresiensis in all his extreme predatory ways? How would our societies have developed? What if human Sapiens had developed myths, religions, and writing very early after our cognitive revolution as a species? How would these stories have unfolded, with us not being the lone humans living upon the land, with us sharing the earth with brother and sister species? Had we allowed the other species of human to survive into the present, how would we have approached issues of racism and xenophobia, both among the different species of humankind and within the diversity of our own? I wonder. What stories could we now invent to include the brothers and sisters human species who did not make it into our BCE-CE historical period? Could we give them a voice once more? And, if we did, how would this change us as a self-occupied human primate species upon this planet? I wonder.

    * A short story that I penned as a thought experiment to the expression of this post. Additionally, “God” represents any of the plethora of imaginary gods (and goddesses) that have been socially and personally imagined by human Sapiens-kind. Let’s be honest with ourselves folks, if it requires “faith”, then it is – no matter what it is – imaginary and without evidence. What actually exists, what is real, does not require our faith or belief in it (maybe, our trust is sometimes required), it is objectively self-evident to all who explore and study it, and it will never hide itself from reality within only the subjective minds and writings of a single animal species upon this planet.

    What does it mean to be human?
    http://humanorigins.si.edu/evidence
    Scientists have discovered a wealth of evidence concerning human evolution, and this evidence comes in many forms. Thousands of human fossils enable researchers and students to study the changes that occurred in brain and body size, locomotion, diet, and other aspects regarding the way of life of early human species over the past 6 million years. Millions of stone tools, figurines and paintings, footprints, and other traces of human behavior in the prehistoric record tell about where and how early humans lived and when certain technological innovations were invented. Study of human genetics show how closely related we are to other primates – in fact, how connected we are with all other organisms – and can indicate the prehistoric migrations of our species, Homo sapiens, all over the world. Advances in the dating of fossils and artifacts help determine the age of those remains, which contributes to the big picture of when different milestones in becoming human evolved.

    #evolution #human #sapiens #torah
    Let’s get the #NationalPopularVote in place before #Trump #TrumpPence 2020!
    #Resist #Indivisible #UnitedWeStand #WomensMarch #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.
    The United States desperately needs #TruthandReconciliation and #SocialJustice starting today!

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