Science can never become Obsolete – No

The beautiful thing about science is that when objective evidence comes into the light that contradicts one of its ideas, it actually addresses the new evidence and adjusts accordingly. Science has made a name for itself by predicting events that will definitely occur well in advance and by challenging old ideas, once held as fact. Science has rendered many ideas obsolete and for that we can wonder if science will one day lapse into obscurity itself. Certainly not is the answer.

The central methodology of science is the scientific method. From a hypothesis through experimentation to a theory and finally to a law, the scientific method teaches us that without any supporting evidence we cannot have valid ideas. Truth sustains itself by valid demonstration. Before the scientific method, the ultimate marker of truth was authority, particularly of elders in the church.

The word “science” comes from the Latin “scientia”, “knowledge”, which is exactly accurate. Anything you can prove beyond a shadow of a doubt is true until proved false in a knowledge-based equation. The terms of science give us the backbone of our legal system (so we think), where evidence of a crime needs to be supported 100% before punishment is levied. Although the actual laws are based on subjective predispositions which remain untested, we can still look to our scientific legal system to generally correctly assess whether a specific law has been broken. Whether that law itself is truly universally applicable or only in America is another question.

In any case, science, knowledge, is a pursuit that knows no limits. There are always new ideas to test and the money to accomplish same is relatively scant. However, that is not to say we have eliminated quacks from science, far from it. As a matter of fact, it is hard to pinpoint what science is truly useful and what is promotional. Medications are routinely rigorously tested when homeopathic remedies and other non-invasive techniques are relatively ignored. We have in the US the impression that if we can’t solve our medical issues with a pill, then there needs to be more research. In my opinion, that idea needs to change. Some medical issues are a question of lifestyle and attitude, obesity for instance.

In brief, there is “good” science, which stimulates new technologies, and “bad” science, which proves that wine is healthy when grapes are really just as beneficial if not more (as they occasionally admit in the studies). Science will never become obsolete because you can’t anymore show someone a new idea without them demanding proof: we have been trained. We still have a few ideas that do not surrender easily to adjudications of demonstrablity. These ideas languish in this world of sufficient evidence science and the legal system have created.

Science has created jobs, population growth, and huge economies worldwide. No matter what those who have garnered PhDs will say or do that is worthwhile or not, we will inevitably need science to fulfill our need for progress. We will never be happy if there are no improvements to transportation, medicine, and construction, for example. Science has created its niche with real-time inventions that satisfy the human need to engage in diverse activities. Science has relegated religion to the fringes of our experience and in so doing will probably render religious activity obsolete while continuing to prosper itself. The errors in religious thinking are removed in science and authority is defined by a new kind of experience, critical reasoning.

Obama will likely never make a glaring error because he subjects his decisions and words to the spotlight of reason, which he then communicates directly to Americans on TV. It is a new era in politics: a true scientific, not nationalistic, approach. Obama is a believer in science and even a participant to a certain extent. The nature of science is to hold only what cannot be contradicted. There is a form of power there that will never die, only perhaps change form.