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Science about truth, not blind obedience

Submitted by on 04.23.2012 – 9:34 pm 46 Comments

It takes longer for the American public to accept scientific theories than the scientific community. It has been suggested that the problem lies in America’s supposed “long history” of “politicizing science,” but there are a few problems with that argument.

The theories of evolution and global warming are called theories for a reason. In fact, they are called theories because they cannot be proven, scientifically or otherwise. No one — not even scientists — can prove beyond a shadow of a doubt evolution ever happened or that global climate change is actually occurring because of all the evidence that disproves both theories (i.e. the lack of evolutionary development as prescribed by Darwin and the fact that the global climate temperature has only increased approximately one degree Fahrenheit in the past century due singularly to natural trends).

There always remains some doubt about these theories, and to continue to believe these theories are true without actual scientific evidence is to have a faith even Christians could envy.

Science is not politicized by Americans. Politicians politicize science to get re-elected or gain popularity. Americans respect the field of science for what it is: science. However, Americans are critical of science, just as we are critical of our government, elected officials, etc. It would be foolhardy to accept everything we hear as being true, so why should Americans be expected to believe theories like evolution and global warming without question? As Americans we should be critical of everything we hear and seek to discover the facts. After all, true science is about skepticism and seeking the truth through what we can see, feel, hear, taste and touch — not through what we believe.

It is outrageous to suggest that many Americans and right-wingers are anti-science. How is it anti-science to question the theories of evolution and global warming? Is it also anti-science to question Albert Einstein’s theory of relativity or Newton’s laws of physics? Is science not to be questioned at all? Evolution and global warming are theories and meant to be questioned so that the truth may be found out. Again, that is what science is all about.

Science is about finding the truth about the world and universe around us, not blindly following people like Darwin without question. It is the people who believe in evolution and global warming without question who are anti-science.

It has been said that we should encourage our children to become scientists to move this country forward, but the only way this can be achieved is through constant questioning of the status quo, which includes theories and beliefs that humankind holds to be true.

Teaching our children that the theories of evolution and global warming are true and not to question them is, in itself, an exercise in anti-intellectualism. But, hey, isn’t that better than having our children be like other extremists who also questioned the status quo? You know, extremists like Martin Luther King, Jr., George Washington, Frederick Douglas, Albert Einstein, Galileo, Christopher Columbus, Martin Luther, Thomas Jefferson, Jesus Christ ….

Andrew Jenson can be reached at arg-opinion@uidaho.edu

 

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46 Comments »

  • Christopher Dennis says:

    lol!

  • Dallas Hammer says:

    I know this is opinion, but Argonaut, please don’t let stupid, uneducated people write things for you. His argument is flawed from the start, as theories are scientifically proven theories. Last I checked it was still called the “theory of gravity”. But if Andrew were to fall out of a window, he would fall. Not because God pulled him, but because of gravity.

    • Jens says:

      Dallas,

      As a person who has studied physics I can tell you that gravity is not a theory but a fact/law. The dictionary says a theory is “a proposed explanation whose status is still conjectural and subject to experimentation, in contrast to well-established propositions that are regarded as reporting matters of actual fact.”

      Andrew is using the correct term by using theory. Also, in science you must be able to recreate the experiment. If you can’t recreate it, it is not law, but a conjecture/theory.

      • Trevor R. says:

        I understand where you are coming from Jens, but there is indeed a difference in what you two are referring to.

        Gravity is still a theory, what you are referring to is the “law of gravity” that if you drop an object it will fall.

        As per http://www.wolframalpha.com/input/?i=theory+of+gravity

        Theory of gravity:
        noun | (physics) the theory that any two particles of matter attract one another with a force directly proportional to the product of their masses and inversely proportional to the square of the distance between them

        —-

        I understand the point you were going for, but the idea Andrew is trying to force upon the reader is that theories such as evolution are just guesses that are not reinforced by science. I feel that it would be inappropriate the say that Andrew was in fact using the term correctly.

        I also find it odd that you chose to list the second dictionary reference of theory instead of the first. Especially since the first is synonymous with law, and the second synonymous with idea and notion hypothesis.

