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Post No. 86 (Believe in science?)

April 14, 2012

Somebody called Bill Nye is purported to have said this:

Science is the key to our future, and if you don’t believe in science, then you’re holding everybody back. And it’s fine if you as an adult want to run around pretending or claiming that we don’t believe in evolution, but if we educate a generation of people who don’t believe in science, that’s a recipe for disaster. We talk about the internet. That comes from science. Weather forecasting. That comes from science. The main idea in all of biology is evolution. To not teach it to our young people is wrong.

I had never heard of him before I came across this little paragraph. I am aware that this quote may have been taken out of context, but I’d still like to comment on the notion of “belief in science”

If there’s something that completely does away with belief, that thing is science. Other than testability, the hallmark of all scientific endeavour is repeatability. If I perform an experiment, I’ll tell you exactly how I did it and what equipment I used so you can do the same thing in your lab and see if you get the same results, or perhaps even detect a flaw in my method.

It is the perfect case of “Don’t take my word for it.”

I don’t see where belief comes into this at all. Nye mentions the internet, weather forecasting, evolution … what’s there to believe?  How can you believe something you touch everyday? You believe something you have no way of ever seeing, touching or even knowing.

This may or may not be related to that boring “God doesn’t exist because evolution happened” thing. If it is related, it explains why the B word was bandied about.

*Oh well*


From → The Gripevine

  1. Another! Huzzah!

    Semantics, my friend.

    Plato himself defined knowledge as a justified true belief.

  2. When I was posting this I couldn’t help thinking about our ping pong match in the other post, as a matter of fact.

    Who is this Nye? Is he a heavyweight or just a TV personality?

  3. Bill Nye taught me about the Moon & stars and stuff when I was a little boy. He had a TV show for kids, way back in ye old 1990’s.

    Nye is more of a TV Personality. He’s not a clown or anything, but he’s not a heavyweight in the sense that he’s not a serious researcher. I haven’t seen him in quite a while. He’s usually associated with young people and their education (hence the quote).

    Wikipedia tells me he contributed to some projects at NASA though. Hmm.

  4. Bill Nye the Science Guy? I really thought he was dead.

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