16 Responses to “Surely Science couldn’t be wrong …”

  1. Ian Hills December 5, 2012 at 06:41 Permalink

    Hills’ law

    A particle emerging from the ether, er Higgs field, will quickly disappear unless taxpayers bombard it with billions of extra moneytrons. From which it follows that -

    (1) the particle doesn’t really exist
    (2) more funding will buy equipment which will display an image of a particle, and
    (3) the scientists are scrounging liars.

  2. Mark December 5, 2012 at 07:21 Permalink

    Clearly science is dead. Back to the dark ages, you lot.

  3. Don QuiScottie December 5, 2012 at 11:13 Permalink

    The most fundamental point about science is that it works by forever being open to the idea that what it has suggested previously might be wrong. These links you offer are evidence of science working right, not science being wrong. You can find similar links to ongoing challenges to everything, and the scientific method works by having these challenges considered in the light of evidence and moving on. As I have said previously, many individuals are not always proficient at applying the scientific method, but the scientific method remains sound. Without it you would not have had a computer with which to share these links demonstrating science in action, or the electricity to power it, or pretty much anything else either.

  4. James Higham December 5, 2012 at 11:27 Permalink

    Note carefully, DQS, the way you spelt science and the way I spelt Science – therein lies the essential difference.

  5. Don QuiScottie December 5, 2012 at 11:46 Permalink

    Your point escapes me. People questioning evidence on how the world works is how understanding progresses, regardless of the words used or the font, spelling capitalisation, whatever. I remain at a loss to comprehend what point you are trying to make. Maybe that is my fault. If it is that Science or science or Scientists or scientists or just people interested in Science/science are questioning some current theories and interpretations, then that sounds like everything ticking along as it should.

    If you are trying to make a different point you may wish to explain it, for it is going right over my head.

  6. Amfortas December 5, 2012 at 12:19 Permalink

    I suggest that the CERN fellows dig their hole a little closer to the surface next time. Oh, and use their own money rather than mine. I can lend them a spade, sometimes theorised in a ‘shovel’ framework.

  7. Don QuiScottie December 5, 2012 at 12:47 Permalink

    There is of course a valid debate on which fundamental investigations should be funded, but if complex fundamental research of no obvious immediate application had not proceeded in the past then spades and shovels would still be all that was available to us.

  8. Don QuiScottie December 5, 2012 at 12:55 Permalink

    Incidentally, CERN has always made clear (as opposed to many press reports) that there was great uncertainty about what exactly it had found, but that it had found something. The greatest excitement and the deepest advances may actually come if what they have found does not quite match the field/particle proposed by Higgs and several others. I know someone who is working at CERN right now, and the discussion of the exact properties of what has been found continues vigorously, as it should and as they always said it would. I also chanced upon Professor Higgs in person again a few weeks ago, and he did seem to be wandering around and still looking for something. Though to be fair he is very old.

  9. Mark December 5, 2012 at 13:56 Permalink

    I second Don

  10. dearieme December 5, 2012 at 14:17 Permalink

    Once a science falls into the hands of huge groups of chaps who can proceed only with exorbitant dollops of taxpayer funding, and once bits of physics take leave of the essential constraint of experimental, or at least observational, data then trouble is to be expected. It’s been pretty clear that fundamental physics has been stuck for several decades; there have been some people prepared to opine that bits of it were becoming near to fraud. I don’t remotely know enough to join that criticism, but it’s not impossible that it’s true – I do know enough to have no doubt that large chunks of Climate Science have been fraudulent, for instance, so a large conspiracy of fraud among scientists clearly can’t be ruled out.

  11. Amfortas December 5, 2012 at 14:44 Permalink

    I agree, Dearieme. The scandalous charlatanism of the ‘Climate’ weirdos and hysterics seems very highly correlated with both Politics and Taxation/Statism. Millions of non-scientific hangers-on, especially in the NGO and QuANGO fields enjoy the high-life on taxpayers’ dollars scooting around the world pontificating, immoralising, amoralising and frightening the horses. I do not think that physics, astronomy, cosmology etc have gone anywhere near as far in the hysteria-mongering business but they do seem to love enormously expensive machinery. At least we appear to be getting useful ‘spin-off’ in the form of technology that ordinary people can buy and use. The Hubble Telescope, for example, is probably the most cost-effective paradigm-shifter in history.

  12. Don QuiScottie December 5, 2012 at 15:05 Permalink

    I don’t think the issue with physics is that the people doing it “love enormously expensive machinery”. The point is just that they cannot do the investigations they wish to do without enormously expensive machinery because of the energies and the intricacies involved. Whether or not taxpayers should be funding these investigations is a different issue entirely, and as I have already said, a perfectly valid topic for debate.

    The suggestion that fundamental physics has been “stuck for several decades” suggests a misunderstanding of what has been happening these past few decades, and also of the pace at which fundamental science has generally operated. Many of the most celebrated figures in the history of fundamental physics and chemistry died before they were able to learn that they would be celebrated, and yet much of our modern medicine and technology relies upon the insights of these people who died (or in some cases committed suicide) thinking that they had got nowhere with their work. It is a long and ever continuing haul, but we all live with the benefits of it. It is amazing that humans with all their frailties and frauds and weaknesses have nevertheless managed to contribute to a concerted effort that has taken us this far.

  13. James Higham December 5, 2012 at 15:15 Permalink

    I’m puzzled how the point escapes you, DQS, as it’s been made here, in so many posts, so many times.

    It is that when the scientific method and only that is applied, that is small s science.

    When the Ideologues, Dogmatists and other non-scientists get hold of it, it becomes a Religion – Capital S Science – one I oppose vociferously. Example is Scientific American and Royal Society – political organizations.

  14. Don QuiScottie December 5, 2012 at 16:13 Permalink

    Ah well. I know many members of these organisations you cite, and while they are all imperfect humans like all of us, I have never met one who is not prepared to change their view on everything if they can be persuaded that is where the evidence will lead them. And I have also met many supporters of Religion who have no interest in evidence whatsoever,.

    I remain puzzled about what people questioning the findings of the CERN or String Theory has to do with the point you say you are trying to make.

    But anyway, to return to your definition of Science with a capital S. Of course it could be wrong. It often is. And it acknowledges that, eventually, That, I repeat, is how Science and science works – big S small s or any squiggly s you prefer. I fail to understand why you think the possibility that Science may make mistakes is worthy of comment. The history of Science and science is riddled with powerful cabals reluctant to accept challenge to their ideas, but their ideas are challenged, and science and Science proceeds. Anyway, my point is made.

  15. James Higham December 5, 2012 at 16:41 Permalink

    DQS – you’re either deliberately missing or really missing the agenda. Fortunately others have picked up on this and have written on it, e.g. Global Warming scam and the IPCC.

  16. Don QuiScottie December 5, 2012 at 16:47 Permalink

    Actually, I just looked at the links you provided as the subject of the post and though “What the heck is James on about?”

    And if by “Science” you actually mean “Ideologues, Dogmatists and other non-scientists…” how is a casual reader popping into your blog for the first time supposed to know that?

    Anyone reading your post title “Surely Science couldn’t be wrong” would surely think, eh… Science is wrong all the time, that’s how science works.

    I am perfectly aware of your views on Global Warming and the IPCC. If that is what you were wanting to talk about then that is what you should have talked about, surely?

    I remain puzzled, but am fast losing interest. I am sure you’ll pop up something else to interest me soon enough though.

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