The blurred boundaries of science

http://nautil.us/issue/35/boundaries/are-there-barbarians-at-the-gates-of-science

“As is often said, knowledge is the only natural resource that grows when used.”

…..No?
How can accumulated data grow? It is grown, acted upon, but no, it isn’t a plant growing by itself or a fountain of endless findings. Humans toil and add to it. It’s a body of information, no different than the growing discography of a singer.

Scientism creeps up in the most intriguing places. See;

“Some speak of the modern citizen as a “proto-scientist,” emulating, no doubt incompletely, some of the well-established practices of academia. It is no longer enough for experts to argue by means of what mathematicians fondly call “proof by intimidation.” The authority of science has been eroded by these public debates, a subject that deserves a separate discussion. One of the immediate consequences is that the scientific community will have to spend much more time engaging with policy makers and the public, not only communicating the products of research, but also the scientific method itself.”

Which is fine. Which is absolutely fine. Activism but we presume balanced, right? They explain themselves too.

Until….

“Science increasingly becomes a public good.”

correction ohuhno idiots

Hold the fucking phone, they aren’t priests.

You don’t get to be a priestly authority with a p-value.

They aren’t special and flawless, incapable of deception or falsehood. In fact, people like Popper warned against this. Scientists are no better than the common man. That’s the beauty of it. It’s about the findings, not the finder.

Every breach of ethics in history began with that presumption of moral virtue.
There is no normal, no moral standard in science. There would need to be a superhuman absolute to compare it to, a yardstick, and secular science denies this.

We’re doomed.

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1. Be civil. 2. Be logical or fair. 3. Do not bore me.

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