Science: What Is It Good For?

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Science: What Is It Good For?


This one will be short, I'm sorry. I'm on a time crunch today. But this one is on science in general.

What is science good for? Well, simply put, it helps us understand the world around us, free of dogma and doctrinal laws, free of social stigma and of boundaries impose by race and nationality. Science is universal, an equalizer, a uniter of people.

But alas, science is repeatedly under assault by religious fundamentalists, the pandering politicians and the fools. For instance, climate change. I don't know of a single Republican politician that not only acknowledges it's real and that mankind has made it worse, but seeks to do anything meaningful to stop it. Or those that think fracking causes no real harm, or oil spills aren't harmful, or that we are hunting things to extinction every year. America, for all it's innovation, is a country ruled by fools.

Science can improve life on Earth. Not just for us, but animals, nature and your children. Do you want them growing up seeing polar bears in zoos, elephants and rhinos out in the wild? Wouldn't you like them to see lush beautiful forests and lakes and rivers? How about advances that could cure disease or increase their life spans? Science can do this, but not when you elect those who reject science in favor of scripture. Not when you have those in power who hate or don't believe in science, in favor of ignorance or money.

I would rather have science

What about you?

Science: What Is It Good For?
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Most Helpful Guys

  • meowcow
    A person does not have to choose between science and scripture. Each serves a purpose that the other cannot fulfill.

    Since you seem to be rejecting scripture/religion, lets ask a simple question.

    What is the purpose/meaning of life?

    Science will tell you that there is in fact no purpose to life. Life is simply a complex chemical reaction. You live, you die. And eventually, our entire species and planet will cease to exist. Either a giant asteroid will strike the earth and destroy us all, the sun will extinguish in some billions of years, or the galaxies will collapse back into the big bang. Meaning everything you do, here and now, will not matter. So why live? Might as well put a bullet in your head, since nothing you do in your life will ultimately matter. A deep understanding of science unfortunately also results in an existential crisis... meaning, it begs the question of what your purpose in this universe is.

    Religion answers this question for many. Because it is a very depressing thought that humanity's existence has no meaning. Many people end up committing suicide when they see no purpose in life. No amount of science can rescue them, but religion has a chance of doing so.
    Is this still revelant?
  • taleswapper
    False dichotomy. A rule by scientific oligarchy would be worse, not better. Too much of science is more consensus than actuality. Indeed, the whole of the scientific community is supposed to be bent on proving themselves wrong, not right. That's at the heart of the scientific method. But we see more and more scoffing at ideas that don't conform to the generally accepted notions; a form of orthodoxy that drags science closer to religion.
    Like 2 People
    Is this still revelant?
    • I'd take any society based on science and scientific principles, than a religious state. At least in a science based society, I won't be killed for heresy or having a different beliefs of Gods.

    • Actually, you will. in a scientific oligarchy, you've just substituted "Science!" for some other theology.

Most Helpful Girl

  • jennifer_bloom
    I think this can be explained in food terms

    Science is like the meat or protein in your diet
    Religion is like the vegetables and fruit of your diet

    You can't live without protein
    But you can't be healthy without fruit and vegetables

    You can't say that because protein is more important than vegetables than you don't need vegetables

    you can't say that because vegetables and fruit is tastier than protein that you don't need protein

    we were created with both physical and spiritual matter and we cannot survive and be happy if we focus only one on and not the other
    Like 1 Person
    Is this still revelant?
    • ashleyb93

      This is the worst analogy ever... a balanced diet is required for good health. Religion isn't a requirement for anything...

    • You don't need religion to live a healthy life. Look at all the atheists out there that live happy lives without religion.

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What Girls & Guys Said

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  • ManFrom1982
    Okay, look, as a former engineer and a current technologist, I get really tired of scientific amateurs characterizing science this way. This is exactly why science gets so politicized, because people like you don't understand how scientists and engineers actually work. There IS philosophy to science, and there is NOT just one scientific method but many and they go in and out of favor all the time for all sorts of reasons that mostly have to do with the intuition of scientists who are entirely fallible people. There's a reason that things like the Thorne-Hawking-Preskill bet exist for instance. And there's a freaking reason that lots of Einstein's stuff isn't standing the test of time. We've discovered within this decade that dinosaur marrow and soft tissue actually survived fossilization, which only one generation ago evolutionary scientists were claiming was impossible because of the age of them.

