Scientifically speaking, is science unreliable?

ubuntuAnyone
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Scientifically speaking, is science unreliable?

The reason I'm asking is because in the recent wake of what had been dubbed "climategate" there is reason to doubt that much of what is being touted as "science" is politically motivated, and apparently has been so for years. If this is the case, can I trust science to be the unbiased approach that is often touted to be?

 

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This is a stupid issue to

This is a stupid issue to me. I know how much earlier in the fall it got cold. It doesn't get cold until late in the year now. The winters are getting shorter.

HAVING said that, even if the climate was doing it's own thing how would that mean that pollution should be ignored? If you own a house in Alaska and the toilet gets clogged how would that be any different than a toilet being clogged in Egypt? You still have a clogged toilet. We need to cut down on pollution no matter what otherwise we will wallow in our own filth. The planet's population is outpacing the planet's ability to reabsorb the trash we make.

HAVING SAID THAT, scientists can be wrong, But what I get tired of seeing is people, both laypeople of theistic and atheist labels confusing scientific method with a scientist.

A scientist is a PERSON

Scientific method is a TOOL

So one can say that a tool can be misused, but it doesn't make the tool invalid.

 

 

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And "climategate" turns out

And "climategate" turns out to be a bunch of laymen attempting, but failing, to read and analyse real science.

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Science as a method is

Science as a method is reliable in that it self-corrects by virtue of new evidence, re-examination and repeatability.

What you're finding questionable is science reporting and this weird idea that's always floating around out there that science needs to have some level of infallibility to it. Science can and does lead to wrong conclusions, that's why everything gets re-reviewed and re-tested. "Global cooling" being a fine example of this.

That does in no way mean that we should ignore the current results and consensus, it's still the best knowledge we have available (until new evidence comes around that changes it).

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BobSpence
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If you are alluding to those

If you are alluding to those emails, they demonstrated nothing much about science, other than that it is being done by human beings, and that some people can make poor decisions about how to handle conflicting or messy data, and say things in ways that are too easily mis-interpreted, especially when communicating in less formal settings than when writing a paper to be published.

Just reinforces the need for the standard processes of peer-review, getting as many suitably-qualified people to check the results, especially in areas where the nature of the field requires a fair amount of analysis to extract trends from often 'noisy' data, as in climate and weather research.

The massive over-reaction of some parts of the media and the climate-change deniers demonstrated how unscientific most people are.

The converging results as the computer models have been refined, combined with mounting evidence of retreating sea-ice in the Arctic, faster moving glaciers, ocean acidification, etc,etc, shows that science works, even in such complex and statistically noisy areas.

The influence of politics and economics is far more apparent in the denial camp.

There still is no alternative more reliable path to real knowledge, all other approaches are far more susceptible to human biases and presuppositions.

 

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The only thing the climate

The only thing the climate gate scientists did wrong was that they should have had better internet security. The emails don't point to any wrongdoing or any flaw in science.

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:3

 Climategate is not so much a gate as it is political handwaving.


Atheistextremist
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Climategate

 

Is a word used by the media to make something stupid and irrelevant sound newsworthy.

It's vital to ignore the commercial bias of the media. As a journo you learn at uni that the truth comes second to a headline. 

 

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The climategate scandal is

The climategate scandal is just more proof that we're all just self-serving bastards. They were more concerned with preserving their reputations and jobs than in doing any objective science. We like to convince ourselves that scientists are neutral observers, that government workers and politicians can be "public servants", that people can be moral and such.

So we can't have good science, good societies, good government, etc... until we all drop the BS and admit we're all selfish hedonists. Then we can start to have science that truly is objective instead of just serving the interests of the scientists.

 

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ubuntuAnyone
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Heh...so the reliability of

Heh...so the reliability of science is contingent upon people....well...there goes the planet.


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ubuntuAnyone wrote:Heh...so

ubuntuAnyone wrote:

Heh...so the reliability of science is contingent upon people....well...there goes the planet.

That goes without saying - every concept or approach to knowledge is contingent on people. That is a "d'uh" statement.

But Science does include guidelines and practices, such as peer review, independent replication of observations and experiments where possible, specifically aimed at reducing the effect of individual hang-ups, obsessions, pet theories, etc, so whatever its limitations, it is better than the alternatives.

Favorite oxymorons: Gospel Truth, Rational Supernaturalist, Business Ethics, Christian Morality

"Theology is now little more than a branch of human ignorance. Indeed, it is ignorance with wings." - Sam Harris

The path to Truth lies via careful study of reality, not the dreams of our fallible minds - me

From the sublime to the ridiculous: Science -> Philosophy -> Theology