Joined: June 2006
|Quote (N.Wells @ April 01 2007,19:00)|
|True, but why make it easy for them? |
Scientists who are about to speak about science or scientific results are supposed to think about how to communicate clearly and effectively, taking into account the audience and the ways they could misunderstand what they are about to hear. Why make it easy for people to misunderstand or misrepresent by saying either A) "I believe" when what you really mean is simply "I think" or "I suspect", or "I'd bet that ...", or B) "I have no idea" or "there's no evidence", when those simply aren't true?
We know that creationist / IDists love to paint scientific conclusions as just another belief, and we know that science proceeds by hypothesis testing and disproof, not by asserting beliefs. Yes, I'm being cranky here, but Whitesides is being very unhelpful.
I don't mean to disagree with you, N. Wells, but I don't hold the general public in quite the same regard as you do. I think you and I are quite simpatico in regards to our personal views of what science is saying. Where we differ is in how we think it is appropriate to communicate these ideas.
I believe that if we couch all scientific discoveries and discussions in language appropriate for creationists we will never be able to communicate amongst ourselves. As Lenny said up-thread, who the heck cares what the creationists think about scientific issues?
Sure, it is appropriate to use language very precisely when speaking to creationist groups or addressing the issues when debating creationists. Other than that, screw 'em. they'll quotemine from anything, so I don't believe it is necessary to watch your language 24 hours a day--merely a waste of energy.
It is more useful to completely reveal their quotemines and lies. Of course, this requires that we, as a society, respect and admire logical thought and education. These are the areas that I believe we are most deficient in and that our educational system should most engage in.
But I get the trick question- there isn't any such thing as one molecule of water. -JoeG
And scientists rarely test theories. -Gary Gaulin