Actually, facts do care about your feelings
Atticus Goldfinch
14610

Two additions to this excellent piece.

Any use of supporting evidence is inherently unscientific. It’s called the induction problem: no matter how many black crows you observe, it does nothing to confirm the theory that crows are black. But observing just one white crow will immediately falsify the theory — proving that not all crows are black. Therefore, the scientific method is always looking for conflicting evidence. The closest you can get to confirming your beliefs scientifically is when nobody has found any conflicting facts. Yet.

This basically means that to get any kind of certainty, you have to be aware of all research in the field as of this moment. Which is impossible, because the research done this morning has not been published yet.

And a PhD won’t help. To the contrary, having a PhD and the required minimum practice of ten thousand hours will make you doubt more. You’ll be more and more painfully aware of the limits of your knowledge.

Yes, science is hard. The hardest part is coping emotionally with this uncertainty, or the observation that I know nothing. It would be so much easier to believe that one of the debaters is right. No wonder people tend to take this easy route.

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