Monday, December 07, 2009

Asimov on Wrongness

Here's a great response to the all-too-familiar "scientists used to say ___[insert superseded theory here]___ so science don't know nothin" argument.

You really should read the whole article, but this paragraph sums it up beautifully:

My answer to him was, "John, when people thought the earth was flat, they were wrong. When people thought the earth was spherical, they were wrong. But if you think that thinking the earth is spherical is just as wrong as thinking the earth is flat, then your view is wronger than both of them put together."

Not that I have any illusions here.  This essay is not exactly breaking news, and yet we're still hearing the "science don't know nothin" argument echoed on a regular basis.  If anything, it's more virulent now than ever.  These people are not going to abandon a favored quip just because it's dishonest.

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