7 jun. 2011

Generalized Skepticism?

Despite my skepticism about many fields, in humanities, social science, and the hard sciences, I still believe in the idea that there is such a thing as knowledge and that it can be learned and refined. The worst danger is that if a field like psychiatry is seen to be the bullshit that it is, people will just throw up their hands and believe nothing. Believing nothing, they will end up believing anything. If science is bullshit, why not believe in astrology? It's no worse. I'm sure anti-scientific and pseudo-scientific people react will glee whenever someone argues that "most scientific findings are incorrect." In my view, that is not at all the lesson to be learned. It is discouraging to learn that so much of what we think we know, we don't, but that just means we have a lot of work to do. I'm doing my part.

2 comentarios:

Andrew Shields dijo...

Have you read Ben Goldacre's blog "Bad Science" at all, or his book with the same title? He has some interesting points to make about how the popular understanding of "science" does not distinguish it clearly from pseudo-science, and also about how pseudo-science uses "sciency" language to legitimize itself.

Jonathan dijo...

No, but I think I'm going to have to start reading it. Thanks for the suggestion.