The guy with the white coat is always right. That's what we were taught. I know it sounds simplistic and a bit naïve, but it is true. They have all these fancy letters riding on their names, they are so serious and look like they know what they are talking about.
Basically that’s all we are looking for in a scientist. Somebody who is certain of what he says. And looks the part.
Now, as we know, that is as far as you can get from real science, because scientists, by definition are not supposed to be 'sure' of anything. The maximum they are permitted to declare is that under certain conditions, if you do that, there is a very high probability that this will happen.
Problem is, this does not make a good headline.
You can't really start being silly and try to sell news stories that have data and cautious predictions. Where is the panic? Where is the impending doom? C'mon people, give me something to work with here…
The only time that you will hear a scientist having doubts these days is when there is big money behind it. We are NOT SURE if the radiation from your cell phone is doing horrible things to your brain. We are NOT SURE that fracking is bad for the earth. We just DON'T HAVE ENOUGH DATE to know if GMO's are dangerous. Yeah…we are not sure, and we don’t know and everything is going to be all right, don’t you worry your pretty little head about it (because our agenda says there are other things you should fear this season)
The truth is, the more science is advancing, the less we actually do know.
We already realized that nothing is as it seems, and that experiment results are always subjective. We already know that what we thought we know is rubbish.
That is actually one of the basic points we need to remember when we hear or read about a new "Discovery" or development that now, yes right now, has found the real answer and now we know.
Well, it's basically the same scientists who thought they knew 200 years ago and 100 years ago and 50 years ago…and now we look at these periods and laugh at how backwards we were…but at the time? We were certain. Like we are now. And in 20 years we will be laughing at our naivety…
Every time you hear a scientist "explains" something in a way that makes you reminisce of conversations with a catholic priests, know that you are not alone, and your feeling is justified.
"we now know that" usually starts optimistic, but unfortunately ends most of the time with vague semi-religious concepts like "of course we cannot determine the existence of these particles, but we know (know?) That they do this and that." Or as Jon stewart put it so eloquently in an interview with a leading science figure in the media world "so basically, you are taking all this data out of your ass?"
We don’t know shit.
Face it. The only real advancement science made in the last twenty years is that now we have a better idea of how much we don’t know.
Oh yes, and we have a Japanese robot that can make vowels with silicon lips and tongues.