Science Me: 13.8 Billion Years in The Making
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Aha! Just what you were looking for. Interesting, easy to read, and occasionally witty science articles and cartoons for your eye-balling pleasure. Articles like: What is Schrodinger's Cat? How does DNA work? What's Elon Musk up to now? How does evolution work? What happened to gene therapy?

Welcome to the domain of Science Me. A humble two-man blog that serves as a platform for sharing some of the coolest stories in science.

We hope to be informative and entertaining, and every now and then might even inspire a reader to study science for the sake of humanity.

Seriously, the world doesn't need any more advertising executives. Those jobs will be obsolete soon anyway.

First of all, why is science a goal worth pursuing anyway?

Why Science?

Science is more than lab coats and test tubes and Einstein's bad hair day.

It's a system of developing knowledge, based on what we can measure through direct observation. It comes from the Latin word scientia, which means knowledge.

"Wait a second," you say, "this already sounds terribly boring, just what kind of website is this?"

"Don't worry," I say, patting you reassuringly on the head. Science comes to life when you apply these boring principles to the real world. Then you can make cool discoveries about it.

Science demands measurable data on which we scaffold our way to enlightenment. The past few centuries have seen us transform industry, technology and medicine thanks in whole to science.

It's how we've invented warm houses and the internet and birth control and brain surgery and self-driving cars, all of which make our whole existence that much more fun and generally less deathy.

Imagine your day without the inventions of science. You wouldn't get very far at all, unless you currently thrive semi-naked in the wilderness. My congratulations if you do. For narrative purposes I'm assuming you don't.

The Four Principles of Science

Principle #1. Empiricism

Knowledge comes from direct observation.

There's no scientific validity to things we can't measure - like ghosts, telepathy and homeopathy. They might just as well be made up.

Empiricism

Principle #2. Testability

Scientific ideas are falsifiable.

Hypotheses must be framed in such a way that other scientists can verify or disprove their claims. Faith-based systems lack testability.

Testability

Principle #3. Parsimony

Avoid making unfounded assumptions.

When you're confronted with two possible explanations, choose the simplest explanation that makes the fewest unproven assumptions.

Parsimony

Principle #4. Determinism

The universe is bound by cause and effect.

Your world - down to the neurons firing inside your brain - is a complex web of interactions. Every event has a mathematically predictable outcome. This renders notions like fate, karma and even free will moot, because they imply multiple causes for singular effects, and that's not how reality works.

Determinism

Take a look at the world through the scientific framework. It becomes easy to debunk dead-end distractions and focus on the most probable truths.

Science is Open Minded

Why only the most probable truths?

It's a common misunderstanding that science is rigid and dogmatic. This is untrue.

In fact, science is open-minded and open to change. We see this in action when scientists encompass new evidence into existing theories.

This willingness to throw out old ideas and embrace new ones is how we progress as a species, rather than languish in Dark Age dogma.

It's a common source of conflict between religion - which is dogmatic - and science - which is continually evolving.

And it's an important debate to have. Scientists believe that a science and technology driven society has more to offer than a superstitious, indoctrinated one.

But that's an argument to lay out another day.

For now, start building up your own cache of scientific enlightenment. Go ahead and wrangle with science, pull it apart, try to prove it wrong.

See? You're already sciencing.

"Science is different to all the other systems of thought. You don't need faith in it, you can check that it works."

Brian Cox, author of Why Does E=MC2?

Why Fox Pokes Cats

My son, Fox, loves animals. He went through a phase of poking and pestering cats to see their reaction.

Psychologists call this bottom-up processing. In other words, we can make no assumptions about cats: only scaffold our way up to new conclusions.

Eventually the cat would scratch him and run away. Fox learned the cat had sharp claws and didn't much enjoy the interaction.

Now when Fox meets a cat, he doesn't have to go through the whole experimental rigmarole of poking it senseless to see what will happen. Now he's top-down processing: we start with an already-established conclusion.

Children adopt this scientific framework naturally, because it's intuitive. The problem is, we get cocky.

We begin to think we know everything already. We cut corners and automatically top-down everything. As adults, we then fail to gather basic data in the light of new situations. We forget our invaluable open-minded schema which would have led us to empirical truth.

Science solves this problem by being course-correcting. It teaches us to go back to basics and build truth from the ground up.

So I'm proposing we put on our science filter to make better choices: an empirical lens to navigate the media minefield of pseudo-science and ideological indoctrination.

Let's make good decisions about education, medicine, climate change, genetic engineering, artificial intelligence, and any area of our lives where evidence-based science can light our way.

Let's cast off our top-down assumptions, adopt a questioning approach, and play in ways we haven't done since we were five years old and poking cats.

"Science is a way of thinking much more than it is a body of knowledge."

Carl Sagan, author of Cosmos

Rebecca Turner Bio

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Rebecca Turner is the founder of Science Me, a biology student and a nurturer of tiny people. Read more about her story here.