Doing the monthly cleaning of the comments for this blog. You may notice that there are almost none. Most of the ones that I get are trying to sell me something. But then there’s always that one… So I write about science things. And every time I do, I get a comment saying that I’m going to hell, that the only truth is in the Bible, that kind of thing. Okay, guy. This post is for you.
Science is not really the sort of thing that requires belief. But admittedly, the basis of science is. So here’s what I believe (in no particular order):
- There is an objective reality. I’m not saying that I live there, or that anyone lives there, just that there is such a thing. We can agree that the sky is blue, that the sun comes up in the morning, that the moon hangs in the sky, things like that.
- That aforementioned objective reality can be described. Yep, we use metaphor to do it. The moon is round and usually kinda silvery looking. And make no mistakes, the language of mathematics and logic are, themselves, metaphor. An equation is a statement saying that this thing behaves like this in these circumstances.
- The rules of logic are valid in this objective reality that I believe in. Once we agree on what the words “bright” and “dim” mean, we can also agree that the sun is not “bright” and “dim” at the same time.
There are things that I know to be true because I have witnessed them. I’ve seen (with my own eyes) the curvature of the earth from a research airplane flying at 60,000 feet. Yep, it really is round, and the sky is pretty dark up there. I’ve performed experiments that show both light and matter as being a particle and a wave. I’ve seen the glow of a nuclear reactor — yep, radioactivity is real. So I do have a lot of personal experience from which to draw upon, all of which corroborates the modern ideas of physics. I can say with confidence that I also believe my own experience.
And that’s about it. If you are going to try to tell me that you “don’t believe in science”, that’s fine. Just let me know where you think that scientific thought went wrong. Was it all good up to Aristotle? Up to Newton and Copernicus? If your worldview does not include Einstein, can you tell me how it is that GPS works (because Einstein’s general theory of relativity is integral to that)?
It’s also cool if you think that the world is only 4000 (or however many) years old and that all of the so-called “scientific evidence” was placed by god in order to test faith. But please, let me know how that helps solve a problem. Not because I want to ridicule your beliefs, but because I really want to know.