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How science has failed our young people

As human and other life forms are plunged into an ever widening circle of suffering and desolation we are constantly told that only science can adequately solve the causes of this desperate situation. But can we rely on science when it is clear that science is the aggressor and the arrogant underwriter of the destruction that now threatens to overwhelm us? I say that we can and must not.
All over the world young people are encouraged to study and respect science as the only means by which humanity can advance knowledge and to overcome the imminent catastrophes all about us.

Promoters of science praise themselves and mock non-science-others in an insidious campaign to denigrate anyone who dares to oppose science. For example consider the question of science vs. religion. What is the difference? Scientists preen themsevles their deductive-observational method and equate all opposition to emotional/non-experimental nonsense. But at the really important level there is no difference between religious zealots and scientific zealots. There are minor differences (such as in the methods of obtaining knowledge) but there are also minor differences between murderers and upholders of economic injustice; we are never altered to the overbearing similarities of those who wish to control and oppress us.

You will never find the works of humanitarian scientists (such as Feyerabend) on any high school syllabus in the western world - despite his resoundingly valid criticisms of scientific method (Against Method). The science syllabus is stuck on propagating stultifying methods and knowledge on young people who have no hope of challenging the thesis that these knowledge/methods are beneficial for the world.

When students get a correct answer on a science or mathematics exam it is because they have memorized short-cut and mindless techniques that enable them to obtain high marks. When a student gets an incorrect answer it is because they have failed to memorize these techniques or have applied inherently logical techniques which will inevitably result in errors to questions which have a logic all of their own.

Take a simple example in mathematics. Trig ratios. We all studied them in junior high. But what does sin(150 degrees) mean? There is no right angled triangle with an angle of 150. So we have to follow the logic? of the unit circle to understand this - good luck?

Take a simple example in physics. Galileo dropping the two balls of unequal weight from the tower of Pisa. They hit the ground at the same. Why? Very few students at high school or university level can answer this. Texts on gravity quickly descend into expositions of the orbital mechanics of missiles and rockets. We have to go back to the 50's (Dirac) for an explanation of the wondrous interaction between inertial mass and gravitational pull to even get the remotest idea of what gravity is.

My previous criticisms of the arrogance of modern science (Robert Webster: Scientist or Alarmist (on bird the flu threat) and (VCE Psychology and A priori science (on scientists hopelessly ignorant criticism of proposing unsuitable hypotheses)need not be repeated here as everyday we are overcome by this arrogance.

It is time to take Bakunin's advice and not let scientists be our new masters.

Science must restore its essentiual humility in the face of the suffering in the world.

Hmmm 05.Jul.2007 19:27

Den Mark, Vancouver

What an odd post, written as if Science has contributed nothing over millennia. And no distinction is made in the post between Science & scientists, the discipline vs the disciples. Cool thing about Science is that quack scientists are always uncovered, because Science cannot be faked. Wish that were true of, say, politics. I know of no other discipline that constantly challenges itself, & is out there for all to see, out there for all to be scientists. If i had to choose between Science &, say, philosophy, i know which i'd pick.

Den Mark, Science Teacher

Science Is Any Systematic Attempt to Know 06.Jul.2007 13:11

scientist

Science is a branch of philosophy. There is no one way to do science, and the subject matter determines the technique.

Corporatism is our enemy, not science.