Originally Posted by u b k
....I don't get that at all. I think as much or more of the real innovation we experience, whether it be tech or conceptual or whatever, comes from left of center, outside the box, aberrant, accidental, experimental, randomly inspired genius.... Gut thinking, craftsmanship, intuition, practice, and happy accidents litter the stories of the people who push things outwards.
But the scientific method? Responsible for 'all of the machines' we use? I don't understand how that's the case.
And I don't understand how it can not
be the case?
Would Guglielmo Marconi be able to invent the radio solely by being a "creative" out-of-the-box thinker? Or was it because he was born, raised, and educated
in a world where Hertz
, and Faraday
had already done
their extensive research into the nature of waves and electromagnetism?
Where did guys like Hertz, Maxwell and Faraday get their information? From rigorous testing and experimenting, removing variables. From the scientific method. And from studying the scientists who came before them
. It was the rigor
of each scientist's work that made it possible to build upon.
Why didn't somebody invent a radio in 1492 if the progression of scientific knowledge is not a prerequisite
to invention? There were innovative craftsmen around then...
Consider how many
of the "big" inventions of the last couple of centuries involved literal races
to the patent office! Almost every inventor hero has a competitor's skeleton or two in his closet. The 'maverick thinking' of the inventor himself is obviously overrated if several
people are always in the running for the title of "First".
That's because Accumulated Scientific Knowledge not only made the invention possible
, Accumulated Scientific Knowledge made the invention inevitable
I would turn the question around: how many examples of a machine we use
that was created in total scientific ignorance
? Invented in a vacuum as it were. By a guy who knew no science. In a world
where the science behind
the invention was unknown.
Someone who built a "radio" before anyone knew what electromagnetism was? Could the microphone exist before the understanding of electricity? It always can be traced back to the Hard Science of pure research, experiments and testing that figures out the behavior of the natural world - before
the inventor figures out a way to capitalize on it.
In other words, what's actually at stake if they're left to their ways? Will our field suffer? Will the state of the state decline? What is it we're *actually* talking about here?
Pet peeve. I discarded a very long
answer to this. It involved Tobacco Company advertising from the 50's belittling cancer researchers, global warming, and children in China NOT having to listen to Creationism lectures in their
It's true, it doesn't matter much if the people who say the Loch Ness monster is 'real' are right. But it does matter
if the Doctors are right or the Tobacco Company Shills are right, because people will get cancer and die regardless of what they "believe".
So our method
(science) for determining which is the truth and which is the lie should be respected
. When somebody attacks the scientific method Itself
and says "it doesn't work" merely because they don't like
the results it gave on power cables, that's bad for everyone
in the long run. If we tolerate scientific illiteracy and ignorance in 'silly' things, we run the risk of tolerating it in the important things.