How not to science: Lessons from flat earthers and climate change deniers

The Logic of Science

A great quote from one of my favorite shows, Stargate SG1 (Season 3 Episode 19, “New Ground”)

Science is an amazingly powerful tool for disentangling fact and fiction. When done correctly, it is a systematic, objective, unbiased, and self-correcting method for understanding our universe. Unfortunately, many people don’t appreciate the objectivity that science requires, and instead view it as a blunt instrument for proving what they already “know” to be true. You see, science always has to ask open-ended questions, because science is not a method for trying to prove something. Rather, science is a method for trying to learn what is true. It is a method for setting aside your biases, testing possibilities, and discerning objective reality. Thus, science must always go from evidence to a conclusion. It can never go from a conclusion to evidence. Indeed, if you start with a conclusion, then look for evidence to support…

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