Short Addendum to Rationale

I would just like the mention that, while I believe that everyone should be scientifically literate in a most basic sense and hopefully this will help with that, it is not just science.  Making decisions in life requires a knowledge of economics, political science, history, mathematics, etc., and, especially in regard to making political decisions, everyone should have an understanding of the theories and facts behind decisions they make.  I just happen to know more about science, so this blog is about the science aspect of that.

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Rationale

Science has the potential to explain such fascinating mysteries of life, and yet science also has a reputation for being relatively complex and, often, difficult to understand.  Many pressing issues that come up during elections or are everyday decisions we have to make involve, and require, a knowledge of science that many people do not have and yet are asked to form opinions about all the time.  Everyone wishes to form educated opinions about these issues, but the information to truly form unbiased opinions about science is often inaccessible.  The intent of this website is to take some of these science issues and decisions and elucidate some of the truth behind them.

Here are a few struggles I encountered when deciding to write this blog.  The first is simply that truths as absolutes either do not exist or are incredibly hard to find.  While there are plenty of documentaries and essays written on the effect of nuclear power, almost all of them use rhetoric and some form of data manipulation or exaggeration (not in the academically dishonest way, but simply in the sense that they place emphasis on the data they feel is most important, but it makes it more difficult to see both sides of the issue).  These problems make the scientific truths very difficult to decipher from all the bias that everyone introduces to anything they create.  I plan to do my best to provide both sides of an issue, but I will place emphasis on where the scientific truths lie.  For example, there are definitely two sides to the global warming debate, but scientific evidence and “truth” lie overwhelmingly to one side (I am sure I will elaborate on this more in a later post).  However, I will, for the most part, post citations to where I find my information and try to get the vast majority from legitimate, peer-reviewed scientific journals.  I’m sure I will also post more on the epistemology of this blog, particularly with regard to the peer review process, which is so often criticized.

There is an art to maneuvering data manipulation, and unfortunately this is not a skill widely taught in schools (although it definitely should be).  Anyone more interested in learning about how data manipulation works within our government, the media, and how to combat it, I highly recommend the book Proofiness by Charles Seife.  I am also sure that I will reference this book many times.

Additionally, combating scientific mistruths (attempting to use science to prove things that are not true) can be accomplished by following “The 10 Commandments of Logic” found below (found from the “I F***ing Love Science” Facebook page).

commandments

Thank you for reading this slightly lengthy introduction, and I look forward to discussing scientific issues!