The Issue with rigidity
: I have always said science is not rigid. What I meant is the scientific method is not rigid, and hopefully scientists are not rigid either. But that does not mean they are not rigorous or insist on reproducibility. It is a thin line, but it's there. I have often seen people ask questions which may be considered pseudoscience. But one needs to listen and look for whether it has any merit. How does one know? It comes with practice and knowing the basics. Generally accepted fact
: Is global warming a fact? Yes. But the science behind it is complex, nuanced and extremely interdependent. Do we know everything? Far from it, but we know enough. On the other hand, is it a fact that alien megastructures are orbiting a star recently flagged off by citizen scientists? No. But again, we will not know unless we have better observations, metrics and information. None of this is easy. It takes years of studying something before we even know what something is, let alone being able to pin down its cause. Why do scientists say fat is good for you today and bad for you tomorrow?
: This is the nature of how scientific methods are followed. Researchers follow one line of thinking and study one aspect or type of 'fat' and make one hypothesis. Another line of research follows another line of thinking. Over time, methods and instruments are improved, we know more, some studies are discarded, others gain more acceptance. We 'know' different things at different times. And the media muddles this all up with definitive statements. A lot of the findings need time, effort and acceptance to be reproduced, checked, replicated and verified. It is very hard to communicate science
: For a number of reasons, scientists and researchers are not comfortable with making hard statements. And the reasons are obvious. We cannot expect certainty, only probabilities, and they keep changing based on observations. At one time the atom was considered the final indivisible fundamental particle. Today we are seeing that even the electron is composed of smaller stuff. It is very hard to be nuanced and correct while still making science interesting to people. Which is why one has to allow for a lot of leeway.Dara O'Briain is a standup comedian with a science background. But he makes sense. #Thescientificmethod #science