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WhatIsScience

For some time I've had a fascination with deception and fraud — how and why misinformation is spread, intentionally or not; why people believe readily-disproved stories; why convoluted conspiracy theories often seem more attractive than simpler explanations.

Steve suggested that in order to talk about what is not science, I needed to first define what is science. So, here goes.

Karl Popper suggests that scientists should try to find evidence that will conflict with or disprove their theories. A theory with no possibility of being proved false is not a scientific theory.

References:

Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal
CSICOP encourages the critical investigation of paranormal and fringe-science claims from a responsible, scientific point of view and disseminates factual information about the results of such inquiries to the scientific community and the public.

Is Evolution Science, and What Does 'Science' Mean? John Wilkins, 1997.
"Summary: Science is not a simple process of falsification of hypotheses. The philosophy of science is not just the views of Popper, which have some real problems. Evolution can be falsified in the usual meaning in scientific practice."

Piltdown Hoax
...above all, the Piltdown forgery demonstrates the fallibility of scientific knowledge. It demonstrates, too, the way theories and facts are related in science. Theories are the filters through which facts are interpreted (Popper).

Mc Comas, William,
Ten myths of science: Reexamining what we think we know. Vol. 96, School Science & Mathematics, 01-01-1996

Karl Popper Web

Skeptic Report

Talk.Origins Archive
Exploring the Creation/Evolution Controversy



Created by kristin. Last Modification: Saturday 29 of November, 2003 19:31:17 UTC by kristin.