    • **A Series of Academic Cautions**
      My friends, I would caution you at this point first on Academic Respect.

      Response to: “please don’t let stupid [and] uneducated people people write things for you.”
      a)The author of this article is clearly writting an academically critiqued article.
      b)In this setting, although an “opinion,” the author respectfully posed his argument without insulting his audience. There were no claims that any community, scientist or religious person, were at all “stupid.”
      c)Instead, the author EMPOWERED his audience to “be critical of everything we hear and seek to discover the facts.” Note: the author did not write “be critical of science only,” no, he said “everything.”

      Secondly, the author has a right to his opinion and right of press.
      a)All loyal Americans should have a basic unsterstanding of basic promised rights.
      b)According to the US Constitution, the First Amendment: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

      **END ACADEMIC RESPECT**

      Apology (or defense) of Article

      1. The claims presented in this article provided no proof or disproof of scientific theories or facts.

      2. The focus on the article was on the suggestion that the problem lies in America’s supposed “long history” of “politicizing science,” and identifying few problems with that argument. (1:2)

      3. The only possible stretch can be made in condemning the author for being anti-science is in the second paragraph. However, to do so would be an incorrect explication of the message. The correct explication is as follows:
      a) “No one — not even scientists — can prove beyond a shadow of a doubt… (2:2-3).” The author is eluding to a powerful epistemological (or the process of knowing) argument that is still being debated to the day – what is truth and knowledge (in other words reality) on the phenomenal world (how things seem) and how do we get there?
      b) “… because of all the evidence that disproves both theories… (2:4-5)” Again, the author now is giving examples of epistemological inconsistencies (or logical paradoxes) that exist in some scientist’s claim on objective truth (knowledge). The equation for knowledge (as academically recognized) is as follows:
      Belief + Justification + Truth = Knowledge. Beliefs, according only to this equation, are not sufficient nor necessary; justification alone requires warrants/evidence; and thirdly, objective truths or facts. The author is pointing out errors in the justification category – warrants and evidence are not sufficient enough or simply they are contradictory to the argued truth. In this case it was climate change and evolution used as examples. With this in mind, the author explains that faith is required to believe these THEORIES so fervently, “… and to believe these theories are true without actual scientific evidence is to have faith even Christians could envy. (4:1-3)” Seeing that the justification part of the equation is lacking, people must rely on belief (or faith in the unseen or touched) to justify their moral choice.

      4) “Science is about finding the truth about the world and universe around us… (6:1)” Take note the role of science and Metaphysics (big ‘m’): working with the physical world, not the metaphysics (little ‘m’) which is the soul-ness of reality. I now work with Sir Francis Bacon and his modern view of scientific method– as it is based on practiced theory, reason, and logic. Bacon emphasized OBSERVATION and DATA collection, which paved the road for method of induction by hypotheses (which are required for your THEORIES) are confirmed or disproved based on observation. If the data is contrary, the hypotheses dies and so does the theory.
      a) Referring to comment: “His argument is flawed from the start, as theories are scientifically proven theories. Last I checked it was still called the ‘theory of gravity’.” First off, the academically recognized definition of theory is this: comprehensive explanation of some aspect of nature that is supported by a vast body of evidence-used to make predictions about natural events or phenomena that have not yet been observed. “According to this definition, a theory must be well supported by evidence. Furthermore, the term theory would not be appropriate for describing untested but intricate hypotheses or even scientific models. Consumers of science may find the above definition useful when evaluating the validity and/or efficacy of a theory.” – National Academy of Sciences (2005), Science, Evolution, and Creationism.
      b) To say that theories are scientifically proven theories is circular reasoning and paradoxical.

      5) What does it mean to be anti-science? Reflect back on the definitions provided and the argument proposed for Scientific Methodology. Anything contrary to this process would be considered anti-science in its truest form.

      6) In closing his article, our author merely presents a series of points of reasons to be more critical of scientists work. Not to disrespect the scientists and their work, but be responsible citizens.

      7) Poor critical-reading and thinking would result in believing that the author claimed anything different when reading this article.

