Science is a path to knowledge

There are a lot of misconceptions about what science actually is, and, as a result, there are a lot of incorrect conclusions about the reliability and utility of science. I frequently encounter people who expect science to give absolute answers. They act as though science is a method for proving what is true with 100% certainty. As a result, they view cases where science led to an incorrect conclusion as evidence that science itself is flawed. You can clearly see this in arguments that a current scientific result doesn’t need to be accepted because “science has been wrong before” or “there used to be a scientific consensus that the earth was flat” (there wasn’t, but that’s another topic), etc. Similarly, there is a false view that a scientific conclusion is either 100% right or 100% wrong. In reality, science is a path to knowledge. It is a way of testing ideas and slowly building a body of knowledge based on the results of those tests. Sometimes, the path takes wrong turns, but unlike every other path to knowledge that has ever been invented, science is systematic and self-correcting and steers itself back in the correct direction, resulting in a gradual accumulation of knowledge.

Before I go any further, I want to acknowledge that this description of science as a “path to knowledge” is not original with me and was coined by my friend and fellow skeptic, The Credible Hulk. So, go check out their blog and Facebook page for more great science content.

I really love this description of science as a “path to knowledge” because it beautifully encapsulates what science is and why it works. You see, science does not give absolute results. In other words, it does not “prove” anything with utter certainty. Rather, science is all about probabilities. As I often like to say, science simply shows us what is most likely to be true given the current evidence. That probability can, however, always change with future evidence. Any scientific result can be overturned as new evidence comes to light.

The tentative nature of a scientific result is one of its great strengths, but it can lead to confusion. People often make the incorrect leap from, “science does not give definitive answers” to “science is uncertain and therefore I don’t have to accept a given result.” This is a flawed way of understanding science. Remember, it is a way for telling us what is most likely true given the current evidence. Therefore, it’s results should be accepted until such time as future evidence arises to discredit those results. Sticking with our path analogy, a lack of 100% certainty that a path is going the right direction would not justify abandoning the path altogether and wandering aimlessly through the forest. Further, a lack of 100% certainty does not mean that we cannot be highly confident in a result. There are some things that have been so thoroughly tested so many times in so many ways that it is extraordinarily unlikely that they are wrong. In other words, some paths are marked well enough that you can be really confident in them.

On the other end of the spectrum, people ignore the tentative nature of scientific conclusions and act as though it should give definitive answers, leading to the flawed arguments about science having been wrong in the past. These arguments are problematic in a number of important ways. First, they treat the inherently self-correcting nature of science as if it is a bad thing, when in fact, it is another great strength of science. Really think about this. If you are going to argue that, “I don’t have to accept a scientific result because scientists used to think sun moved around the earth,” my question would be, “why do we no longer think that the sun moves around the earth?” The answer is very clearly that other scientists continued conducting tests and discredited the previous view. Science corrected itself. This is not a weakness, but rather a strength. No other path to knowledge does this. No other system of understanding repeatedly and systematically tests its conclusions and updates its information by rejecting debunked results and accepting new results.

Further, because of the way that science advances, the argument that “science has been wrong before” is inherently self-defeating. Sticking with the orbit of the earth for a minute, we only know that the earth orbits the sun because science debunked the notion that the sun orbits the earth, so you can’t use that as an argument that science doesn’t work, because the argument inherently includes the premise that science works! In other words, if this argument gives us carte blanche to disregard scientific results, then why should we accept the result that the earth moves around the sun? That result was produced by science, and this argument claims that we don’t have to accept scientific results, so why should we accept the result that the earth moves around the sun? We only know that science was wrong before because of science. Again, this self-correction is one of the best things about science.

Additionally, it is important to realize that scientific results are often incomplete more than actually wrong, and there are degrees of wrongness. The progression of physics is a great example of this that I use frequently. Newton made enormous strides in physics. He moved us far along the path, but we later found out that he was slightly off course. Einstein showed that Newton’s work was incomplete and his conclusions did not apply universally. However, that didn’t mean that we threw Newton out the window and went all the way back to the trail marker Newton started at. Newton moved us closer to the truth, and Newtonian physics are still taught and applied all around the world, but he was incomplete, and Einstein took Newton’s results and shifted us back on track. Think of it like this: we needed to go north, and Newton took us slightly north west. He still moved us much closer to our goal, but we needed Einstein to reorient us and get us back on track.

