The fact that a believer is happier than a skeptic is no more to the point than the fact that a drunken man is happier than a sober one. The happiness of credulity is a cheap and dangerous quality.”
— George Bernard Shaw

While no expert, I intend to comport myself as a serious-minded student of factuality, especially as it pertains to relationships, beliefs, and happiness. I regard ‘the way things are’ as far more important than ‘how we would rather they be’. I will make my mistakes and I will learn how to correct them from effective teachers who understand their own knowledge well enough to present it according to the standards they know I will apply. The many pissing contests that can be read on the Internet serve as examples of the necessity to stay mindful of applying those standards at all times.

With that said, the design upon which those standards were based (and modified time and again as I learned) aligns with what has become labeled the scientific method, a way developed to assure accuracy in shared information. More than about testing, the complete method incorporates rules of logic, the necessity for predictability, the elements of uncertainty and context, all of which will be missing in false manifestations presented as ‘science’. The term, science, identifies the kind of information gained by the use of the method. It identifies the process incorporated in that method and required by it. It identifies the study and application of that process and its results. Anything else is misinformation, opinion, hypothesis, fiction, rhetoric, or whatever other terms serve as labels for the unverifiable, indemonstrable, unquantifiable, illogical, reasonable or unreasonable, rational or rationalized products from the human mind. My own book, Evolution, does not qualify as science, but competes directly with Creationism as a more reasonable alternative arising from the same dangerous ground.

Why is that true? Why would I announce to the world that my own work, about a scientific subject, is not scientific? The simplistic graphic portrays a basic idea of the overall process in which scientists work their way to a conclusion. Such conclusions are generally tentative, meaning, “We will work with this until better information allows us to refine it or change our minds. That much maligned aspect of science is what makes it such a formidable force for the good of humankind. Conjoined with the other aspect opponents love to malign, that many ideas and conditions remain untestable (making their supporters feel ‘safe’ to make all kinds of claims) remains, in many ways, if properly applied, an enhancement of science’s power. My book, then, is my reasoned study of how existence arose from ‘nothing’ and meets only the need for reasonable, defensible alternative thought.
SciMethR

Why is that true? In the first case, scientists get rewarded for ferreting out and demonstrating ways to correct scientific information. Despite the discomfort induced by ongoing corrections, the ship sails truer to its course while passengers get exposed to fewer dangers over the course of their voyage. In science, it pays to be an observant doubting Thomas. In the second case, repeatable testability requires that something be present to test. Even intangibles must be subject to prediction and some form of enumeration by which to be dependably described so that others can duplicate results in a satisfactory manner. Anything else gets set aside (placed in abeyance) and regarded as products of the imagination, frivolous hoaxes, and so forth.

That the processes of science work as advertised shows when it poses side by side with all other investigatory methods. Though you may pray, you still go to your doctor for healing. The best doctors apply the science of their time to make a diagnosis. Prayer or not, sometimes nothing will work, which occurs about equally when doctored with and without prayer, [1]but fails more often than not when prayer alone gets applied, or neither gets applied

NOTES:

[1] http://www.nytimes.com/2006/03/31/health/31pray.html?_r=0
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Efficacy_of_prayer
http://galton.org/essays/1870-1879/galton-1872-fortnightly-review-efficacy-prayer.html
http://www.patheos.com/blogs/hallq/2013/01/the-scientific-study-of-prayer/
Remember: Deuteronomy (6:16 “You shall not put the Lord your God to the test”

 

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