  • Jesse Fisker says:

    I would just like to clarify one of the more idiotic things claimed in your article. There is no evidence that “disproves” the theories of climate change or evolution. There sure is some evidence that contradicts them, but theories are the best explanations of the facts we are aware of. These are no different. Also, science is something that people actually do like how accountants do taxes and farmers farm. While there are many instances where we question how well the job is done, and have skepticism about whether certain scientists are doing good or bad science, or certain accountants are doing good or bad audits, when the entire profession (discounting the 2% of nutjobs that weasel their way into most all professions) agrees on a practice, it really isn’t your place to question it. You writing about science is like me saying things about religion: I do it sometimes, but really have absolutely no idea what I’m doing. You are not Galileo. You are someone who should not question the job of professionals which you know nothing about.

    • Jens says:

      Jesse,

      I know many scientists that disagree with the scientists that promote global warming. Should we not then question who is right? To accept answers without a proof is not a smart idea. When I am being told about things, I want to see the proof. Who wouldn’t want to see the proof?

      • Jesse Fisker says:

        Jens,

        You do not know many climate scientists who disagree with climate change. 98% agreed that it was occurring. You may know a psychologist “doctorperson” who disagrees, but that isn’t worth too much. You may disagree with why we are experiencing climate change, but there are very few legitimate scientists who disagree with the evidence for it.

    • **A Series of Academic Cautions**
      My friends, I would caution you at this point first on Academic Respect.Response to: “please don’t let stupid [and] uneducated people people write things for you.”
      a)The author of this article is clearly writting an academically critiqued article.
      b)In this setting, although an “opinion,” the author respectfully posed his argument without insulting his audience. There were no claims that any community, scientist or religious person, were at all “stupid.”
      c)Instead, the author EMPOWERED his audience to “be critical of everything we hear and seek to discover the facts.” Note: the author did not write “be critical of science only,” no, he said “everything.”Secondly, the author has a right to his opinion and right of press.
      a)All loyal Americans should have a basic unsterstanding of basic promised rights.
      b)According to the US Constitution, the First Amendment: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”**END ACADEMIC RESPECT**Apology (or defense) of Article1. The claims presented in this article provided no proof or disproof of scientific theories or facts. 2. The focus on the article was on the suggestion that the problem lies in America’s supposed “long history” of “politicizing science,” and identifying few problems with that argument. (1:2)3. The only possible stretch can be made in condemning the author for being anti-science is in the second paragraph. However, to do so would be an incorrect explication of the message. The correct explication is as follows:
      a) “No one — not even scientists — can prove beyond a shadow of a doubt… (2:2-3).” The author is eluding to a powerful epistemological (or the process of knowing) argument that is still being debated to the day – what is truth and knowledge (in other words reality) on the phenomenal world (how things seem) and how do we get there?
      b) “… because of all the evidence that disproves both theories… (2:4-5)” Again, the author now is giving examples of epistemological inconsistencies (or logical paradoxes) that exist in some scientist’s claim on objective truth (knowledge). The equation for knowledge (as academically recognized) is as follows:
      Belief + Justification + Truth = Knowledge. Beliefs, according only to this equation, are not sufficient nor necessary; justification alone requires warrants/evidence; and thirdly, objective truths or facts. The author is pointing out errors in the justification category – warrants and evidence are not sufficient enough or simply they are contradictory to the argued truth. In this case it was climate change and evolution used as examples. With this in mind, the author explains that faith is required to believe these THEORIES so fervently, “… and to believe these theories are true without actual scientific evidence is to have faith even Christians could envy. (4:1-3)” Seeing that the justification part of the equation is lacking, people must rely on belief (or faith in the unseen or touched) to justify their moral choice. 4) “Science is about finding the truth about the world and universe around us… (6:1)” Take note the role of science and Metaphysics (big ‘m’): working with the physical world, not the metaphysics (little ‘m’) which is the soul-ness of reality. I now work with Sir Francis Bacon and his modern view of scientific method– as it is based on practiced theory, reason, and logic. Bacon emphasized OBSERVATION and DATA collection, which paved the road for method of induction by hypotheses (which are required for your THEORIES) are confirmed or disproved based on observation. If the data is contrary, the hypotheses dies and so does the theory.
      a) Referring to comment: “His argument is flawed from the start, as theories are scientifically proven theories. Last I checked it was still called the ‘theory of gravity’.” First off, the academically recognized definition of theory is this: comprehensive explanation of some aspect of nature that is supported by a vast body of evidence-used to make predictions about natural events or phenomena that have not yet been observed. “According to this definition, a theory must be well supported by evidence. Furthermore, the term theory would not be appropriate for describing untested but intricate hypotheses or even scientific models. Consumers of science may find the above definition useful when evaluating the validity and/or efficacy of a theory.” – National Academy of Sciences (2005), Science, Evolution, and Creationism.
      b) To say that theories are scientifically proven theories is circular reasoning and paradoxical. 5) What does it mean to be anti-science? Reflect back on the definitions provided and the argument proposed for Scientific Methodology. Anything contrary to this process would be considered anti-science in its truest form. 6) In closing his article, our author merely presents a series of points of reasons to be more critical of scientists work. Not to disrespect the scientists and their work, but be responsible citizens. 7) Poor critical-reading and thinking would result in believing that the author claimed anything different when reading this article.

