A History of Science for Dummies

Faith

A long time ago, perhaps, some people believed that they could make it rain by tossing the right number of live virgins into live volcanoes, because someone with authority (power) told them so. Sometimes it did rain, establishing correlation, and sometimes it did not. When it did not, the person of authority explained that they tossed the wrong number of virgins in, or they were not the right kinds of virgins. And they used their authority (power) to ridicule and punish anyone (deniers) who questioned this. People who chose to believe, or were conditioned to believe, or pretend to believe, a counter-intuitive thing were referred to as the faithful. Examples of faith-based belief systems include Creationism, Evolution, and Critical Race Theory.

Wave 1: The Hard Sciences

Over time some people – virgins mostly – began to question if the act of the tossing of the virgins was actually responsible (causal) for the rain. They borrowed a method involving a control group and a test group that another group of folks had perfected to determine if sticking ones hands in fire caused burns to the hands. During one crop cycle, one town tossed the virgins, and one town did not. Rain came to those that tossed virgins, seemingly validating the theory with science.

But the remaining virgins were skeptical of these results, and had the test repeated. Alas, the results were different. It turns out that the test was not repeatable. So the virgins invented statistics and probability theory to finally prove, in a controlled, repeatable way, that rain after virgins was a coincidence. And from that point on, humans were enlightened, never to fall for superstition again.

Wave 2: Models

Many problems were testable. But for reasons of scale, time, cost, ethics or complexity, some were not. Examples of fundamentally untestable things are weather, climate, the path of forest fires, economies, wars and Covid19. “Science” evolved to accept a combination of a workable models combined with “believable” scenarios. As an example, weather could be predicted (“proven”), scientifically with models that when fed with 10 or more important (significant) data series variables with reasonable accuracy.

Wave 3: Bullshit

Some systems, like global warming, proved to be too difficult to model accurately, so we fell back to a system of observing a single correlation like C02 and temperature, and then ridiculed and punished deniers who questioned this. This is called scientific progress.

Wave 4: Just Shut the Fuck Up Now

We now have a scenario where mask wearing has gone up globally, and Covid19 cases have gone up over the same period globally, and we are to understand that science teaches us that masks prevent Covid19 cases. This is similar to global warming, but without any correlation at all. Indeed, if we were to apply exactly the same methodology here as is used for global warming, we would conclude that masks cause cases. Fortunately we have people with power to teach us faith that this is not so.

Mike.

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1 Response to A History of Science for Dummies

  1. Lorna says:

    Love it!!!🦉

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