This gradual accumulation of knowledge is another key aspect of science. Yes, science sometimes makes mistakes, but because it corrects those mistakes, we gradually get closer and closer to the truth. People who thought the sun revolved around the earth were less wrong than people who though the sun was a god. Galileo was less wrong than the people who thought the sun moved around the earth. Newton was less wrong than Galileo. Einstein was less wrong than Newton, etc. At each step, we got closer, and closer to the truth. This is also another reason why it is so absurd to blindly disregard modern scientific results on the basis that science has been wrong before. Science is a gradual accumulation of knowledge, and although there certainly are things about which we are wrong today, we are less wrong than previous generations, and we know this because we tested the views of previous generations and built on that knowledge.

To give another example, there are certainly things about which modern medicine is wrong. That is inevitable due to the tentative and probabilistic nature of science, but modern medicine is less wrong than medicine was 20 years ago, and medicine 20 years ago was less wrong than medicine 40 years ago, and medicine 40 years ago was less wrong than medicine 60 years ago, etc. Further, I can demonstrate this extremely easily. Imagine you need a major medical intervention and you can be treated using the technology and knowledge from any of the following time points: 200 years ago, 100 years ago, 50 years ago, 25 years ago, or current. Rank your choice from lowest to highest. I’m willing to bet your choices went chronologically (inverse) with your preference being treatment via our current knowledge, and there is a very good reason why that is the correct way to rank things. Namely, science works! It’s not perfect, but it is a path that moves generally in the right direction, and we all intuitively realize that science has helped us progress and, thanks to science, we know more than any generation before us knew.

Further, we can extend my medical analogy to just about any field of science. Imagine that you are on a game show run by omnipotent aliens with a perfect knowledge of the universe. They ask you a chemistry question, and you have a lifeline that will let you call a random chemist from the current year, or from 25 years ago, or from 50 years ago, etc. Whom do you call? Obviously, you call the chemist from the current year. Again, we all intuitively accept that science works and gradually builds knowledge. Even those who like to argue that “science has been wrong before” must admit that, thanks to science, we know more now than at any other point in our history. Science has a proven track record of moving us in the right direction.

Finally, if you are not convinced by anything I’ve said thus far, then my question for you is simply, “what’s the alternative?” Really think about this. What other path to knowledge can compete with science? As I’ve explained before, science is responsible for our modern society. All of the technological and medical marvels around you are the result of gradually testing ideas and accumulating knowledge. Look at all the previously fatal diseases that we can now cure or even prevent, look at the decreases in mortality rates, etc. All of that is because of science. So why should we go back to unsystematic guess work? We tried other systems (like relying on anecdotes) for millennia, and they didn’t work. It was science that brought us out of the dark ages, and it is science that will allow us to continue our advancement as a species. Again, that doesn’t make science perfect or infallible. It simply shows us what is most likely true given the current evidence, but by constantly testing, by constantly self-correcting, by constantly updating, it gradually moves us closer and closer to the truth. It’s not perfect, and it certainly isn’t a straight path, but it’s the best path to knowledge that we have.

Note: To anyone who is about to reply with a snarky remark about doctors/scientists saying that smoking is safe, please read this post. The reality is that there was never a scientific consensus that smoking was safe and, in fact, science had showed that it caused cancer all the way back in the 1930’s. Indeed, actual studies consistently showed that it was dangerous. Tobacco companies simply did a good job of creating the illusion that science was on their side; meanwhile, actual science was continuing along the correct path.

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29 Responses to Science is a path to knowledge

  1. Galacar says:

    ” science is systematic and self-correcting and steers itself back in the correct direction, resulting in a gradual accumulation of knowledge.”

    duh?

    You are way to naief!

    Please study the history of ‘science’, and see how totally flawed this is!
    It is more like a religion, with taboo subjects.high priests etc
    You really have to be stupid to study science (at the moment).
    Really, schooling and science is there to make one stupid (provable!)

