One of the reasons ‘science’ arouses such hostility is that it (and its derivatives) have become the most abused words in the English language. When people say ‘do the science’ do they have any idea how nonsensical that is. We can do the physics, chemistry or biology but not the ‘science’.
Too often now science is conflated with mathematics, which is not a science but an art, i.e. an artifice — in the original sense of that word rather than the modern sense of something false or deceitful. An artifice is something created by humanity, something which is made rather than something which occurs in nature. I’m sure that will upset a lot of people who believe mathematics is as close to the divine as man can get, but sorry guys, nature does not do numbers, numbers are what we invented to measure things in nature.The moon orbits the earth in a circular motion, but if you ask the moon to calculate the value of pi to ten decimal places it will not have a clue what you are talking about.
Along with coming over all OCD about mathematics recent science has become over reliant on statistics, and wise people treat statistics with a lot of scepticism, always asking, “Percent of what.”
PEOPLE WHO EAT TOXIC SHITE HAVE A 40% HIGHER CHANCE OF DYING,
the headlines scream. Are they then 140% certain to die where the rest of us are only 100% certain. A tongue in cheek illustration perhaps, but it serves here.
Then we have the theoretical physics gang, they are involved in the science of flushing taxpayers’ money down the toilet. “But our work increases understanding of the universe,” they whine. Well it might if we could prove any of it. I once became involved in a discussion being led by one of those scientists who learned his trade from watching Star Trek. “It’s so important for the future of humanity that our governments commit to exploring space to find new, inhabitable planets,” he opined.
I pointed out that the nearest star that might, just might, have a planet with the right conditions is 4 light years away. Even if we had a spacecraft capable of travelling at one tenth the speed of light, the journey would take us 40 years each way. A light year is the distance light travels at 186,000 miles (300,000 Km per second) in one earth year. One tenth of that is 18,600 miles per second. Our fastest spacecraft at present (with no new propulsion technologies on the horizon,) is slightly less than ten miles per second.
Interstellar travel will not be on the agenda for a while.
For years we were told to avoid saturated fats in our diet, scientists had proved they are killers, responsible for a host of cardio vascular conditions, several cancers and a few other things. For decades independent voices yelled into the abyss that sat. fats in moderation are fine and white sugar in excessive amounts is the real killer. And now the scientists are engaged in a witch hunt aainst sugar. Well a slice of cake, a chocolate bar or a fizzy drink will not kill you any more than a steak or a slice of buttered bread will. And while scientists spent $billions producing the results that fed the propaganda machines, most of us quietly got on with our lives, exercising self discipline, avoiding foods which contained mainly deep fried lard with side orders of lard or artistically formed sugar coated with pink sugar and ignoring all the latest scare stories that begin, “Scientists have found.”
The hostility here in Britain to science is not yet so pronounced as in the USA but it’s getting there. This is a very brief look at a few reasons why that hostility has arisen. The hostility will only become greater if people styling themselves as ‘scientists’ continue to embrace the idea that science = progressive = good, questioning of science = right wing = bad.