I Fucking Hate “I fucking love science”

An image of the lifecycle of a butterflyFucking butterflies, how do they work?

Anyone with a Facebook account is bound to have seen the endless tirade of pop-sci articles, shared by legions of likers all proclaiming their absolute devotion to the scientific cause. These sycophantic share-a-thons are filled with people who didn’t actually read the article, let alone the scientific paper it was based on. They merely saw a picture and a title that reminded them of a scifi movie, and they regurgitated the already rehashed and incorrect blog spam. The biggest of these groups is “I fucking love science,” with 22 million likes, making it larger than most countries. Now you may wonder why I’m so vitriolic about all this, I mean who cares what other people like? Well the crux of the matter is that it is unscientific, and worse, it is actually a perfect microcosm for how broader society treats science.

Science is a process, not a belief system. Put simply, the scientific process is poking things with a stick and writing down what happens. You poke it again and again to make sure, then you compare notes with others, until finally you have a data set from which to draw conclusions. We have been poking things for a couple of hundred years now, and we are quite good at it, we have compiled a long list of things we have poked and we have come up with some pretty neat things from the results. I don’t need to bore you with the list of all the things we’ve figured out so far, we all know what happens when you poke holes in the ground, or poke things out of the atmosphere, or when you poke atoms really hard. Our list is really long, and our poking process is pretty refined, but that is still all it is, just an investigative process.

Unfortunately this list has grown so long that nobody really understands all of it, so we have started having to trust what the list says, rather than actually checking for ourselves. This trust is a problem, because trusting established norms is fundamentally unscientific. This trust problem grew as the findings mounted up, until the vast majority of the list were things almost no one had ever checked. Even worse, because null results don’t get published and many results are trade secrets, plenty of people were no longer even writing their results down any more. On top of this, since so many of these results require specialized equipment to perform, this leaves us in a position where we are forced to just put blind faith into the holy list of other people’s findings. As with any system of faith, some people have become zealots. Zealots of a force they don’t comprehend, chanting in a tongue they don’t speak to an audience who can’t understand but cheer along frantically. So if the followers of “I fucking love science” are so easily led, who is doing the leading?

The vast majority of science funding today originates from corporations or governments, who have vested interests. Those interests may be controlling the public, or selling more products, or killing people. To achieve those ends, they need only produce more studies which agree with their view than their detractors can muster, and then a meta-analysis of the available literature will establish their viewpoint as the scientific truth. Many of the largest companies in the world have repeatedly been found guilty of falsifying scientific data leading to countless deaths, and still their research is routinely accepted by the cheering hordes. It is delivered as a popsci sermon via tech-journo priests to rabid adherents who then set off on crusades across the net to enforce their opinions on the unenlightened savages. Never once do they stop to read the source paper or check the existing literature, it is merely enough that the corporations have once again handed down another truth. And that is why I fucking hate I fucking love science.

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7 Comments on "I Fucking Hate “I fucking love science”"

  1. I actually had a piece like this in mind… but I suppose I’ll wait on it. Scientism is as bad as any other religion, a good dose of true skepticism and philosophy of science can usually cure it.

  2. Science is not build from collection of atomic facts — that’s early positivstic view. Facts only exist in relation with another facts in a theory: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philosophy_of_science#Observation_inseparable_from_theory

  3. praise hegel

  4. I like this article but i expected it to be longer, I especially expected the writer to adress the zealot behavior of ”new age athiests” more in detail with the dogma they are preforming in with prophets like ‘Neil deGrasse Tyson ‘.

  5. Hey dip shit, Maddox has already done this

  6. Eh non yi moose | November 12, 2015 at 7:26 pm | Reply

    Unfortunately the idea that “the corporations” are creating junk science that kills people also leads to hippies who doubt all science. GMOs are a good thing, but hippies use the same argument you use to say “they are bad cause muh Monsanto”.

    We need to have a balance of understanding that science often has a capitalist bias and understanding that most scientific progress is good and the ideas that scientists come up with can’t be doubted just because they were come up with in a capitalist system.

  7. This article gives the light in which we can observe the reality. This is very nice one and gives indepth information. Thanks for this nice article.FORWARD FOR ADDITIONAL UPDATE

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