    Like

    • Carl says:

      Could you give some examples that help your case? Otherwise what you say is simply a meaningless assertion.

      Like

      • Fallacy Man says:

        I second Carl’s request for examples, but there is an important clarification. For an example to actually demonstrate that science does not correct itself, it needs to be something that science said was true which was later corrected by a means other than science. The example cannot be something that scientists thought was true, then was argued about for a long time as evidence came in, then eventually the argument was settled after much data had been collected, because that would, in fact, be an example of science correcting itself.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Fallacy Man says:

      This is very clearly a statement by someone who has never actually received advanced training in the sciences and does not participate it in it. Education, and especially an education in the sciences, is designed to help students think critically and ask questions. All throughout my training as a scientist, during my BSc, MSc, and PhD, there was a huge focus on asking questions and thinking critically. I repeatedly had professors tell the class not to blindly believe something because it was in a paper, but rather to think carefully about it, check it against other papers, etc. Creativity and asking questions are the very core of what science is. Indeed, the the whole point of a research thesis is to see if a student can ask original questions, think critically about them, and produce data to address them. The notion that it is designed to make people stupid is just absurd and the burden of proof is on you to provide evidence for it.

      As far as the history of science, as I acknowledged, there have been many missteps, and it does often take a long time for an old idea to be discredited as new data slowly accumulates, but it is a simple fact that science has corrected itself over and over again. I already provided examples of this. As I asked in the post, if you needed series medical attention and could choose the treatments available based on the science of any decade, which decade would you chose? If you choose the current decade, then you have just implicitly acknowledge that science has repeatedly corrected itself and we know more today than we knew in the past.

      Some suggested reading for you
      https://thelogicofscience.com/2018/01/17/training-to-be-a-scientist-its-not-an-indoctrination-and-its-more-than-just-reading/

      https://thelogicofscience.com/2017/02/07/i-used-to-be-a-science-denier-my-journey-from-pseudoscience-to-skepticism/

      Liked by 1 person

  2. The concept of “degrees of wrongness” is very important
    As Isaac Asimov said “A man who says that the Earth is sphere and a man who says that the Earth is a flat disc are both wrong. But the latter is far more wrong”

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Galacar says:

    Well, well, well.

    Fallacy Man wrote very very very wrongly;

    “This is very clearly a statement by

    someone who has never actually received advanced training in the sciences and does not participate it in it.”

    This is clearly a logical fallacy , an Ad Hominem. And it is also very very very wrong.
    Done by people who call themselves ‘scientist’ but don’t even look into things.lol
    I have done two studies, physics/math & clincal psychology ALAS, at university level, Even there I could see the signs of it being a religion.

    ” Education, and especially an education in the sciences, is designed to help students think critically and ask questions.”

    It certainly is NOT designed to help students to think critically,
    absolutely not. Yes, it is designed to give the ILLUSION that that is what students will be learning.

    It is done in subtle and clever ways, but in reality there is no education, only indoctrination.
    You only have to read the articles on these site, They are filled with circular reasoning and
    the fallacy of appeal on authority, mostly a combination of those two.

    Furthermore, if the ‘sciences” ( it really is better called scientism!) are so self correcting, why is there so many wrongs and errors in the ‘sciences’? To name a few, relativity theory is wrong, quantum mechanics is very very wrong, hack even standardphysics is riddled with huge holes.
    and they are NEVER discussed in class.furthermore psychiatry has it all wrong, classical medicine has most things wrong, Being indoctrinated by the ‘sciences’ is nothing more than being brainwashed, being dumbed down, your creativity enormously reduced. and then still thinking
    ‘scientists’ are smart. Nope they are not, they are the dumbest people on the face of the earth
    masquerading as the ‘smartest’ men on earth. I feel very very sorry for them.
    And all this provable!

    I know how the people who are deeply attached to the religion of scientism will react.

    send in the clowns….

