Friday, August 10, 2012

what i think about science today

Science is about useful narratives. Those that are backed up with lotsa numbers and/or clear testability/falsifiability are all well and good, but any narrative is worth listening to if it helps us see what we haven't seen before. That doesn't mean we shouldn't demand the sharper-edged claims as much as possible, but nor does it mean that we should miss out on more imaginative approaches just because they don't always immediately offer open-and-shut testability. Often if we give them a chance, they will in fact do so in the end, just a few further exploratory steps down the line. The best intellectual efforts are those that understand and respect not just the value of rigor, but also the unlimited potential of an ever-generous curiosity. That's science to me.

1 comment:

Wally Hatch said...

So true. This, I think, explains the fear that budding scientists need to overcome. Don't be afraid to state your philosophical conclusion as a scientific hypothesis...it will only invite controversy and experimentation, the fun stuff.