November 26, 2013 Leave a comment
Hello readers. My apologies for the extended hiatus. I’ve been gone for far too long, but I promise there is a good reason for it. You see, I set myself a rather ambitious task just before disappearing and it’s taken me this long to do the research for it. I honestly bit off a little more than I could chew too, and lost quite a bit of motivation as a result.
Fortunately, reading Carl Sagan’s ‘The Demon Haunted World’ has not only helped inspire me, it helped with quite a bit of the research I needed to do, compiling a lot of it all in the one place.
Anyway, the project I’ve been wanting to attempt is to give a broad overview of science. Since becoming an active atheist and engaging people in many discussions and debates, one thing I’ve found incredibly prominent is a terrible misunderstanding of what science is, what it does, how it works and why we use it. Frequently I find people have some issue with science, but upon examination I discover what they have is a strawman argument (don’t worry, we’ll be coming back to exactly what that is later) and that the problem isn’t with science, but with their understanding of science.
Frankly this shouldn’t be terribly surprising. The science people are taught in high school is an introductory course and often doesn’t cover many of the fundamentals. It’s only those who continue to study the subjects into late high school or better yet university, who learn all these details.
The rules of scientific investigation are extremely strict. Much more strict than the average person needs in their day-to-day life. The kind of skepticism needed to study quantum mechanics is vastly more strict than the skepticism required to discuss your weekend plans with a friend. Because of this most people don’t need scientific logic in their day-to-day lives and therefore have no desire to learn it in-depth.
The point I’m trying to make here is that if you haven’t heard of the topics we’ll be covering in the next few posts don’t feel put out. You’re not dumb, nor did you have a sub-par education. It’s a state most people find themselves in and most of us have little reason to fill this gap in our knowledge.
That said, here at Inquisitive Bliss we’re all about learning for the sake of learning, so come along for the ride and hopefully you’ll discover something new. Maybe you’ll even find a new-found passion for the subject. At the very least I hope you’ll have a deeper appreciation of science and it’s methodologies and maybe even discover some uses for a few of the topics.
There’s a number of topics I’d like to cover during the next few posts. This list may shrink or grow depending on my needs, but this is what I’m hoping to cover:
- What is science?
- What is the scientific method?
- Falsifiability and why it’s important to finding knowledge.
- The peer review process.
- Correlation vs Causation.
- Occam’s razor.
- Logic and logical fallacies.
- Science vs pseudoscience
That’s it for now. Stay tuned for the next few posts which will cover logical fallacies.