"Science is a neat little box that we're trained to think inside of..."

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"Science is a neat little box that we're trained to think inside of..."

How many times have you heard this one? Science is a neat little box, we're trained to think inside of it, and anytime something can't fit into that box science makes up an excuse.

 

This is wrong for several reasons: First, if anyone here knows what scientists actually do, it is obvious that the Scientific Method is the perfect compass for whenever you have to go outside that neat little box... which is quite a lot in the sciences. Staying in the box doesn't make you a scientist. In fact, I challenge anyone who's ever made this claim to define science.  Scientists would never have their Eureeka moments if not for the walls of the box being fluid and meaningless.

“It is true that in the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king. It is equally true that in the land of the blind, the two-eyed man is an enemy of the state, the people, and domestic tranquility… and necessarily so. Someone has to rearrange the furniture.”


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"Reality is a neat little

"Reality is a neat little box that we're trained to think inside of..."


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Every new scientific paper

Every new scientific paper is an example of scientists thinking outside the box. If a paper isn't novel, it's not going to be published prominently. There are thousands and thousands of novel papers published every day (would be interesting to get an accurate figure on this).

The problem is a misunderstanding of science. People are taught science in highschool as a bucket of things to memorize. Memorize the right things and you pass the tests. But real science is a process of finding new and useful ideas. HS science classes are like the dog eating the scraps when the chef is busy in the kitchen coming up with a new gourmet dish. The dog has no concept of the chef's work. That's a problem we (as a society) need to rectify. Bring the dogs to the dinner table so they can taste the dish and savour it rather than eating the scraps.

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I like it when people who

I like it when people who don't agree with one scientific theory go against science as a whole.


FulltimeDefendent
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natural wrote:Every new

natural wrote:

Every new scientific paper is an example of scientists thinking outside the box. If a paper isn't novel, it's not going to be published prominently. There are thousands and thousands of novel papers published every day (would be interesting to get an accurate figure on this).

The problem is a misunderstanding of science. People are taught science in highschool as a bucket of things to memorize. Memorize the right things and you pass the tests. But real science is a process of finding new and useful ideas. HS science classes are like the dog eating the scraps when the chef is busy in the kitchen coming up with a new gourmet dish. The dog has no concept of the chef's work. That's a problem we (as a society) need to rectify. Bring the dogs to the dinner table so they can taste the dish and savour it rather than eating the scraps.

 

I couldn't agree with this more. I learned what the scientific method was in 4th grade, but after that it was never even brought up again until I got to college. From 4th to 12th grade, science was presented as just this: a bucket of facts to memorize so you can pass the tests. When I was in 12th grade, I never considered becoming a scientist. It was only when I got to college that I began to understand just how beautiful and fluid and expansive the scientific world view is, and how the scientific method prevents this world view from becoming stagnant like religion.

“It is true that in the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king. It is equally true that in the land of the blind, the two-eyed man is an enemy of the state, the people, and domestic tranquility… and necessarily so. Someone has to rearrange the furniture.”


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natural wrote:...People are

natural wrote:
...People are taught science in highschool as a bucket of things to memorize. Memorize the right things and you pass the tests. But real science is a process of finding new and useful ideas. HS science classes are like the dog eating the scraps when the chef is busy in the kitchen coming up with a new gourmet dish. The dog has no concept of the chef's work. That's a problem we (as a society) need to rectify. Bring the dogs to the dinner table so they can taste the dish and savour it rather than eating the scraps.

 

Exactly! High school nearly killed my interest in science, luckily college fixed that.


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Yeah, this one annoys me to

Yeah, this one annoys me to no end.  In the end, it comes down to this.  Logic is the description of the way we attain knowledge.  It is deductive, and so deductively certain.  We can't avoid using logic when we think.  It is literally a codified description of our thought.  The only thing we can do is use valid or invalid logic.  There is literally no other possible way to think.

Now, the trick to using logic is plugging in true data.  If you plug in true data, you get true conclusions.  As it turns out, there's only one way to get true data reliably, and that's the scientific method.

So, yeah, you can think outside the box of science if you want.  What you're going to get is invalid conclusions.  Anyone who's taken first year logic knows that invalid conclusions in logic are 100% useless, except for the fact that you've learned one way not to learn anything.

 

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P.S.  For you haters, yes I

P.S.  For you haters, yes I know that science is inductive, not deductive.  Take a few minutes and go over to Todangst's author section.  He's covered all of this ad nauseum.

 

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Totally agree. I think

Totally agree. I think people get put off by some low grade scientists (some teachers are an example) who are too dogmatic in their approach. If you treat teaching science as just getting people to memorize facts and not letting them question things then you aren't teaching science.

Teaching science should be about scientific principles and investigative process, and obviously critically thinking about observations. My wife has a science background and became a primary school teacher. She not only taught good scientific process to the kids, which can be used in all areas of your life, but she taught the other teachers not to be scared of science so that they could teach it properly.

 

I think it was Einstein who said, "Imagination is more important than knowledge."

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bdebruler wrote:Exactly!

bdebruler wrote:
Exactly! High school nearly killed my interest in science, luckily college fixed that.

High school DID kill my interest in science.  If it had promoted Science the way it actually is, I might have become a scientist.  As it is now, I've no scientific qualifications outside of high school education and I'm not sure if I'd be able to make a start in science at this late stage, even though I enjoy the philosophy of science.

Atheist, Logically-minded, Curious about the world around me.


Brian37
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FulltimeDefendent wrote:How

FulltimeDefendent wrote:

How many times have you heard this one? Science is a neat little box, we're trained to think inside of it, and anytime something can't fit into that box science makes up an excuse.

 

This is wrong for several reasons: First, if anyone here knows what scientists actually do, it is obvious that the Scientific Method is the perfect compass for whenever you have to go outside that neat little box... which is quite a lot in the sciences. Staying in the box doesn't make you a scientist. In fact, I challenge anyone who's ever made this claim to define science.  Scientists would never have their Eureeka moments if not for the walls of the box being fluid and meaningless.

I would not call Scientific method "Perfect" I would call it a damned good tool and the best humanity has used so far. Calling it "perfect" implies that their is no room for improvement, which scientific method seeks.

The best that we can say about scientific method is that so far, it is what we know, at this point, to be the best tool. Since scientific method is not an answer, it is not an oracle either IT IS A METHOD. It is self correcting, so to call scientific method "perfect" is to presume that there will be nothing we have to correct in the future.

All we can honestly say about scientific method, is it is the best tool we know to date, BECAUSE of the ability of self correction when errors are proven.

"Perfect" is a utopia, scientific method seeks no utopia, it is a method that when followed, leads to truth, despite where we may want it to lead us.

Let me add. In no way am I going to tout any memory of what little I remember from high school or college. It evaporated along with the toga parties.

BUT, just like following the instructions on programming a universal remote bought at Wal Mart, if you follow the steps of any fraction or physics problem, insert the right data, without skipping a step, you will come out with the right answer, just like your TV will change channels when you follow the steps(instructions provided by the universal remote company).

 

 

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