Sunday, March 21, 2004

What good is a scientist?

PZ Myers points out the disconnect between what scientists know and what we expect them to know. I discovered this, actually, at a pretty early age when I was shocked that my father, a mathematics professor, didn't know the sum of 384759 and 294824 off the top of his head. Lots of folks, it seems to me, view science as a collection of facts, whereas scientists see it – correctly – as a process that is brought to bear on a collection of facts. This leads in turn to things like belief in UFOs and objecting to evolution on the basis that "it's just a theory".

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