  • Mike Steffens says:

    I agree with the other comments on this article that illustrate how laughable it is. This quote sums it up pretty well:

    “Creationists make it sound as though a ‘theory’ is something you dreamt up after being drunk all night.” – Isaac Asimov. In reality, a scientific theory refers to a comprehensive explanation of some aspect of nature that is supported by a vast body of evidence. Several of these include heliocentric theory (that the Earth revolves around the sun), cell theory (that living things are made of cells), theory of plate tectonics (the Earth is divided into solid plates that have moved over geological timescales), and many many others. Like these, the theory of evolution is supported by so many observations and confirming experiments that scientists are confident that the basic components of the theory will not be overturned by new evidence. This is not to say that scientists now blindly accept it. Continued experiments and studies that challenge the theory consistently add more evidence to the already overwhelming mounds of it. If you’d like more information on it, I would recommend you read the book “The Greatest Show On Earth – The Evidence for Evolution” by Richard Dawkins. It’s a really easy read with tons of information on evolution, and I could even loan you my copy. The argument that evolution is only a “theory” is flawed from the very beginning, but commonly touted as proof that there is a lack of evidence for it.

    To quote your own words in the article: “It would be foolhardy to accept everything we hear as being true.” Take your own advice. Don’t just accept what you hear about the lack of evidence for evolution. The evidence is there, but people who dismiss the theory refuse to seek it out. Now that is what I would call anti-intellectualism.

  • Sara Hendricks says:

    What is this? I don’t even…

  • *SIGH* rolls eyes, really? says:

    This is really poorly written. “It has been suggested that the problem lies in America’s supposed “long history” of “politicizing science,”…suggested by whom? The author of this ‘piece’ makes quite a few statements like this that are pulled from thin air.
    “Is it also anti-science to question Albert Einstein’s theory of relativity or Newton’s laws of physics? Is science not to be questioned at all?” Who is saying that? Scientific theories and understanding are in a constant process of revision. If someone were to come up with a better theory that filled in all of the gaps of our current theories then they would likely supplant them. No one with any integrity in the scientific community would say “Evolution is the only possibility! Even if a more accurate theory comes along, i will defend evolution to the death! TO THE DEATH!!”. On the contrary, the theory of evolution is taught as the most likely model for how things came to be. But to reject a theory because “No one — not even scientists — can prove beyond a shadow of a doubt evolution ever happened…” is throwing out the baby with the bath water. Evolution and human-caused climate change are just the best theories we currently have and when/if someone comes along with a better theory (better than ‘god did it’…) the scientific community will likely embrace it.
    This is a really unfortunate opinion piece. While i am not advocating censorship, i would hope that in the future the argonaut would not waste space with this kind of soft-headed fluff.

  • Jordan Lynn says:

    I just lost a lot of respect for the Argonaut due to this article. Nothing is cited, the author doesn’t even understand basic vocabulary with words like “theory”. He also claims these theories are weak, but then doesn’t present anything showing the weakness of evolution, it’s sad that you’re capable to stay in college.