    Like

    • Fallacy Man says:

      lol, you took two courses and you think that justifies you to pontificate as an expert on what training int he sciences is like? Give me a break. Taking two college level courses hardly counts as being trained in the sciences. Earn some post-graduate degrees, then you can talk about what it is like to be trained as a scientist.

      You have not answered any of the questions that you were asked, you have ot provided any evidence that education is designed to make people stupid, and you have not provided any examples that show science is not self correcting, nor have your provided any evidence to support your claims like “relativity theory is wrong” or “classical medicine has most things wrong.” You can say these insane things all you want, but until you provide actual evidence, no one is going to take your seriously.

      Also, as I have asked already, if you really think that science is not self correction and modern medicine has most things wrong, then please tell me, if you needed serious medical care and could choose either the treatments of 100 years ago or the treatments known to science today, which would you choose? Actually answer this question.

      Like

  4. Galacar says:

    oh man, here we go again with some one who doesn’t read.

    “lol, you took two courses and you think that justifies you to pontificate as an expert on what training int he sciences is like? ”

    Two courses? Where did I wrote that? I didn’t wrote ‘two courses!” Go back and read again!!!!!!
    And again, an Ad Hominem. Even if I hadn’t any studying done at universirty level,( I wish I hadn’t)
    I still could be right! I can probaly see it even better then, Because I won’t be in that nonsense then. Not being brainwashed makes you think much clearer.

    “you have not provided any evidence that education is designed to make people stupid”

    You really think there is none? Seriously??? Come on!!

    “You can say these insane things all you want, but until you provide actual evidence, no one is going to take your seriously.”

    Insane????? lol. well even if I put in in your face you will deny it of course.
    The insane ones are the ones believing in the religion of ‘science’.
    And do you really think I care one bit if people take me seriously?
    Man, you have got a lot to learn!

    “then please tell me, if you needed serious medical care and could choose either the treatments of 100 years ago or the treatments known to science today, which would you choose? Actually answer this question.”

    Oh man, really?! This is soooo stupid it is unbelievable! I can only choose between treatmens of 100 years ago or known science today??? Really????? There are I don’t know how many alternative treatments that work way better then any sanctioned by the religion of ‘science’.
    I even told my spouse to never put me in a hospital or on regular medicine. Traditional medicine is a death machine, man.Of course i do know it sounds aburd, but that doensn’t mean it isn’t true. Please please please please do some real research. You really have no clue about what you are talking about.

    Like

    • Fallacy Man says:

      First, you said, “I have done two studies” which I interpreted as “taken two courses” since people who have earned degrees would usually say, “earned two degrees.” Unless by “done two studies” you mean actually conducted research, in which case my questions become, where did you publish and at what level did you do this research (i.e., what was your role)?

      The rest of your comment is just the same old drivel. You keep making assertions but refusing to provide evidence or even answer simple questions. The hospital question is a very simple one. if science truly isn’t self correction then the two hospitals would be equivalent, yet I’d bet good money that if push came to shove, you’d want the modern hospital, because it is a simple fact that modern medicine is better than the medicine of 100 years ago (because science has corrected itself and increased our knowledge). As far as alternatives, it is simply not true that they are better than science-based medicine and, again, the burden of proof is on your to provide the evidence. You can sit there claiming intellectually superiority all you want, but you have yet to provide even a scrap of evidence to support your utterly absurd notions. You said that it is provable that schooling and science are designed to make people stupid, so either prove it or stop wasting everyone’s time and admit that you have not clue what you are talking about.

      PS you keep misunderstanding what an ad hominem fallacy is. See this post https://thelogicofscience.com/2015/11/25/stop-accusing-me-of-ad-hominem-fallacies-you-stupid-idiots/

      Like

  5. Galacar says:

    Pleaseeeee,

    “First, you said, “I have done two studies” which I interpreted as “taken two courses” since people who have earned degrees would usually say, “earned two degrees.” Unless by “done two studies” you mean actually conducted research, in which case my questions become, where did you publish and at what level did you do this research (i.e., what was your role)?”

    Once again, an Ad Hominem, wether you like it or not. I told you I have done two sudies and I told yopu which one, You concluded before I wrote this, that I didn’t have studied anything. You were and are very very very wrong.Just admit it, it isn’t that difficult.

