Sunday, November 22, 2015

How important is it for citizens to know "What Science Is -- and How and Why It Works."

My final paper for my Master's Degree at Idaho State University contained an examination of a historical survey of "Operationism" and I found a definition as follows:

"Only those propositions based upon operations which are public and repeatable are admitted to the body of science." (Stevens, Theories in Contemporary Psychology, op.cit., p. 74.)

Neil deGrasse Tyson, a contemporary scientist, educator and entertainer reminds us of "What Science Is --and How and Why It Works" in this recent article in the Huffington Post.  The first sentence is " If you cherry-pick scientific truths to serve cultural, economic, religious or political objectives, you undermine the foundations of an informed democracy."

He notes that the scientific "approach to knowing did not take root until early in the 17th century when the astronomer Galileo and philosopher Sir Francis Bacon agreed: conduct experiments to test your hypothesis and allocate your confidence in proportion to the strength of your evidence. Since then, we would further learn not to claim knowledge of a newly discovered truth until multiple researchers, and ultimately the majority of researchers, obtain results consistent with one another."

And he ends the article identifying respected scientific agencies like NASA, NIST, DOE, and NOAA that we all depend on for reputable non-biased information in our contemporary world.  "These centers of research, as well as other trusted sources of published science, can empower politicians in ways that lead to enlightened and informed governance. But this won't happen until the people in charge, and the people who vote for them, come to understand how and why science works.

I found the following graphic on a 6th Grade Science Course in Greeley Colorado

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