The Healthy Dose of Doubt

Education has a countervailing effect of making people stick to certain beliefs and ideologies, and their minds unable to flow. They are static beings which will resist any new advancement in science.

Scientific endeavour is a never-ending process that can only be studied by an open mind that doubts all kinds of dogma, beliefs and theories.

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The Scientific Mind

The mind of a scientist cannot be that just a set of beliefs. It has to be an objective, open and experimental mind. A scientific way of thinking is always systematic, based on testing, building knowledge and factual observation.

According to physicist Edwin Hubble, a scientist has a healthy scepticism, suspended judgement and disciplined imagination.

Though science has helped humanity for centuries, it is not fully trusted. Part of the reason is that scientific knowledge is incomplete.

It is often resisted by a section of people, who don’t believe in vaccines, climate change, or the man-made genetic advancement in crops. As an example, many families believe vaccination causes autism in children, and no matter what is done to counter it, the belief is stuck in people’s brains.

Many people from all sections of society do not trust in science, as they don’t trust the authority of the scientific community. The Pseudo Scientists try to debunk science by:

  • Arguing that the entire scientific consensus is a conspiracy.
  • Getting fake experts to produce information that contradicts scientific findings.
  • Argue using selective data, and using a small example to discredit the entire field.
  • Deploying false analogies and other fallacies that appear logical.
  • Setting impossible expectations and counter-arguments towards the scientists.
  • Funnily enough, a study showed in 2011 that debunking science actually makes the core belief stick longer in the people’s minds.
  • Describing why something does not work actually strengthens the conviction and provides more mileage to the scientific theory in question.
  • Talking in the negative about the so-called ‘bad science’ without providing an alternate explanation that is equally good only makes the argument incomplete and helps insert the core theory (however wrong) in the listener’s mind.

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Living in the age o doubt

We live in a time when all scientific knowledge (the safety of fluoride, vaccines, climate change, moon landing, etc.) faces coordinated and vehement resistance.

The access to all sorts of information sources and their own interpretations of what they research made doubters to oppose consensus of experts.

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Arguing for our opinions

The problem with the statement “I’m entitled to my opinion” is that it's used to protect beliefs that should've been given up. It is a damaging element of public discourse for someone to say and think what they like, but you are somehow disrespectful if you continue to argue.

Ultimately, we are only entitled to what we can argue for.

To lie is human
  • Lying is something that most people are very practiced in. We lie in big and small ways, to strangers, co-workers, friends, and loved ones.
  • Researchers found that people lie on average one or two times a day, mostly to hide inadequacies or to protect others' feelings.
  • Many lie and deceive to gain unjust rewards.
  • Sometimes people lie to inflate their image or to cover up bad behavior.
  • Even science contains deceivers, such as physicist Jan Hendrik Schön, who claimed a breakthrough in molecular semiconductor research, which later proved to be fraudulent.

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