Science and Religion Index
By Richard Bruce BA, MA, and PhC in Economics
Former Instructor St. John's University, New York City

You Should Not Think Like a Scientist,
Unless You Are One

Some educators think we should not teach science, we should teach students to think like scientists. I believe we should teach students to think like scientists so they can avoid actually thinking like a scientist, unless they are scientists working in their specialty. You should not think like a scientist, unless you are, and even then only when you are operating in your narrowly defined specialty.

Science is an important way that the human race discovers truth for the human race. It is not designed as a system for individuals to find the truth for themselves. If the individual wants the truth they should look at reputable sources or ask knowledgeable people for answers. The extreme skepticism of science is dysfunctional for the individual. Yes, you could be wrong, but you have a limited time on this earth and you often have better things to do than chasing every possibility of error.

For example, many people are skeptical of climate change and evolution. In some sense they are doing what they have been told to do, they are being skeptical.

While it is important that the individual avoids excessive skepticism, it is also important that some scientists are skeptical of each new discovery. We want things to be checked by enough trained scientists that we can be sure of the new discovery. It is the guy who is skeptical, sometimes unreasonably so, that often makes the big discovery.

There are many famous examples of this from science. Reasonable people knew from the calculations of the ancient Greeks that the world was too big for a sailing ship to sail west in 1492, and reach China. They would run out of food and water long before they reached China, Asia, or the island chains to the south of Asia. Columbus was skeptical of this idea, he was also wrong, but he got lucky.

Similarly, scientists in the time of Copernicus knew the earth did not orbit the sun, because if it did then we would observe a parallax shift in the stars as we orbit the sun. Eventually, it was shown that the parallax shift actually existed but that it could not be measured with the technology of the Copernicus time because the stars were too far away.

Skepticism is appropriate in science because the scientists are not deciding truth for themselves but for the seven billion plus human population as a whole. The same skepticism is not appropriate for the non-scientist because they are only deciding for themselves and perhaps to some degree their immediate family and friends, and as we all grow old and die we face time constraints.

If your are interested in science and religion you might be interest in this evidence for the Catholic faith. One of the pages is on Bible typology. This is your chance to play Amazing Randi and debunk miracle claims.

Tell me what you think. Here is my contact information..

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