- Scientifically savvy and alert: 20-25%.
- Unaware that the earth circles the sun: 20%.
- Unaware that DNA carries hereditary information: less than one-third, <33%.
This, in the nation leading the world in science and technology.
Our purpose here is to provide guidance for those who desire peace on earth but are not in-the-know regarding science, for some reason or other.
There are a number of pillars that underly and support science. Its quality depends on how well the research adheres to these features, as appropriate for the field of inquiry, of course. Some of them are:
- Stated hypothesis or question: in analytic form for testing
- Observable and measurable objects or events: need for a data base
- Factual: known precision and accuracy of descriptive data
- Representative sampling of objects or events: random and appropriate for the distribution
- Bias free: human, instrumental, temporal, and envionmental
- Reproducible by others: checks and balances, calculable margins of error
- Results: subject to reasoning and logic, deduction
- Full description: experimental conditions, measurements, reporting methods
- Theoretical interpretation: simplest explanation
- Publication: complete enough to allow others to assess and replicate the results,
- Test predictive ability: within standard margins of error
In like manner, there are any number of ways by which science and technology can be corrupted. And up to 4% or so of all of us seem to be willing to do anything to win every encounter with others, the truth be damned (Stout, Hare, Frank). In addition, most of us are biased, unconsciously most of the time. So social issues such as politics, religion, economics, education, or personal issues such as a Personal Hang-up tend to bias a person's logic or judgment.
Whether conscious or not, means these folks have for corrupting science, or any social system for that matter, include:
- Falsifying data
- Trashing the data of other
- Misinterpreting results
- Preventing publication of results
- Pigeon-holing reports
- Assassinating the character of the scientist
- Denying the validity of the endeavor
Such corruption is doubtless driven by poor character, most starkly in the Sociopath, Psychopath and Narcissist syndromes. It is not a crime to be one of these. But we must be vigilant to the damage they can do. See: “[White House] Undermining Science,” for some details on one example.“
For some 260 more examples see: Abuse of Science by Agency. These violations of truth and justice were carefully documented by the Union Of Concerned Scientists. See also political Interference. Shades of Mao's Culture Revolution.
To avoid more of the same, look for those who:
- Control information creation, storage, transmission
- Avoid accountability while demanding it of others
- Use administrative barriers to stop or limit information flow
- Censor for political or religious reasons
Especially, be aware of those who shout the loudest about opposing these. You may be seeing a hang-up in action--reaction formation perhaps in this case. In this event, the shouter, him- or herself, is doing just those things they rail against.
America’s position in the world came about because, historically, we followed the examples of Jefferson and Franklin who both pursued science in search of basic truths. Recently, that tradition has been attacked and at the government level, seriously weakened. It must never happen again. While no one can see around corners, we can improve our chances by figuring out who to vote for. See Tea Leaves for more on that.
Posted by RoadToPeace on Saturday, July 12, 2008.