  • Aaron C says:

    Good article Andrew. What the complainers on this comment section fail to realize is that all scientists became scientists by questioning the previous theories. They felt they were flawed or incomplete and set out to prove the fault in the former theory. Yet if they had just sat back and never questioned then where would we be? It is perfectly ok for a non-scientist to question the theory of a scientist as both are capable of reading the findings of the theory itself and seeing if it aligns with the tests of others.

    Unfortunately our young college generation likes to be spoon fed answers that suit them and any who question a “professional” are just idiots who dont know anything. I didnt realize that questioning professionals was so wrong. If thats the case I deserve to be burned at the stake for questioning our political professionals, and our economic professionals, and our business professionals for enacting flawed theories that have some truth but fall short of the complete answer.

    Just search for pre-1900 earth temperatures and you wont find much online (even though I was there for the brief media firestorm that erupted back during their release in the early 2000s); it always just quotes the pro-global warming scientists as saying they were “unreliable”. Go figure that the data seen from that time frame showed warmer average temperatures in the artic than we see now. Even my pro-global warming Geography professor couldnt erase that data from her slides covering the last 300 years. Nor could she explain the cooling temperatures over the lifespan of the Industrial Revolution. Due to this rather big “hole” in the theory, many prominent scientists have begun asking the question of if the earth is on a “temperature cycle”; with periods of global warming AND cooling. Its amazing how dangerous questions can be to “current” thinking.

  • Trevor R. says:

    “…but the only way this can be achieved is through constant questioning of the status quo, which includes theories and beliefs that humankind holds to be true.”

    Very, very true.

    However, this is sadly one of the only accurate pieces of information in this article.

    In the future please look at the definitions of words such as, “Faith”, “Theory”, and “Science” before using them.

    Also, before criticizing theories such as Evolution, please actually have a solid base of understanding on the topic. Otherwise you look foolish to those of us who actually understand them.

    Additionally, please understand that the utility of science is not a system of unobserved belief or faith. I’ll actually attempt to assist you, although I’m assuming based on flippant, uneducated and defensive style of this article, my comment will be ignored anyway.

    Definitions

    Science: The intellectual and practical activity encompassing the systematic study of the structure and behavior of the physical and natural world through observation and experiment.

    or

    Science: A branch of knowledge or study dealing with a body of facts or truths systematically arranged and showing the operation of general laws

    or

    Science: Systematic knowledge of the physical or material world gained through observation and experimentation.

    Whichever one you like is fine.

    Theory: A coherent group of tested general propositions, commonly regarded as correct, that can be used as principles of explanation and prediction for a class of phenomena: Einstein’s theory of relativity. Synonyms: principle, law, doctrine.

    Faith: A strong or unshakeable belief in something, esp without proof or evidence

    —–

    It is likely that you were thinking of a hypothesis when creating this article. In which case it’s a simple mistake and I’m sure you could revise this whole bit and allow it to become the slightest bit credible.

    However, if you were not thinking of the word hypothesis, and insist on attempting to discredit phenomenally well researched theories out of ignorance, I encourage you to do the following: read a book, any non-fiction book will do, especially religious texts if you are a true advocate of questioning things; continue to float and fly around earth; and demonstrate your knowledge that humans lack a tail bone, appendix or any of the large number of body parts that we still maintain due to evolutionary ancestors.

    None of these tasks should too difficult since theories are faith based right? Even though the definitions of these two words are contradictory.

    I could continue but I will not, so instead I will leave you with two quotes.

    ““Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt.” – Maurice Switzer

    “Wise men speak because they have something to say; Fools because they have to say something” – Plato

    • Rene G. Castillero says:

      I agree with your definitions for the most part, however your points do not show me any clarification whether Evolution is proven fact? Well is it? If NOT, then your argument reveals error, if it is cite your sources below. Thanks.

      Secondly, find your comments to be oddly condemning for someone who feels so offended; please, if you are going to condemn foolishness, then please do not act childish.

