As kids, we had to take science classes from first grade until high school. All these classes taught us all the basic science concepts and many other important things in life, from the origins of life, how the human body works, and other more complex topics such as chemistry and physics. The subject wasn’t always easy but many times we have enjoyed understanding scientific concepts come to life and understood by our simple brain.
Much has changed today when it comes to science and technology. There are newer discoveries that have strengthened previous scientific theories or some that have entirely refuted them. It is likewise easier for us to gain access to a vast amount of knowledge on the web, something that we didn’t have access to in the past. It’s funny, though, that our understanding of what science really is about have become clouded regardless of how much we know about it now.
APOLOGIES TO MERRIAM, Webster, and everyone else who has ever assigned themselves the chore of cataloging how English speakers use words, but science is not a noun. I mean, yes, technically it is.1 But conversationally, most people use ‘science’ like Mark Watney did in The Martian, when he said he would “science the shit” out of the problem of growing food on Mars.
Science the verb is a process of questioning, hypothesizing, experimenting, and—so, so often—being wrong. Again and again and again. Until you get it mostly right. (Because no science [n] is ever complete.) Ideally, the process is democratic: Anybody can science the shit out of anything. In reality, most people “do” science vicariously—by reading about new discoveries and having faith that the discoverers aren’t charlatans. Though it’s not quite faith: We trust them because scientists argue in public.
These arguments happen all the time. Sometimes they last decades. Scientists curse one another out, hold grudges, and stop speaking altogether. But even in the nastiest of arguments, scientists generally tacitly agree that they are all Doing Science. Not Doing Science is an insult, usually reserved for fringe individuals who falsify data or host daytime nutrition shows. In terms of nerd fights, one mainstream scientist accusing another mainstream scientist of Not Doing Science is akin to Kanye West storming Taylor Swift’s 2009 VMA speech to imply that she didn’t deserve Best Female Video.
We may have a few misconceptions now on what science is really about because we have been bombarded with too much information we don’t really know what to believe anymore. Even scientists themselves are always in an argument but that is not entirely new because they have been bickering all throughout history and it’s what allowed them to make all these diverse discoveries and inventions, after all.
“Science” in the phrase “science is settled” is a misuse of the word. Science is a methodology – it is not a theory, nor is it a conclusion or result. Example: It would be an accurate statement to say the following: “many scientists agree that industrialized human culture is causing changes in climate” – this statement, although accurate, is not generally conclusive with regard to the question about human causation of climatic change.
The leftists are masterful at manipulating language in order to seem morally superior, and to quell any potential arguments against their narratives – “climate change” being one of their favorites. In reading the above statement, anyone who is predisposed to think human beings (especially Western industrialized human culture) are intrinsically harmful to the Earth would take that statement to be conclusive – to believe in a truly nonsensical way that “science is settled” on the matter.
The primary explanation for how and why the leftists are successful at manipulating massive numbers of people is that a very small percentage of the population is inclined to use critical thinking (logic) when presented with a narrative that “sounds” high-minded and of a higher level of morality.
Human behavior likewise plays a big role in just about everything there is in this world. Even with complex yet age-old concepts like science, our opinions can get in the way of our experience and new learning. The main challenge here is the nature of science itself. While these brilliant scientists do their best in trying to understand the way the cosmos works, they are basically just sharing their well thought-out opinion on a certain topic they have studied in-depth for quite some time. It’s not always set in wood or stone. There are a lot of mysteries and contradictions all around us and it’s what makes science such an interesting yet frustrating field of study.
Whatever science means to all of us today are all a product of the brilliant minds of scientists of yesteryears and today who have dedicated their entire lives to understanding the world around us and where we fit in the equation. One thing for sure is that we’ll keep on discovering and learning new things and even debunk some old beliefs we had but we’ll never fully decipher the mysterious nature of science but we’ll live with that knowledge like our ancestors did in the past.