    But it is not even relevant if I have studied or not, only if what I say is true or not,

    ” because it is a simple fact that modern medicine is better than the medicine of 100 years ago (because science has corrected itself and increased our knowledge).”

    Well, if medicine kills so many people there must be something very wrong with that.No, it isn’t much better. Btw do you have any clue where ‘modern medicine’ came from?
    And oh yes, the alternatives are way way bettter. Studied any of them? I know…..

    ” You can sit there claiming intellectually superiority all you want, but you have yet to provide even a scrap of evidence to support your utterly absurd notions”

    Lol, smells like projection. I am not intellectual superior, what nonsense.
    Maybe you are intellectual superior, who cares?
    You don’t really get it, do you? And, once again, I can give you tons of evidence that education is making people very stupid etc.But from the arrticles I have read here (with lots and lots of circular reasoning, in a nuttshell you are writing all the time that ‘science’ works because ‘science’ works.) there won’t be anything that will convince you, because you are so enormously biased towards the religion of science, that you not even will be able to see what is in front of your religious ‘science’ nose.

    Furthermore, you write all the time that we are blessed with ‘science’ because of all the technologies that came out of ‘science’. But there is nothing that came out of ‘science’.
    It is all lies.Gee, that I take the time for this, anyway. take quantum mechanics. (which is very very wrong), ‘science’ claims that the transistor etc came here because of quantum mechanics nonsense. Well, not really, the damned thing was invented before quantum mechanics was taken seriously! And so it is with ALL technology.There is a deeper reason for this, but you won’t get it, at least not yet.

    What you don’t seem to realise is that all of education, including universities, are deeply controlled! There is nothing ópen’ about it.

    In reality, in the real world, if I even smell someone being a scientist church religionist, I will run the other way, because it is completely impossible to reason with these religious people.

    You seem to show the same signs.

    Like

    • Fallacy Man says:

      Still no evidence or answers to basic questions. You keep saying you can provide evidence, but keep refusing to do so, which makes this a waste of time.

      Like

  6. “science is responsible for our modern society. All of the technological and medical marvels around you are the result of gradually testing ideas and accumulating knowledge. Look at all the previously fatal diseases that we can now cure or even prevent”.

    How about science has been in very many cases the agent in creating disease? For every disease science finds a cure, it creates 20 more.

    Like

    • Fallacy Man says:

      What on earth are you talking about? Citations please

      Like

      • No need: all pollution created by machinery advanced by science and technology.

        Like

        • Fallacy Man says:

          Wait, so your argument is that science is bad because it led to technologies that when miss-used cause pollution which leads to some diseases?

          First, these aren’t diseases science “created.” Yes, burning coal can lead to lung cancer (for example), but people have been getting lung cancer for all of human history.

          Second, certainly, the results of science can be abused or misused, but that does not make the endeavor itself the problem. Indeed, sticking with coal for a second, science not only taught us how to harness its power, but also is the thing that showed us the potential dangers thereof, and is the thing that provided alternatives to coal. Indeed, if people actually listened to science/scientists, we’d move away from the practices that cause pollution.

          Third, there is no evidence to support your assertion that science “creates” more diseases than it cures. Life expectancy has been on the rise for quite a while now. Vaccines alone save millions of lives every year, not to mention all of our other medical marvels. So you do, in fact, need to provide a citation for the claim that science creates more diseases than it cures.

          Finally, it sounds like your problem is not with science, but rather with progress. Do you really want to go back to a per-industrial society, because I sure don’t?

          Like

          • 1) people haven’t been getting lung cancer from “all history”. Give me evidence of this. As for life expectancy, rather have quality over quantity. Look at the majority of old people living on hundreds of pills being unable to move, many of them. Is that the extended life you want?

            2) Science is corrupt, you can’t separate science from scientists. Look at all retractions and scientists bought by the big Pharma, or bought by the military. Look at the atomic bomb. Feynman helped. Science is run by government and private sector interests thereore it reflects the interests of the capitalist middle classes at least that which is promoted. Anybody is science that does not see this is naive. The peer review process is corrupt, journals publish science that sells because they are businesses. Who makes the decisions what should be funded under a capitalist system, always ultimately big money.