      • Trevor R. says:

        I think we must take into account here the varying definitions of the word theory, because for the most part theories are synonymous with fact. However, I will use the one you provided;

        “comprehensive explanation of some aspect of nature that is supported by a vast body of evidence-used to make predictions about natural events or phenomena that have not yet been observed”.

        Given this I would like to send you back to the national academy of sciences,

        “Like these other foundational scientific theories, the theory of evolution is supported by so many observations and confirming experiments that scientists are confident that the basic components of the theory will not be overturned by new evidence. However, like all scientific theories, the theory of evolution is subject to continuing refinement as new areas of science emerge or as new technologies enable observations and experiments that were not possible previously.”

        However, I invite you to read the whole article here for the sake of improving your understanding; http://www.nap.edu/openbook.php?record_id=11876&page=11

        To answer your question, yes evolution is a fact. As per the article I just linked, “In that respect, the past and continuing occurrence of evolution is a scientific fact. Because the evidence supporting it is so strong, scientists no longer question whether biological evolution has occurred and is continuing to occur. Instead, they investigate the mechanisms of evolution, how rapidly evolution can take place, and related questions.”

        Other mountains of evidence could be provided, but honestly the abundance of information displaying that evolution is a fact will never be enough to dissuade someone who is passionate in faith. You could easily find all the information yourself if you actually were curious. I do not know what your personal stance is on the matter, but based on your writing style my assumption is that you do not believe in the theory of evolution.

        In response to your second comment, of course I disapprove of this article! My response was a bit silly, but why wouldn’t it be? This article would never survive against any structured argument. I find the rejection of some of the most popular theories in history and the existence of this article a bit more childish than my response. Obviously you do not but that is completely acceptable.

        Lastly, I just want to apologize for the amount of time it took to reply. I have it marked to notify me of follow-up comments but I have not received any notifications. I’ll do my best to respond again if need be.

        Thanks,

  • Tyler says:

    It is horrifying to think that someone could be in an institution of higher learning and be so ignorant of the basics of the scientific method. When I first read this I thought it was an Onion article. This is just plain embarrassing.

  • Wieteke Holthuijzen says:

    First of all, let’s clarify the definition of theory. Apparently, there is this idea outside of the scientific field that a theory is a very weak argument or reasoning for some natural phenomena. It’s not. A theory is, in fact, a “plausible or scientifically acceptable general principle or body of principles offered to explain natural phenomena.” Here’s another definition: “a working hypothesis that is considered probable based on experimental evidence or factual or conceptual analysis and is accepted as a basis for experimentation.” Moreover, I think that you are confused about what science even means. Your title, for starters, “Science about truth, not blind obedience,” is problematic. Science is about understanding the way the world works, from an atomic level all the way up to biomes and beyond. Science is an organic thing that changes as new ideas and perceptions about natural processes emerge. There is no absolute truth. Truth is a completely different topic, one that belongs in a personal realm; that is to say, as Kierkegaard put it, “truth for me,” or the way that one sees the world. That is a personal thing and far from science.
    As for questioning science, of course that is needed! However, you seem to contradict yourself when you say “blind obedience.” Rather than weighing the facts when it comes to climate change (if you doubt that this is occuring, please go to Web of Science and search for any papers and articles concerning climate change… I’m sure you’ll find 1000′s of peer-reviewed articles that show that climate change IS occuring) and other science-related topics, you seem to suggest that we should just question or even automatically reject anything. That’s blind obedience but in the other extreme. Blind ignorance, you could say. If anything, we should be taught and enouraged to think critically and weigh the facts and do our own research. “Questioning” is easy. It’s easy to ask, “So what?” It’s a totally different scenario and much more challening to actually search for answers or even simple comprehension of multi-faceted issues, such as climate change.
    So the next time you write an article like this, be sure to appropriately and accurately define what theory, science and truth are. Maybe you should do some “questioning” on your own; ask yourself how you know what you are writing or saying is actually true. Unless you are the leading expert in a given scientific field, making grand assumptions (as you cleary did in your article) serves no purpose.

    • Jens says:

      Wieteke,

      You say, “There is no absolute truth. Truth is a completely different topic, one that belongs in a personal realm; that is to say, as Kierkegaard put it, “truth for me,” or the way that one sees the world. That is a personal thing and far from science.”

