a reply to: Masterjaden
Well, I simply disagree. Science itself is(should be) an unchanging method, certainly, but scientific knowledge (to be more clear) does change. Did
you learn about the land bridge hypothesis for explaining fossil fauna locations, or did you learn about plate tectonics theory when you were in high
I assume you are aware that that plate tectonic theory is a recent adoption by the scientific community (happening in the fifties...), but are you
aware that it was proposed some forty years before that? The problem was simply one of evidence... There was detailed evidence of land bridges that
do and did exist. On the other hand, there was little that could be directly linked to or directly support plate tectonics (for example, a mechanism
by which continent-sized blocks of rock could move was missing). It was only later when enough evidence from paleomagnetic studies and a detailed
understanding of oceanic basalt and geology that plate tectonics finally became an accepted theory, thus breaking what you might call a
See, I agree that science makes it difficult for new, perhaps better, theories when they are first proposed, but this is not a bad thing. This is
necessary skepticism until enough evidence has been gathered to show sufficient support for a theory. The problem which I think you are seeing is one
of evidence... In order to support a new theory (differing from one already proposed and supported by evidence) you need AS MUCH OR MORE evidence to
support the new theory or refute the old. Rather, I should say, before entirely refuting a theory, you need to show a better theory with more
evidence and predictive capabilities than the old theory. The fact that some theories reach into multiple disciplines and do increase predictive
capabilities means that they must be falsified and replaced in each respective discipline (consider gravity something of this nature). Why create
something new (a force of nature that is not gravity) when gravity works consistently in geology, physics, astrophysics, and chemistry? I know,
we've discussed that there are legitimate overlapping theories, but how can you tell which ones are not legitimate when so many are? Can you give me
a specific example?
Again, I am telling you that I disagree with your assessment. Skepticism of new claims is necessary for proper science (method) to be done, and
skepticism needs to be quelled before new theories can be accepted. If the evidence is not up to par, then the evidence is not up to par, and thus
the hypothesis presented is not acceptable. Even if it were correct, we cannot merely assert it so without evidence, and as I said, you need a lot of
evidence to truly shift paradigms (and yet it has happened several times in recent history).
As for crossing fields, I certainly don't want advice about geology from 9/10 psychologists. I certainly don't want to have a surgical operation
performed by 9/10 geologists (being generous here...). Would you want to take the advice of 9/10 sociologists on how to fix a mechanical problem with
your car's engine? See, there certainly exists the fallacious argument from authority, but there also exists true argument from true authorities.
I cannot speak with direct experience of the medical field (I took what I believed to be the easier field of the sciences...), but I do have an
opinion on such matters. It is my opinion that some diseases have no cure. Let me clarify, there is no one cure, and there might certainly never be
"a" cure. Cancer, for example, is not the same for every patient. What might "cure" one person of cancer might not cure another, simply because
of the differences in the cancers (forgive my generalities here, I'm certainly no expert). More simply, there are many (varied) mutations that lead
to what we call "cancer," and no one treatment will be effective for all... (Again, I suggest you do seek the experts' explanations on this, as
I'm sure I'm not doing the best job here, I have no medical expertise, merely a few biology classes).
If I may ask, have you ever considered the possibility that scientists are not ignorant, unintelligent, or involved in a conspiracy to "privatize"
niches in knowledge? Have you ever once questioned if you were being overly critical of this system, or perhaps questioned why you were so critical
of it? I'm curious to know, as I see a world of evidence pointing against your claims, which in my opinion you have provided little evidence to back
up (but I am young and naive, so do forgive me my inexperience here). If I am truly so blind to the reality of my world, the usefulness of my
scientific methodology (as suggested by the claims you made), I certainly want to know the truth. I am an idealist when it comes to the method, but I
certainly understand the imperfection of the human element.