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            • Fallacy Man says:

              Lung cancer was first properly documented way back in 1761 (i.e., way before science as we know it), and given that it can be caused by genetics and natural environmental factors, there is no reason to think that it has not always existed. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3404817/

              As far as quality of life, you have no totally shifted your argument. You claimed that science creates 20 diseases for every 1 it cures. Can you actually provide evidence for that? I’m not going to let you get away with shifting the goal posts. Do you acknowledge that science has caused a massive reduction in mortality rates?

              Further, the majority of people who are alive because of science would like to continue being alive because of science. For most people, given the choice of dying or taking a pill that will let them live with some restrictions, they’ll take the pill.

              Additionally, your pills in old age argument is disingenuous since the largest reduction in mortality rates is for young children. Science is not simply prolonging the life of the old (though it certainly is doing that), but it is allowing people to survive past childhood and actually live long enough to become old and need increased medication.

              The rest of your post is the usual Gish Gallop of unsubstantiated anti-science nonsense that makes it clear that you have no clue how science actually works. Most research is conducted be independent scientists, not scientists that work for or are funded by major companies. This is true for vaccines, GMOs, etc. https://thelogicofscience.com/2019/03/12/vaccines-and-autism-a-thorough-review-of-the-evidence-2019-update/

              Click to access sanchez2015.pdf

              Or perhaps you are suggesting massive conspiracies where companies/the government are buying off all the world’s scientists in secret, in which case, as always, where is your evidence?

              As far as retractions, yes, a very, very tiny subset of papers do get retracted, but that is because, wait for, science is self correcting. Once papers are published, they are examined by the rest of the scientific community, and if serious errors and/or misconduct are found, they report them, and the paper is retracted. That is evidence that science works, not that science is corrupt.

              As far as what journals publish, you clearly do not understand the peer-review system. Which papers do and do not get published is decided by independent scientists
              https://thelogicofscience.com/2016/08/29/who-reviews-scientific-papers-and-how-do-reviews-work/

              Similarly, as far as who decides who should be funded, believe it or not, often its scientists! In most fields, the majority of funding comes from the government, but the in many cases, the government outsources the decisions on who actually receives that funding to panels of independent scientists who review grant applications and decide which projects are worthy of funding.

              In short, you have no clue what you are talking about. You are making countless straw men about a system that you simply don’t understand. Further, the evidence that you are wrong is clear from the fact that science is still progressing. As asked in the article, true or false, we know more now than we knew a decade ago? The answer is obviously “true” which means that science is progressing and increasing our knowledge.

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            • Cancer:
              Yes, obviously mutations have existed always. One thing is random mutations, another one mutations induced by environmental pollution and life style. Cancer is getting worse, not better as incidence rates for all cancers combined are projected to rise by 2% (UK) between 2014 and 2035, to 742 cases per 100,000 people by 2035.”The gist of these critiques is that medical science creates disease, worsens diseased conditions, and in some cases may even threaten human life. And, that in modern agriculture, the power of the soil is weakened through the use of fertilizers which are the cause of such injurious effects as insect pests, insufficient strength in plants, and poor harvests.

              “Additionally, your pills in old age argument is disingenuous since the largest reduction in mortality rates is for young children. Science is not simply prolonging the life of the old (though it certainly is doing that), but it is allowing people to survive past childhood and actually live long enough to become old and need increased medication.” Please, support this with evidence and citations.

              Don’t use a straw man to combat me. I know to distinguish a conspiracy theory from reality.

              “As far as retractions, yes, a very, very tiny subset of papers do get retracted, but that is because, wait for, science is self correcting”. No, this has nothing to do with self-correction. The publish-or-perish doctrine (you heard of this I’m sure if you are a real scientist), makes scientist create and fake data. Check retraction watch. Most if not all retractions are due to this, not to the “self-correcting nature of science”. Don’t be naive. I think science has done good things for humanity, but you are defending science blindlessly and with faith, as if it was a religion. You are probably into scientism.

