The Standards of Science

by Terence

Why I trust science and get peeved when people try to equate knowledge in science vs the “knowledge” of pseudo-science and the supernatural.

“The physicist has an idea. The more he thinks it through, the more sense it seems to make. He consults the scientific literature. The more he reads, the more promising the idea becomes. Thus prepared he goes to the laboratory and devises an experiment to test it. The experiment is painstaking. Many possibilities are checked. The accuracy of measurement is refined, the error bars reduced. He lets the chips fall where they may. He is devoted only to what the experiment teaches. At the end of all this work, through careful experimentation, the idea is found to be worthless. So the physicist discards it, frees his mind from the clutter of error, and moves on to something else. The difference between physics and metaphysics is not that the practitioners of one are smarter than the practitioners of the other. The difference is that the metaphysicist has no laboratory.”

Physicist Robert W. Wood
in Carl Sagan’s The Demon Haunted World