Do you think the scientific method is an inerrant method of truth extraction?
Or does it have its flaws, like all human communication systems?
- Anonymous7 years agoFavorite Answer
It's primary flaw is that it relies on peer review, making it an argumentum ad populum.
"We agree on this now." = scientific fact
"We don't agree yet." = not a scientific fact
It obviously relies on human consultation (albeit educated) to a consensus reality.
If evidence didn't need to be interpreted, and human non-objectivity could be removed, I dare say it would then be inerrant.
- NDMALv 77 years ago
If applied rigorously it is effective. The weak link as with many things is the human factor. Humans tend to carry bias and presuppositions and that can lead to inaccurate and invalid interpretations of the evidence, ignoring alternate interpretations of the evidence that are completely valid. If building on existing research reflecting invalid interpretations of the evidence you can end up with completely fallacious results and explanations that are as valid as fairy tales. While this problem is more common in the theoretical sciences, empirical sciences are by no means immune to this problem. This does not even address the cases of deliberate fraud found primarily in those sciences closely related to industries (pharmaceutical and genetic engineering as two prime examples). Another phenomena I have observed is fallacious discoveries that tend to coincide with grant applications. A good example would be the four dark matter discoveries that turned out to be false alarms shortly after the grant money was approved.
Modern science is a multi-billion dollar industry and as with any industry where large sums of money are involved there will be a certain level of corruption, fraud and dishonesty. One problem in that regard is the scientific community is responsible for policing itself which as is often the case does not really work so well. Intelligent people are well advised to take any scientific claim with a grain of salt, and ask for the actual evidence behind the interpretations.
- PaulCypLv 77 years ago
No it is not inerrant, but it is the only means we have for understanding the natural world around us. And it is far more reliable than simply reading the Bible and guessing what it might mean, which has led to nothing but the fragmentation of Protestantism into thousands of conflicting denominations. You don't find that kind of chaos in science.
- ?Lv 77 years ago
The method may be inerrant, but the results almost always are. On top of that, we have biased reporting and interpretation.
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- AlexisLv 77 years ago
The method is inerrant.
Those who utilize it are both errant and limited.
Addendum: Although science is a method of truth-verification, not truth "extraction" (although I'm not entirely sure what that means).
- KyleLv 47 years ago
It seems to be a legit method, that is accepted by the whole scientific community.
- indiaLv 77 years ago
The whole point is to weed out faulty results by repeating everything over and over and testing a gazillion variables. It's far more precise than reading a book and blindly believing.
- 7 years ago
There is more than one scientific method. They all have their strengths and weaknesses
- Socrates2Lv 57 years ago
It may not be a perfect process, but it's the best we've got (to paraphrase Winston Churchill)...