I would like to cover many “social problems” in a way. Why people are afraid of things? Why they tend to believe in frauds rather than experts?
The sentence in the title was said by Dara Ó Briain, a stand up comedian I really like. He has a part about science, that the greatest argument against science is that it’s always changing. That, they prove things which was considered a fact before. And that is why science cannot be trusted.
“But science doesn’t know everything”
Dara Ó Briain: “Of course it doesn’t know everything, otherwise it would have stopped”
He is right. This is how science works. One day long long time ago someone decided that the presented facts are not enough for them and they decided to investigate. This is how science works. Scientist works to figure out what they don’t know (yet). That is why science is changing.
We used to believe that thunder is the anger of god(s) and the rainbow is where the gold is from some magical creatures. Now we know what thunder really is, and what rainbow is and how does it form. Our knowledge is constantly expanding. And yes, certain things changes, because people used to believe in something and then it changed, because they examined and actually figured out.
Sticking to something because people used to believe in it, is something what has no place in today’s world.
People used to believe that sacrificing humans alive will please the gods. You don’t believe in this, do you?
So why would you believe that certain plants are cures and medicines, because people believed it is? People used to believe all sorts of things. They have put Belladonna drops in their eyes to make it look beautiful and many of them went blind.
We need to be skeptic about what people believed in the past. We should consider it and test it. Maybe some of them is truth, maybe not. We don’t know yet. Not all of it. Of course research is constantly undergoing, especially researching herbs what was used before. But science has rules. Rules without it cannot be accepted.
One of the first rules is that one research is not enough. There has to be multiple, independent research. Also the techniques and the research has to be repeatable. One of my research was about testing techniques. I had multiple research papers, they were contradicting with each other. My job was to repeat all the test what was done by the researchers and publish my results. I tested all techniques and it turned out that one of the oldest was the faulty one. It didn’t destroy all the work, because the scientist created the base for a new techniques, proposing a sort of guideline, but his results were faulty.
Science is changing, because every day we know more.
Would you believe that only a hundred years ago people believed that the molecule responsible for heredity is not the DNA, but proteins? The hereditary role of the DNA was only confirmed in 1952. It was really not a long time ago if you think about it and and nowadays we already know so much (yet so little). Science was always changing, just nowadays it changes much faster.
Scientific knowledge is in perpetual evolution; it finds itself changed from one day to the next. (Jean Piaget)