|Scientific Fundamentalism and How You Can Also Fall Into the Same Trap, Part 1|
|Written by Kory D|
|Friday, 22 January 2010 21:51|
The term fundamentalist is usually associated with describing religious fanatics. Unfortunately, the driving force behind the phenomenon effects people from all walks of life even the ones whom we trust to remain objective: the scientific community.I came across an article a while back that featured quotes by scientists and captains of industry whom have gone on record saying stuff that have made them look foolish down the line. Like the guy who said after the discovery of the electron that it wasn’t going to be long before physics had it all figured out. Or, the business guy who made computers, but couldn’t think of a reason why would anybody ever want one in his home. Ever. Well, they turned out to be complete morons, didn’t they?
Harsh judgment, you might say. I don’t think so. See, when a smart person says something, people usually listen. If said smart person says that something isn’t possible, we tend to accept it and move on with our lives. What would have happened, if we all had listened to the two individuals in the above examples? Advancements in physics since the scientist’s statement have enriched our lives beyond our wildest expectations; and, without a computer on my desk, I wouldn’t be writing this (okay, that may actually be a blessing, even I admit that).
It isn’t that there is something wrong with the way we do science. The scientific principle, you see, does not leave room for absolutes. You are only supposed to say that “based on what we know to be true today, this is highly unlikely.” So when scientists state something categorically and they turn out to be wrong, they can only blame themselves if they end up looking foolish.
But humiliation of individuals is the least of our concern. These people are the gatekeepers of progress and even hold the key to humanity’s survival. There is many an example that pure beliefs and not facts held back progress for in science years.