Three aspects of science

I posted an article on social media about the methods of science and the importance of using solid data and logic in our own lives. Unsurprisingly, one of the comments seemed skeptical about science.

For me, it’s important to differentiate between three aspects of science.

METHODS OF SCIENCE

One is the methods of science. These are mostly common sense put into a system.

These methods help us gather and evaluate data for how solid it is, they help us evaluate the logic used to interpret and understand the data, and they help us recognize biases in ourselves and others.

This is very useful for all of us, even in daily life. We all use some version of this.

CONTENT OF SCIENCE & WORLDVIEWS

Another is what’s produced through science and the worldview we use to understand it.

The content of science is always changing, as it should. It’s updated with new information. It reflects society and culture. What’s valid today may well be seen as outdated tomorrow.

The worldview we understand science within also changes. These days, many still use a materialistic and reductionistic worldview. In some decades or centuries, something else may be the norm – perhaps one that’s more systemic, holistic, and/or integral.

Realizing this helps us hold it all a little more lightly.

HOW SCIENCE IS USED AND MISUSED

Science is performed and used by people, and it lives within society and culture.

Sometimes, it’s used to genuinely help people.

Sometimes, this is mixed in with a profit motivation and may still be mainly helpful.

Sometimes, it’s misused in a more obvious way and it’s used primarily for profit or power.

Sometimes, the name of science is used to promote something that’s not grounded in science at all, to achieve a goal someone sets higher than truth and reality.

Whatever it is, it’s not inherent in science. It happens because of society, culture, and people.

SCIENCE SKEPTICISM IS OFTEN NOT ABOUT SCIENCE

When people express skepticism of science, they are often rightly critical of how some people use science and the name of science. Unfortunately, they also often seem to mix up the methods of science and how science is used by some people and businesses. They see it all as one thing.

They are critical of some uses of science, and then automatically reject anything that comes with that label, including sound and useful methods of science.

Science is essentially about methods. The rest is more peripheral and belongs more to history and society.


DRAFT FRAGMENTS

THREE ASPECTS OF SCIENCE

I posted an article about the methods of science and the importance of using solid data and logic in our own lives. One of the comments seemed skeptical about science.

…..

Yes, although science is at least three things… (a) The methods, which is mostly common sense put into a system and helpful. (The article is about the method.) (b) The content of science which is always changing and reflects the culture. (c) How science is used by different people, including corporations etc. which is sometimes very questionable.

INITIAL DRAFT

I posted an article on social media about the methods of science and the importance of using solid data and logic in our own lives. Unsurprisingly, one of the comments seemed skeptical about science.

For me, it’s important to differentiate between three aspects of science.

METHODS OF SCIENCE

One is the methods of science. These are mostly common sense put into a system.

They help us evaluate data and see how solid it is, and they help us evaluate the logic used to interpret and understand the data.

This is very useful for all of us, even in daily life.

CONTENT & WORLDVIEW OF SCIENCE

Another is the content of science and the worldview it operates within.

The content of science is always changing, as it should. It’s updated with new information. It reflects society and culture. What’s valid today may well be outdated tomorrow.

The worldview science operates within is also changing. The worldview used today (materialistic, often reductionistic etc.) may seem outdated in a few decades or centuries.

Realizing this helps us hold it all a little more lightly.

HOW SCIENCE IS USED AND MISUSED

Science lives within society and culture. It’s performed and used by people.

Sometimes, it’s used to genuinely help people.

Sometimes, this is mixed in with a profit motivation.

Sometimes, it’s misused in an even more obvious way. It’s used primarily for profit or power.

Sometimes, the name of science is used to promote something that’s not grounded in science at all, to achieve a goal someone sets higher than truth and reality.

This is not a problem with science. This is a problem with society, culture, and people.

SCIENCE SKEPTICISM IS OFTEN NOT ABOUT SCIENCE

When people express skepticism of science, they often seem to mix up two or all of these.

What they don’t like is human behavior. They are rightly skeptical about how some people use science or the name of science.

Science is essentially about methods, and those are generally very sound and helpful.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.