              “Which papers do and do not get published is decided by independent scientists” No. Scientists are not independent, they are humans and as such they have conflict of interest. Really, man, grow up.

              Like

            • Fallacy Man says:

              You’re still trying to shift away from your initial argument rather than acknowledging that you are wrong. You still have not provided any evidence that science creates more diseases than it cures. Yes, the results of technology can cause things like cancer when they are misused, but that is not the same thing as science creating a disease. Things like cancer have already existed. Further, as I have explained, it is science that has told us which things are dangerous and should be avoided. It’s also worth mention that smoking continues to be the #1 cause of cancer, and smoking is something that existed long before science, and it is science that told us it was dangerous (the evidence on this has always been clear that smoking is dangerous from the first studies; it is a myth that there was once a consensus among scientists that it was safe).

              Again, your argument seems to be against progress in general. As I asked before, do you really want to go back to a pre-science, pre-industrial era? Because that is what you seem to be arguing for.

              You didn’t cite the source for your quote or statistics, but most types of cancer are declining in incidence and survivorship rates are increasing. See the data discussed here
              https://sciencebasedmedicine.org/not-losing-the-war-on-cancer/

              As far as decreases in child mortality rates, see the data I discussed in the following posts
              https://thelogicofscience.com/2015/07/05/yes-vaccines-did-save-us-from-disease-a-graphic-analysis/
              https://thelogicofscience.com/2017/04/23/science-matters-because-it-works/
              Also these data from the CDC https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/hus/2018/003.pdf

              “Don’t use a straw man to combat me. I know to distinguish a conspiracy theory from reality.” you seem to be claiming that virtually the world’s entire scientific community is involved in a massive conspiracy where they are being bought off by corporations/governments and have all agreed to falsify data according to the funders wishes, yet you cannot provide any evidence to support this. That is, by definition, a conspiracy theory.

              As far as retractions, your argument makes no sense. Yes, there are rare cases of data manipulation (again, these are very rare), but they are often caught and retracted! The fact that there is a website like retractionwatch documenting this is again evidence of science working. When someone publishes a fraudulent paper, other scientists examine it, often find the errors, sometimes time to replicate it, and it ultimately gets retracted. I truly don’t understand how you are arguing that this is anything other than science correcting itself.

              “No. Scientists are not independent, they are humans and as such they have conflict of interest. Really, man, grow up.” lol, you can’t just invent your own definition of “independent” and “conflicts of interest.” An independent scientists is one who does not work for a company, government, or other special interest group, and a conflict of interest is a financial or contractual relationship that could compromise objectivity. These are standard definitions. You can’t make up your own. Further, my comment was in response to your objectively false claim that most scientists have been paid by major companies.

              You are blindly believing in baseless conspiracy theories, refusing to consider evidence, and refusing to present any evidence of your own. As a scientist who actually participates in this system daily, including getting grants, conducting research, publishing papers, reviewing papers, mentoring students, etc. I assure you that nothing you are saying is even remotely reflective of the realities of science. You are talking about something that you do not understand or have any knowledge of.

              This is clearly pointless, you keep shifting your arguments, making absurd claims, and refusing to provide any evidence to support them. So I see no point in wasting any more time on you.

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            • Yes, so what. Science did not create mutations (cancer), so what? Science has increased the rate of cancer and has found no cure. In fact, cancer rates are increasing in many instances. What is science doing about it? You have confirmation bias: only cite those studies that support your claim. “you seem to be claiming that virtually the world’s entire scientific community is involved in a massive conspiracy” Again, another straw-man. I am a scientist and am not involved in such conspiracy. Don’t put words in my mouth. Yes: scientists re-created extinct viruses, this is a threat to humanity. Also they create new, incurable diseases in labs. I won’t waste my time anymore, you won’t change your mind because you think you are always right. That is a bit suspicious.

