Doubting Science is Good for Science?

The sceince and religion thing aside (this thread assumes we know of the conflict, and so moving on)… why is there a fear in science of people doubting science? What becomes of science if no one questions it? What is science (or I should say ought, though it wouldn’t sound right to say ‘What ought science’?) if alternatives can be adopted that’s seemingly alien or even in opposition to it?

As far as I can tell, science is built upon doubt.

I think those alternatives become scientific matters, assuming they can be tested.

Science doubts science…like peer reviews, the time it takes for ideas that seem to or do contradict current science to be accepted, calls for retesting with larger samples and so on. If it is doubting science as a whole, that’s certainly part of the philosophy of science: how and why does this epistemology work and what are we actually learning beyond the result data type stuff. Science is also not a monolith, even at any given moment, so there are competing hypotheses out there right now being looked askance at by each other.

There’s not so much a fear of doubting science, as in doubting the method, but maybe instead a fear of doubting conclusions that took so much work and money to come up with. Everyone knows that most everything eventually ends up getting explained under a newer better theory, but people wanna hold on to those flat earths because they’ve just got so much invested in em. It’s just a conflict of interests really. I don’t think it’s that complicated.

Firstly for your English… “What is science?” -OR- “What ought science to be?”
It didn’t sound right for a reason lol :slight_smile:

I think you have asked an extremely important question. This is an issue close to my heart. I fear that science is forgetting it comes from philosophy; from a place of inqusition. Today science, like everything else, is commercial. The resulting mess means that you can pick and choose which science you wish to fund in order to get the desired result for your company, government, institution. It’s a system, and like all of our systems it is flawed, but at least we have one I suppose.

You are absolutely right though nobody is asking the difficult questions anymore. I’ve heard far too many tales of scientists who’ve killed themselves out of despair trying to get their findings published, and more than a couple of cases in which their findings were confirmed after their deaths. There is ‘mainstream science’ and then there are the outsiders who never get taken seriously because they have the audactiy to reach a conclusion which counters the work of a highly-revered corpse - is not science so helpful because we are led TO a conclusion, we don’t lead the way.

Straw man the OP, the only way science get’s stronger is if people doubt science, whether they are religious people, philosophers, quacks, crackpots or other scientists, nothing progresses by being absolutely right.

Doubting science is not just good for science, it is the most important principle of the whole of science, the day doubt dies, is the day science becomes religion.

What is the strawman? I thought people were being critical of people doubting science? It seems to come up here and in other forums, even regularly.

exactly, and this is why doubting “science itself” is about as useful as dead batteries. It’s like doubting rocks. Naked doubt is useless and that’s all any “science doubters” have ever offered.

EDIT: Doubt claims, not “science”. It’s not hard to understand.

I have my doubts that 1=1.

If you want to do Science the biggest favor, openly and often accuse it of being a religion so that it has to PROVE that it is not. You won’t be falsely accusing and Science is supposed to be all about proofs, so it shouldn’t be an issue for them.

Science was not intended to be a mass manipulation tool. But altruists tend to be right so often that they build credit and reputation. Once that happens, there is always a mediator who speaks for “the truth” for sake of the world. The problem is that they never really believe that the truth is what is best for the world, so they pick and choose how to say what to whom and do the whole media-spin antics with what used to be altruistic Science but got made into no more than a social ego protection scheme, ie; “religion”.

Don’t let Science build an ego or pride. When your verification tool becomes self protecting and thus prejudice, it becomes worthless.

As an example, after 10 years of starring into dense energy fields, they saw something that looked very much like a Higgs boson that lasted for a fraction of a second - ONCE. Then they boasted to the world of their great scientific proof. Since when did seeing something merely once become Science?

Aiming doubt at scientific methodogy, even as whole, can be useful.
Aiming doubt at empiricism can be philosophically useful, and even perhaps practically, or perhaps ‘practically’, necessary in things like QM.
Aiming doubt at the contruction of scientific models can be useful. Scientists often are not at all trained in philosophy and may draw unwarrented conclusions.
Aiming doubt at scientific language can be useful for the same reasons as the previous assertion.
If you are clever with doubt, it can be very good training for all concerned.
What does happen when a methodology tries to remove as much of the observer as possible from the primary experiences? The negation of participation or intimacy, one could say.

And note, I do not think the answer to this question is that science is bad. Hardly. This is a literal what is going on and what is caused by X?

Which is still a claim, specifically that the methodology is a good one.

Yup. I don’t know what doubting science would mean if it can’t be brought down into some kind of claim, the thing one is doubting that is. Unless it is doubting the existence of science. But even this can be worded as a claim.

Yeah I’m mostly deriding the fools who doubt things because they are scientific. Like “neutrons? sounds like more of that science crap!”. bunch of foo’s

Captain where do you find people who say shit like that??

Long John Silver’s restaurants, mostly

but I’ve seen it on this forum. most of the time when someone tries to attack the entire discipline of science, it’s out of ignorance, not cleverness


We came first and the science came after, but many here argue under the opposite premise, but that doesn’t equate to a doubt in science with regard to the former.

Today’a definition of science can only serve the reason , but not ‘‘purpose’’ . So, may be the definition of science should change.
Talking about differences between science and religion, Religion is somthing that person believe in and lives life according to the perception created.
It’s same in science field too. No one undersatnd theory of relativity or quantum theory but can give lectures for hours . People who believe in science, not necessary that they should know about science basic theories. Their situation is same as religious people who are living under perception. Religion should be ment for immmatured people. because taming animals is necessary , but without harming or loosing the real purpose.

I think the fear within science of people doubting science is actually quite a reasonable fear: usually those who doubt science do so in a way that implies that any methodology – including no methodology at all – is as valid a way of determining truth as any other. Like, when people say “science is just faith,” what they’re really saying is “any faith is just as good as any other.” If enough people took this claptrap seriously, it would undermine pretty much all of modern medicine, technology…basically a lot of good shit. And when people teach their children this garbage, that the scientific method is epistemologically no better than just believing whatever your parents believe, it arguably does a lot of damage.

When people talk about “doubting science,” they’re not talking about doubting the conclusions of scientists – doubting conclusions is what science is about (to some extent, anyway – sometimes even that’s inappropriate) – they’re talking about doubting that man can use the scientific method to understand the natural world.