This is a topic I've been building up steam on for a while.
Hang on....ooah, best vent a bit....FUCKING 'EXPERTS'!
Right. Coherence achieved.
The scientific method is the single most powerful logical tool for reasoning and the advancement of knowledge that the human race has established...so far.
Someone poses a theory, and everyone tries to knock it down. If it survives, then it becomes 'current thinking', or as far as we have got, knowledge wise.
IT DOES NOT, and this is important, become 'true'.
The Earth Is Flat!
A Greek Mathematician equipped with a stick wanders around Egypt and disproves this. He even goes so far as to say just how big this round earth is.
Several hundreds of years later, a man called Columbus jaunts over the Atlantic, comes back, and finally people abandon the established 'truth' of a flat earth.
You might be forgiven in thinking we have come on in leaps and bounds since then.
Have we bollocks.
The Catholic Church only recently acknowledged that the Sun was the centre of the Solar System. Way back before Copernicus' discovery, anyone who doubted the established wisdom that the Earth was centre of the universe was decried as a heretic. You can imagine the court case...
Papal Representative:Copernicus, you have been found guilty of spreading lies and deceit concerning the infallible structure of God's Universe.
Copernicus:Yes, all right, but look at THIS...
Papal Representative: No.
Someone not so long ago a chap came up with a theory many might see as a bit silly. He suggested that there was such a thing as a morphogenic field on Earth, a subconscious psychological force or collective unconscious that meant tasks that had been learnt by a large number of people were easier to learn...a useful thing for a species that relies on intelligence (or if there are those reading for whom that doesn't apply, I'm talking about (most of) humanity). This was a theory, and due to the scientific status of the man putting it forward, some other scientists took the time to comprehensively damn it to shit.
No one attempted to disprove it, so in a bit of a twist to the scientific method, it's owner tried to prove it. The resulting experiment included people with no knowledge of the language attempting to memorize passages of Japanese. The Nursery Rhyme out of the whole bunch was remembered the best, far and away above the level of significance required statistically. It may have been a semantic matter, but how do you know what the rhythm is when you don't know what the words mean?
A popular idea at the moment is the Atkins diet. It has been recieving an enormous amount of exposure, most of the negative commentary coming from the dieticians and the medical profession, and a lot of the positive press is linked to which celebrities are doing it. Atkins hit such headlines because it's advocates were partially justified by an independent scientific test last year.
Two groups of obese people in America were put on diets. One on traditional 'balanced' diets, the others on Atkins. At six months, the Atkins group had lost more weight and had better blood chemistry than the other group. After a year, weight loss was approximately equal on both sides, but the Atkins' bunch were ahead on general health and blood chemistry. The findings of this report have been reported in outrageously selective terms.
This article in today's news is one of the worst. It reports a leading expert has damned Atkins as 'pseudo science' and then highlights the dangers of both the excessive fats on Atkins, and also says that you lose weight because of the dangerously reduced calories. Someone do the math for me, please. There is even a psychologist offering her tuppeny'th. Interesting.
The point, finally
Fair enough these days, 'knockdowns' of scientific theories are far from conclusive due to the increased complexity of the subjects.
Many new theories fly in the face of the established thinking, but everyone seems to subcosciously exchange the words 'established thinking' for 'truth', and act all indignant when someone suggests something different.
I alone in thinking that THIS IS AGAINST THE WHOLE POINT OF SCIENCE?
Nowadays everyone weighs in with opinions rather than counterarguments and evidence, which only confuses anyone who isn't paying the greatest of attention.
What really pisses me off is everyone trying to knock down theories with opinions that are meant to 'count' more because of their job or qualifications. Without evidence, every opinion is of equal scientific worth - none at all.
A scientist may be a pundit, but his or her punditry is not science.
The point of all of science is that you're meant to disprove, not disapprove.
SO SHUT THE FUCK UP WITH YOUR OPINIONATED 'SCIENTIFIC' BOLLOCKS WHEN YOU'RE ACTUALLY SPOUTING A LOAD OF SHIT!