      May I inquire as to how you arrived at the notion of there being no absolute truth? Is it not an absolute truth to say earth revolves around the sun? This contradicts your claim thereby nullifying your idea that there is no absolute truth.
      You say truth is far from science.
      Before you go telling Andrew to define things, you need to define science. You clearly don’t know what science even means. The definition is below.

      Science, from the dictionary, is “a branch of knowledge or study dealing with a body of facts or truths systematically arranged and showing the operation of general laws”

      The dictionary ascribes truth with science. Science and truth are SUPPOSED to be together. What good is science if there is no truth????

      • Wieteke Holthuijzen says:

        Depends on how you define science- I never said anything about the how the sun revolving around the earth is an absolute truth. It’s an observation.
        Here are some other definitions of science:
        “The intellectual and practical activity encompassing the systematic study of the structure and behavior of the physical and natural world through observation and experiment.”
        “The observation, identification, description, experimental investigation, and theoretical explanation of phenomena. It is in particularly used in activities applied to an object of inquiry or study.”
        Just because you used the very first definition of science that popped up when you Googled it, it doesn’t necessarily mean that that one definition is the one and only true definition of science. There are a lot of ways to define it, especially depending on your field of study/interest.
        Science changes- or rather, the ideas and explanations that we create through observations of behaviors or patterns that we see in or world evolve over time as new evidence arises or we develope technology that gives us new insights. This is what makes science such an interesting thing!
        And please try to stay polite. I may not be able to give the “true” definition of science, but as a life-long student of science, I do think I have some idea as to what it encompasses.

  • Wieteke Holthuijzen says:

    Also, here is some information that might give you some clarification on climate change.
    http://www.ipcc.ch/index.htm
    The IPCC actually received a Nobel Peace Prize “for their efforts to build up and disseminate greater knowledge about man-made climate change, and to lay the foundations for the measures that are needed to counteract such change.” I don’t know about you, but Nobel Peace Prizes are a pretty BIG deal. I mean, it’s been given to amazing people like, oh I don’t know, Nelson Mandela, Elie Wiesel, Desmond Tutu, Mother Teresa and Martin Luther King Jr (you mentioned him in your article I believe).

  • Sean Shepherd says:

    I wasn’t aware that anyone had told their children to not question evolution, but I have known parents to say that all the other explanations such as creationism are simply absurd.

  • Elizabeth Jenson says:

    Andrew—What an EXCELLENT article! You have not only brought light to the very core of this issue, but you have done so in a humble, Christian manner. I am so proud of your strength in standing up for the truth when others look only to tear you down. Continue to persevere! Do not lose hope, for Christ has overcome the world! Thank you again for this wonderfully refreshing article to read and for reminding us to not become blind followers! What a BLESSING you are to this newspaper and to all who have the opportunity to not only read your work, but to know you personally. God Bless you Andrew in your studies and proclamation of the Truth we have in Christ our Savior!

  • Kyler Dupea says:

    “Teaching our children that the theories of evolution and global warming are true and not to question them is, in itself, an exercise in anti-intellectualism.”

    Sounds a bit like how a parent introduces religion to a child, does it not?

  • Considering the fact that evolution and climate change have just about as much evidence and scientific consensus as germ theory and the theory of gravity – simply just re-read your article but replace every reference to evolution and climate change with gravity and germ theory. You will then see how incredibly flawed your arguments are.

    The amount of information regarding evolution and climate change that you are apparently completely obvious of is quite astonishing.

    Please do yourself and your readers a favor by taking this article to one of the biology professors here at UofI, so that they can possibly make you aware of the immense amount of knowledge you are oblivious of.

