Thursday, June 26, 2014

Speculation and Science

Human beings are human beings. Always have been, always will be, both the good and the bad. There were always believers and doubters, mystics and pragmatists, heroes and murderers. Sometimes the same person is both.

This also goes for ancient human beings of whatever ethnicity or race. There is always a mythology of a golden age, in every culture I know of. Even us Indians can get our past wrong. But we can get it right too. We are neither savages nor romantic ideals. We are human beings, with all the baggage. Indians could use every part of the buffalo, or they could run dozens off a buffalo jump and let some go to waste. Human beings have codes but we don't always follow them, thus the old legends  about people and betrayal and on and on. Ethnographic analogy has its limits too though. The past is a foreign country and all that.

IF one wishes to do science, then there is a methodology which must be followed or it is not science. Not that science is the ONLY way to understand our world, but it has a pretty dang good track record compared to many others, at least in terms of the MATERIAL world. Hypothesis and null hypothesis, testing, rejection of the incorrect hypothesis or further testing, etc.

Nothing wrong with speculation, as the FIRST step to a search for the truth, but it cannot end there if one really wants to find the truth. The point being is that interpretation of evidence has its limits too. There is nothing wrong with speculation, but speculation cannot equate to fact.

No comments:

Post a Comment