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            • Fallacy Man says:

              I know I said I was done, but, for anyone reading this, I want to point out just how ludicrous your last comment was. You said, “Science did not create mutations (cancer), so what?” You’re the one who said science creates more diseases than it cures! You’re the one who claimed that pollution was “creating” diseases! You’re the one who claimed, “people haven’t been getting lung cancer from ‘all history’.” Now that I have demonstrated that you’re wrong, your response is, “so what?” Please, have a modicum of intellectual honesty and just admit that you made an absurd and incorrect statement. You don’t get to repeatedly argue that something is true, then when shown that it is false, respond with “so what?” You clearly thought this was important. Don’t be disingenuous.

              On that note, your claim that “you won’t change your mind because you think you are always right. That is a bit suspicious.” is baseless. You’ve given me zero evidence to make me change my mind. I have asked you for your evidence over and over again, and you have not provided it. Indeed, that was the very first thing I asked for. Imagine that I was insisting that Big Foot was real, and you kept asking me for my evidence, and I kept refusing to provide any evidence, then, after several iterations of this, I threw up my hands and said, “you won’t change your mind because you think you are always right. That is a bit suspicious.” That would be absurd, right? That sort of accusation only makes sense if someone has been repeatedly shown evidence and refused to accept it. This brings me to my next point.

              I, in contrast to you, have provided evidence showing, for example, that most research does not have conflicts of interest, that cancer rates are actually going down, that science has, in fact, cured some cancers and developed highly effective treatments for many others. I have repeatedly backed up my arguments with evidence which you have subsequently ignored. It is you that is refusing to accept evidence, not me.

              As far as the conspiracy, again, you said, “The peer review process is corrupt, journals publish science that sells because they are businesses. Who makes the decisions what should be funded under a capitalist system, always ultimately big money.” and “Science is run by government and private sector interests therefore it reflects the interests of the capitalist middle classes at least that which is promoted.” Exactly what did you mean by this if not that there is a global conspiracy to corrupt science, because that sounds an awful lot like a conspiracy. How can science be “run by the government and private sector interests” without there being a conspiracy in which scientists are simply doing the bidding of governments and the private sector?

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    • dcbwhaley says:

      So, who did invent the transistor? OK Julius Edgar Lilienfeld described the FET in 1924 but nobody was able to build one until 1960. To say he invented it like saying Mother Shipton invented the aeroplane.
      And the junction transistor was certainly invented in 1947 at Bell labs.

      There is a British expression “All mouth and no trousers” which perfectly described you. Lots of loud and ludicrous assertions but nothing to back them up

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  7. Galacar says:

    ” All of the technological and medical marvels around you are the result of gradually testing ideas and accumulating knowledge.”

    Nope, that is what I am trying to say, as fas as ‘science’ goes it simply is not true.
    I gave an example with quantum mechanics and the transistor. The transistor was not at all
    invented at Bell. It was done earlier by some one else. BEFORE quantum mechanics.(which=bollocks)
    And so it is with EVERYTHING else. Just start doing your research. I have and I can’t put it all here, but ‘science; ALWAYS , yes, ALWAYS comes after the technology, Just start somewhere and see if you can find the inventions before the theory, Just like the transistor.

    And if ‘science’ is self corecting, how can this happen?:

    ” I can present the matter most briefly by saying that a proof that Einstein’s special theory of relativity is false has been advanced; and ignored, evaded, suppressed and, indeed, treated in every possible way except that of answering it, by the whole scientific world (the world of physical science, that is;

    “Science at the crossroads”, Herbert Dingle, p 5.

    Don’t think this is an exception, just do the research.

    If science is ‘self correcting’ then how come the theory of relativity stalled the progress of physics for 100 years?

    Stalling doesn’t sound like progress to me, now does it?

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  8. Galacar says:

    I am sorry to say, but at the moment ‘science’ is nothing more then something for some people to have some income and have them from the streets, Nothing more.There really is no added value.

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    • Fallacy Man says:

      Again, as a scientist who spends my days discovering things we did not know and reading papers reporting the discoveries of others this is utter and total nonsense that you have not provided a single scrap of evidence to support.

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    • Fallacy Man says:

      I have given you ample time to defend your position with actual evidence, and you keep insisting that you have evidence, but refusing to share it, and I’m quite frankly sick of your trolling. I gave you every opportunity to have a rational discussion and provide evidence, and you refused.

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