    • Rene G. Castillero says:

      Apparently you are missing the message of the actual article. Take a class on Critical Thinking and Analysis – hopfully through your English Department- and then re-read this article. If that is too much:
      Apology (or defense) of Article

      1. The claims presented in this article provided no proof or disproof of scientific theories or facts.
      2. The focus on the article was on the suggestion that the problem lies in America’s supposed “long history” of “politicizing science,” and identifying few problems with that argument. (1:2)
      3. The only possible stretch can be made in condemning the author for being anti-science is in the second paragraph. However, to do so would be an incorrect explication of the message. The correct explication is as follows:
      a) “No one — not even scientists — can prove beyond a shadow of a doubt… (2:2-3).” The author is eluding to a powerful epistemological (or the process of knowing) argument that is still being debated to the day – what is truth and knowledge (in other words reality) on the phenomenal world (how things seem) and how do we get there?
      b) “… because of all the evidence that disproves both theories… (2:4-5)” Again, the author now is giving examples of epistemological inconsistencies (or logical paradoxes) that exist in some scientist’s claim on objective truth (knowledge). The equation for knowledge (as academically recognized) is as follows:
      Belief + Justification + Truth = Knowledge. Beliefs, according only to this equation, are not sufficient nor necessary; justification alone requires warrants/evidence; and thirdly, objective truths or facts. The author is pointing out errors in the justification category – warrants and evidence are not sufficient enough or simply they are contradictory to the argued truth. In this case it was climate change and evolution used as examples. With this in mind, the author explains that faith is required to believe these THEORIES so fervently, “… and to believe these theories are true without actual scientific evidence is to have faith even Christians could envy. (4:1-3)” Seeing that the justification part of the equation is lacking, people must rely on belief (or faith in the unseen or touched) to justify their moral choice.
      4) “Science is about finding the truth about the world and universe around us… (6:1)” Take note the role of science and Metaphysics (big ‘m’): working with the physical world, not the metaphysics (little ‘m’) which is the soul-ness of reality. I now work with Sir Francis Bacon and his modern view of scientific method– as it is based on practiced theory, reason, and logic. Bacon emphasized OBSERVATION and DATA collection, which paved the road for method of induction by hypotheses (which are required for your THEORIES) are confirmed or disproved based on observation. If the data is contrary, the hypotheses dies and so does the theory.
      a) Referring to comment: “His argument is flawed from the start, as theories are scientifically proven theories. Last I checked it was still called the ‘theory of gravity’.” First off, the academically recognized definition of theory is this: comprehensive explanation of some aspect of nature that is supported by a vast body of evidence-used to make predictions about natural events or phenomena that have not yet been observed. “According to this definition, a theory must be well supported by evidence. Furthermore, the term theory would not be appropriate for describing untested but intricate hypotheses or even scientific models. Consumers of science may find the above definition useful when evaluating the validity and/or efficacy of a theory.” – National Academy of Sciences (2005), Science, Evolution, and Creationism.
      b) To say that theories are scientifically proven theories is circular reasoning and paradoxical.

      5) What does it mean to be anti-science? Reflect back on the definitions provided and the argument proposed for Scientific Methodology. Anything contrary to this process would be considered anti-science in its truest form.
      6) In closing his article, our author merely presents a series of points of reasons to be more critical of scientists work. Not to disrespect the scientists and their work, but be responsible citizens.
      7) Poor critical-reading and thinking would result in believing that the author claimed anything different when reading this article.

      • What a frivolous response. I originally commented to discuss the scientific validity of his comments – not to play semantics and relatively irrelevant epistemological games. With your whole wall of text – even with your quoted sources – you still failed to discern the meaning of a scientific theory and its absent need for faith. And it looks like you have some fundamental misconceptions about existing evidence for evolution.

        “In closing his article, our author merely presents a series of points of reasons to be more critical of scientists work. Not to disrespect the scientists and their work, but be responsible citizens.”
        And yet the article still makes zero sense when applying the same logic to the theory of gravity.

  • Stephen Burleigh says:

    The date on this article must be wrong. It was published twenty two days late.

  • Christopher Dennis says:

    I think (hope) this fellow is trolling. Don’t troll on the argonaut opinion page, it isn’t classy.

  • Rene G. Castillero says:

    Alrighty guys, enough. I want to pick a fight. I have been leaving snip-its of my argument in numerous comment boxes skittled on this article. Before you condemn a OPINION based article, read my comments first.

    I am waiting to read your comments below! In fact, I invite you do. (yes, I am tempting you to argue with me)

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