Why science will triumph only when we teach it properly

Wired has an article on Why Science Will Triumph Only When Theory Becomes Law. The gist of the article is that religious extremists leverage the fact that scientists are cautious about their statements to convince the public that the scientists only have a vague idea of the truth. Hence, say the religious extremists, all truths are equally valid, including the pseudoscientific theories.

It seems now that several Americans feel that scientists should be less cautious in their statements as a way to neutralize religious extremists.

Sorry. No.

Americans have gotten away with one of the worst education systems in the occidental world for year. Despite this, they still outperform most occidental countries in science and engineering, mostly due to their overwhelming wealth. I predict this will not last. I predict that China and India are fast becoming scientific superpowers. The mere fact that the best Chinese and Indian scientists have been moving to the USA for years, will not save the Americans from their decline. The American wealth itself is fast declining, I suspect.

One thing the Americans will not pull out is to change the way scientists talk. There is a very good reason why we are cautious in our scientific papers. If the American public cannot understand this reason, they simply need to be educated better.

Religious extremists will not dictate how scientists speak.

Published by

Daniel Lemire

A computer science professor at the University of Quebec (TELUQ).

One thought on “Why science will triumph only when we teach it properly”

  1. Richard Feynman said, “Religion is a culture of faith; science is a culture of doubt.” When theory becomes law, science becomes religion. It would be the death of science, not the triumph of science.

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