What is Science? (Can Science be a religion) Part 1

I wasn't feeling up to tackling this all in one go, so here's the first half, I'll try and finish the rest tomorrow.

You know I talk a lot about pseudoscience, and why many pseudo-scientific belief systems are clearly bullshit. But to quote so many people I've talked to "How do you know?" I mean, "How can you be sure you're correct?," I mean after all, "Isn't Science just another belief system?"

Now to be clear, I don't like the word belief. Fuck belief I don't believe in a god damn thing. I'm not joking about this. I accept somethings as fact because enough evidence points in that direction, at any time new evidence could override my position. Not lying, show me evidence and I'll instantly re-evaluate and modify ANY position. Provided i'm actually given evidence to look at (I intend to include what IS evidence and what IS bullshit posing as evidence and why we accept one and laugh at the other). If I haven't modified my position after hearing someone's claim, it's because the person providing "evidence"  is just passing along garbage. More importantly I can explain WHY its garbage. My problem with belief is that it implies I'm  more attached to a thought or idea than I should be.(*) The only idea I'm reasonably well attached to is proven, demonstrable methodologies for uncovering factual evidence about the universe.... SCIENCE. I only accept it because it can be proven. The moment it stops being reliable I'll abandon it, Not before.

So what is science exactly?

It can be defined as, "the intellectual and practical activity encompassing the systematic study of the structure and behavior of the physical and natural world through observation and experiment." Source

Dig a little deeper you find the most important fundamental principle behind how we conduct science, why it works and how we know it is reliable can be found in one place. Methodology. This is often at the foundation of pseudo-scientific flaws. As we attempted to discover the nature of the universe, as we have taken measurements scientists also needed to find ways to ensure that what they learn is factual, reflective of reality and reliable. Why did they do this? Well imagine what life would be like if the underlying physics we use to build airplane's was not accurate or reliable. We know things are true because we test them and apply them. It's not just shit we think up or imagine. This is one of the most fundamental failing of those who advocate, Flat Earth, Electronic Universe, and Young Earth Creation, to only name a few. They think we are arrogant because they can't understand how it works, so they falsely postulate that we must just be pulling this shit out of our asses. Not so, but as a result of their false assumptions they end up pulling their shit out of their asses and think it needs to be placed on the same level. Why? well its all the same right? No, not really, its just not the same at all. 

So we apply science to understand, measure, and define the universe. However what is science? Well at its core it's nothing more than the best practices and methodologies we use which we have demonstrated to be the most accurate ways to understand the universe. It's all about the methodology. That's it. It's fucking that easy folks.

(*) Editited thanks to a brilliant, and thoughtful suggestion from Bertold Brautigan

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Comment by Bertold Brautigan on February 15, 2017 at 8:54pm

Ruth--

Religions are self-perpetuating memeplexes that twist morality to further their replication and use all sorts of tricks,

You're right - the Republican party is a religion. No wonder their panties are in a twist over religious freedom.

Comment by BenGee on February 15, 2017 at 8:05pm

Ruth I wholeheartedly agree with you. The purpose of this little blog section (I'm thinking it will be 3 parts in total) is to highlight the differences between Science and Religion, and to show what is science (since so many seem to not know what it is) why we can know science is reliable (in an easy to read format accessible to a wider audience), and how religion differs. Everyone's feedback is great, I'm kinda thinking I might take my little blog here, polish it up and put it out there for a wider audience once I have a bit more material, this is kinda where I'm thinking I'll go with all my work. I hope you enjoy what I write. Thank you for your comment :)

Comment by Ruth Anthony-Gardner on February 15, 2017 at 7:58pm

Science can't be a religion. Religions are self-perpetuating memeplexes that twist morality to further their replication and use all sorts of tricks, like cognitive dissonance, to manipulate adherents. Science is by definition open to critique and is based on evidence, no manipulation required or tolerated.

Comment by BenGee on February 15, 2017 at 1:34pm

Wonderful suggestion Bertold, thank you!

Comment by Bertold Brautigan on February 15, 2017 at 12:59pm

BenGee - I think you touched on something profound here.

My problem with the word belief is it implies I'm more attached to a thought or idea than I really am.

If I might be brash enough to suggest a slight alteration, I'd say "My problem with belief is that it implies I'm  more attached to a thought or idea than I should be."

Belief is etymologically related to love, which tells me that things we believe are things we hold dear. The problem, of course, is that there's no necessary connection between belief and truth. I completely agree with you about believing nothing. I've stolen my motto from Robert Anton Wilson: Whatever you believe imprisons you. I've long contended that belief is the most powerful (and frightening) force in the world.

Comment by BenGee on February 15, 2017 at 12:37pm

lol Nice Thomas

Comment by Thomas Murray on February 15, 2017 at 12:26pm

Well...one way I look at science is that:

There is no science building of worship

There is no science place where people get together to praise, dance, and sing about science

and

There are no two science parents who offered and beg the people to rape their daughter to save two cloned sheeps.

Comment by BenGee on February 14, 2017 at 7:40pm

I want to take a moment to point out, I do kinda depend on all you who read this to point out flaws when you see them. Your feedback is important and welcome :) I don't claim to be perfect, but I will do my best to be accurate, complete and honest with you all.

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