Empty-headed arrogance…

It never ceases to amaze me.

I’m always a little bit amazed when the masses just believe everything they read in their college textbook, believe every “scientific” report they hear on the news, etc…

What REALLY amazes me is when certain members of the scientific community openly admit that they don’t know what the hell they’re talking about…

The newest example is finding varied and complex life at the bottom of the Antarctic shelf, 12 miles from the ocean. In an AP article I read from my e-mail provider, (NASA finds shrimp dinner on ice beneath Antarctica), a couple of scientists admit to EXPECTING to find nothing at all living under the ice due to the harsh environment (presumption), and actually being amazed that we don’t know everything there is to know on planet Earth. I’ve always known that scientists, (and atheists in particular), consider themselves omniscient, but to actually have one ADMIT it in so many words is amazing, surprising, and really damned funny. Let me quote for you:

“We were operating on the presumption that nothing’s there,” said NASA ice scientist Robert Bindschadler.

…and…

“It’s pretty amazing when you find a huge puzzle like that on a planet where we thought we know everything,” Kim said.

WOW. Just… WOW.

I love it!!! A “scientist” admits to thinking we know everything! It’s too priceless! I put the word scientist in quotes because no TRUE scientist would ever say something so arrogant, foolish, or downright silly… The entire mission of science is to learn new things, to discover new truths we didn’t know before. You may argue that that’s exactly what they’re doing with that experiment, except for the statements they made about expectations and knowledge!

I know scientists aren’t supposed to be philosophers, but seriously, how ridiculous is this? To have this underlying assumption of knowledge? To think that we inherently know everything there is to know without experiencing it for ourselves? That is NOT a scientific attitude!

To apply this to philosophy: do you know why Socrates died? There are a lot of reasons, but the crux of the entire affair was that through questioning people’s assumptions, he brought people face-to-face with their own ignorance… He said, “The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing.” Well people didn’t like that, especially those who made their living making sure people thought they were really wise (the sophists)…

I see a parallel here. Scientists literally make their money on the basis of people thinking that they know what they’re talking about. I would be more impressed if they admitted when they DON’T know…

You may think from my ranting that I despise science, but the opposite is true. I LOVE science. It’s scientists I don’t have a lot of respect for. It seems that there are far too many like these two whose entire understanding of science comes from assumptions and arrogance. Science is the work of discovering what we can know through evidence and irrefutable fact. It’s not about what we THINK we know because this or that theory makes sense… I respect scientists who hunger for new knowledge, who are open to redefining existing paradigms, and who blaze the trail for real discovery. These imbeciles who think we “know everything” make me sick and are everything wrong with the scientific community at large. It’s also the kind of scientists that people listen to most, and media outlets run to first…

Unfortunately, I think this kind of arrogance is par-for-the-course, and REAL scientists tend to get marginalized…

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~ by 45shiro45 on March 15, 2010.

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