Science has always fascinated man in one way or another and with several new discoveries always being touted, the situation in this world gets worse not better. But is science always true or is it simply a collection of falsehoods?
Most of the time we address the issue of why a Space Shuttle fails to function properly but we always believe NASA’s version of events when something goes wrong. We tend to have this opinion that the those in authority are always right. This can also be seen when discussing such scientific hypotheses like UFO’s or aliens which are so detached from reality, that everything may seem simply ludicrous, yet we continue to be gullible and believe almost everything hands down.
A typical case in point is the Loch Ness Monster mystery where some clearly doctored photographic images have formed the basis of this legend for decades. Thousands of tourists flok to the area every year in the hope of catching a glimpse of ‘Nessie’ yet she never appears for the simple reason that she doesen’t exist! But we still continue to believe that hse is somehow there, in the murky waters of the great lake.
The hoax of the Piltdown man is another typical case where scientists go to extreme lengths to come up with theories which are nothing less than baseless falsehoods. The discovery of a cricket bat put paid to this fantasy although one has to wonder why people go to such great lengths to try and decive people. At least scientists do their best to try and prove a hoax. The Philippine hoax where a tribe of long lost men and women who were supposedly discovered in 1971 was nothing less than another elaborate hoax which had money at the end of it – like so many other scams after all.
In Vitro Fertilisation is an accepted part of today’s society although there are still reservations where religion is concerned. Some people actually don’t believe that IVF babies are human although admittedly this type of opinion is becoming rarer. Cloning is also a deeply sensitive and ethical issue although we still have not got to the bottom of its actual benefits. The latter is almost universally condemned by those who wish to toe the ethical line although admittedly the issue is of a rather sensitive nature.
Sometimes people even believe the ludicrous notion that all those UFO’s and aliens who have supposedly invaded the planet are actually flesh and blood like us when there isn’t a shred of evidence to prove otherwise. Sightings of UFO’s are relatively common in the US, mostly in rural and rather backward communities and the element of superstition and its ilk obviously adds fuel to the fire of these rather ridiculous rumours.
Seethaler (2009) debunks several myths such as the one which is universally believed that “science is a step-by-step process in which scientists develop a hypothesis, design an experiment to test it, perform the experiment, collect data, analyze the data, and accept or refute the hypothesis based on it”. It is obvious that hypothesis which remain untested for a long period of time cannot provide reliable data although in many ways, scientists are there to prove what is right and what is wrong.
When reviewing and analysing scientific discoveries, one should be more careful and probing as more often than not, there has to be a snag in the plot.
Seethaler S (2009) Lies, Damned Lies, and Science: How to Sort through the Noise Around Global Warming, the Latest Health Claims, and Other Scientific Controversies FT Press