Science in an Age of Fear

“Don’t you believe in Science?” she asked.  She was a devoted member of the Party of Science — the party that doesn’t recognize that men and women are different. 

“No,” I said.  “I am a scientist.  I practice science, I don’t believe in it.”  For more than half a century I have been a professional physicist.  Professional — that means someone pays me to practice my craft.

Far too many people believe that science is some mysterious entity which speaks in oracles and delivers miraculous new toys for people to marvel at and play with.  This form of Science is a Cargo Cult.  This Science is a kind of benevolent deity to be worshiped without understanding and without questioning. 

Others have correctly pointed out that science is not a thing.  Science actually is a methodology.  It employs a dialog among competing ideas about the nature of reality.  Intellectual independence and controversy is an essential part of the process. 

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