    You have got to understand that scientists themselves cannot help politicizing science. Their theories get debunked and reputations get ruined and entire disciplines of science get discredited ALL the time from a historical perspective (from Freudian method to Einstein's views on Quantum mechanics to the stress theory for ulcers which most people STILL believe). The reasons for this are many and varied but the simplest generalization down to one principle reason is this: there are LOTS of discovered facts out there and plenty of them are at least somewhat contradictory. If you want to develop a predictive model for a phenomena, you have to choose some of these facts to emphasize and some to deemphasize. In engineering we call this assumptions of design. In pure science it's the processes of forming hypothesis and theory. Yes, it's fair to say this is guided by facts, but it's also fair criticism to say that there's a genuine art to it and that it's not entirely unbiased nor free of dogma, politics, or social pressure as you claim. It's subject to all of those things... As well as the influence of research and grant money, and it always has been. Good scientists know this, and they know that good science is the product of rigorous debate specifically BECAUSE it's not universal, equal, unbiased, or as idealistic as you claim.

    Go back and read what you've written and look at how many emotionally charged words you've chosen. You're trying to write about how pure and sensible science is and even you're susceptible to using words like "beautiful" & "pandering".
    Like 2 People
    • Isn't debunking theories the whole point of science? Scientists try and crack holes in theories specifically so they can see if the theory holds any ground and possibly come up with a new one if it doesn't.

      Does a theory being debunked really ruin a scientists reputation? Like you said, Einstein came up with ideas about Quantum Mechanics that turned out to be wrong and he is still one of the most famous physicists ever. Hawking lost that bet and he didn't lose any reputation because of it.

      Einstein's stuff is still very valid and it's still the best description of reality we have, despite the fact that some of it contradicts Quantum Mechanics. Just two years ago, there was confirmation of gravitational waves, something which general relativity predicts. in my opinion it'll end up like Newtonian Mechanics, a simpler case of a bigger more complex theory.

    • Relax, I think what he wrote is fine.
      I agree that normal science is not free of politics or personal bias in some cases. Even at higher level mathematics, a lot of personal feelings and biases are involved too. But let's not mistake mathematicians for mathematics or scientists for science. Scientists are wrong all the time, sure. But it is fine to idealize science and aspire to that ideal, it doesn't make sense to blame such ideals for science being politicized. The OP is talking about his view of science, not what some scientists do when they are stuck in academic politics.

      PS. In that debate and Hawking was using the same notion of topological space and functional integral and analytic continuation like the rest of us, which is to say which ever disagreement these experts have, we can still praise the `universality` of science because a guy who doesn't care about Hawking's theory could roughly understand what Hawking was referring to if he just studies the established theory 😂

    • PSS. I'm sure saying a forest is beautiful doesn't discredit his `emotionally charged` view regarding the benefits of science as much as you think 😂

      Scientific methods don't go in and out of favor all of the time, that's a huge exaggeration regarding how scientists and engineers work (and these two are very different btw). For each scientific field there are two phases: normal science, with an established paradigm (set of methods and postulates) and revolutionary science, where anomaly starts building up and a new framework is needed (new postulates are added). They repeat in cycles. Falsification plays an important role in both phases. A theory that cannot be falsified is like a religion. The thing is even with the falsifying principle, the new theory does not simply debunk/disprove the old era's accepted theories but it finds a case where old theory doesn't hold and add more details to them.

    • Show All
  • Wolframium
    The climate change denial is probably because of that sweet sweet fossile fuel money.
    I'd say this: do you want to live in comfrot? Science got it. Do you want to keep fearing for your life? Well…try not-science. Stupidity, religion, stuff like that.
    I'd rather have government, where objective truth is the thing, not money.
    LikeDisagree 3 People
  • ashleyb93
    I'll never understand people who will trash nature and the earth because "hurr durr I'm gonna be dead before the world ends so who cares?" Like... how stupid and selfish must you be to have that mentality.
  • dae07102
    I think this was a good read, but not every religious person looks down at science. I'm a Christian and I like Physics and Biology. However, science can't explain everything 100 percent of the time and that's where people form their opinions on the unexplainable. But at the same time, I welcome new opinions and worldviews because I can also learn and understand other people.
    Like 1 Person
  • esotericstory
    Isaac Newton was a strong believer in God and the bible, and so are numerous other scientists who contribute to our scientific understanding of the world every single day. Science is purely materialistic and therefore cannot explain the spiritual, despite being able to empirically measure the spiritual center in the human brain. Simply put, we need a spirituality because purely materialistic understanding of nature is quite nihilistic.
  • goaded
  • Arabian911
    without science we would have been extincted long agoScience: What Is It Good For?
  • WalterRadio
    If you believe climate change is settled science, then you are a zealot, not a scientist.
  • Philyouup
    Great take but the “Right” will through its haters on you. Especially the Enchanted Followers.
  • genevièvecav
    To give insights and explanations of the unknown in a rational way
  • Kayla45
    Explaining things..
  • Deathraider
    SCIENCE!!!

    it's great.
  • Secretgardenblood
    Good take
  • monkeynutts
    Science Rock's my world.
  • Mikayla03
    Interesting
  • bavalbuena
    Science is just the answer to curiosity
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