24 Jan

Cosmic Variance – Scientists Aren’t Always Complete Idiots

Nobody is harder on scientific theories than scientists are. That’s what we do. You don’t become a successful scientist by licking the metaphorical boots of Einstein or Darwin or Newton; you hit the jackpot by pushing them off their pedestals. Every one of us would love to discover that all of our best theories are wrong, either by doing an astonishing experiment or coming up with an unexpectedly clever theory. The reason why we have the right to put some degree of confidence in well-established models is that such a model must have survived decades of impolite prodding and skeptical critiques by hundreds of experts.

via Cosmic Variance – Scientists Aren’t Always Complete Idiots. Something that I notice that non-scientists seem to make as an assumption about scientists is that it’s this static idea, ideas are rarely challenged and the big shots are always right and never assumed to be wrong. In a conversation with a friend, who’s getting her Master’s in Mathematics, one of the professors at the university is working on disproving her doctoral thesis. This is one of the greatest things about science it never assumes itself to be 100% accurate or correct. However that doesn’t mean that there isn’t consensus on issues that given the current knowledge the current theory is correct and valid simply because it’s always open to be attacked or disproven.