Difference between revisions of "Belief-clique/scientific"

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m (Woozle moved page Belief-tribe/scientific to Belief-clique/scientific: "tribe" disparages actual tribes)
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Revision as of 13:08, 7 October 2020

The ideal scientific belief-tribe might be summarized as "the tribe that believes in questioning what the tribe believes in", since science is based on the idea that any belief must withstand skeptical inquiry if it is to continue. In other words, science is inherently anti-tribal, since the only belief that could even remotely be described as "sacred" by the scientific belief system is the notion that anyone may question any of its beliefs by reasoning from evidence – which flies in the face of the idea of defending tribal beliefs, and of tribalism in general.

In practice, however, many of those who self-identify as pro-science pay insufficient attention to the evidence and reasoning supporting their beliefs and, as is human nature, revert to easier heuristics such as accepting the word of scientific or supposedly-scientific authorities (e.g. people with science degrees employed to advocate a company's political position, politicians who use the fact of their past scientific training to boost their apparent credibility, actors dressed as doctors in advertisements, actual scientists speaking outside their fields of expertise, engineers and technicians speaking above their level of understanding) without question – i.e. equating authority with experience, and/or placing experience too high in the hierarchy of evidence – or believing anything that is suitably decorated in science-y trappings (e.g. pseudoscience, fake journals).

To some extent, this is understandable, since it is quite impossible for any individual to retain enough scientific knowledge to evaluate every possible claim at an expert level. While there are methodologies for laypeople to use in evaluating the credibility of scientific claims, these are generally neglected in public education and there are few if any definitive references available.