Monday, August 31, 2009

Doggerel #200: "You Just Want to Tear Everything Down!"

Welcome back to "Doggerel," where I ramble on about words and phrases that are misused, abused, or just plain meaningless.

To round off the Day of Doggerel, and for this big round number, I've chosen a leading contender for the most cynical bit of doggerel ever uttered by a woo: The idea that we're purely negative people out to spoil everyone's fun.

Quite frankly, I sometimes wonder the same about woos. In my experience, they're far from optimistic, and I see it in their vocabulary: "Impossible!" "Invisible!" "Unexplainable!" Someone who casually tosses these words around is not someone who is looking for a deeper understanding of the world around them. But I digress.

Science is a wondrous thing. Its methods have unveiled greater breadth and depth of the universe than anyone could have imagined. Every new discovery has shown there is always so much more to learn. That process has been far from easy, and it seems it will only get more demanding. The underlying philosophy of science has allowed for all this progress: If an idea can be torn down by the evidence, it deserves to be torn down. Anything that remains is probably accurate. Those ideas that fall do so because they're useless for telling us anything, or worse, lie to us with false predictions. We cannot afford to coddle ideas that may be wrong. That's why we apply the same rigorous standards to everything. That's why we can create so many wonders and can hope to discover more.

The Old Guard will have none of that. They judge ideas not on their real merits, but on their emotional attachments and biases. They take our abilities and our progress for granted, so they see nothing wrong with tearing away the foundation: The scientific method. They ask us to undermine the source of our hope and dreams so that they can keep a useless security blanket.

1 comment:

William said...

Jesus Christ you were busy yesterday.