Welcome back to "Doggerel," where I ramble on about words and phrases that are misused, abused, or just plain meaningless.
Imagine this scene: A person holding a black box walks up to you and says, "I have a purple monkey in this box."
You turn the key in the padlock, open the box, and look inside. There is no monkey, purple or otherwise. You close the box and look up to the person presenting it. "I don't see a purple monkey."
"LOOKING DOESN'T KNOW EVERYTHING!!!!111!!11!"
That's exactly what it means when a woo says, "Science doesn't know everything!" Science isn't a collection of unexpanding, eternal facts. That would be dogma, and the province of religion.
Science is a method, despite what our public school system says. The quick and dirty way to describe this method: 1. Form a hypothesis. 2. Do everything you can think of to prove it wrong. One simple assumption involved in this method: Everything that continues to stand despite our efforts is probably close to the truth. The great thing about the scientific method is that it knows it's fallable: If one of the conclusions it comes to is wrong, anyone can prove it's wrong with an appropriate experiment: All conclusions are tenative.
Another related bit of doggerel that comes up is often an appeal to other ways of knowing, which are seldom, if ever, described. Those that are described are more like faith: Belief without or despite evidence.
Also related is the assertion that science was wrong before. Of course, this is true: Science can and has been wrong. But it's designed to catch those errors. Think about it: Would you associate with:
A: Someone who makes mistakes, admits them, and takes measures to catch his errors, just in case he makes one,
B: Someone who never admits he's wrong, makes accusations about people who point out apparent errors, and makes special exemptions to make it impossible to prove him wrong?
Hopefully, that covers just about every aspect of this doggerel. But we all know they'll come up with some other varient.