Should we trust physicists?

Fern frost 5

A recent discussion on LinkeIn asks, Should speculation pass as scientific evidence? Artist and professor Manual Morales points to experiments at the Large Hadron Collector. He suggests the approach (and vast amount of money spent on it) call into question scientific integrity

In science, evidence based on assumptions is a speculation, not a discovery. What troubles me about this omission error is that we now have a double standard where both speculative evidence and empirical evidence passes for science.

Writer Mirjam Maclean argues:

Science is after knowledge, which you reach by either empirical evidence or deductive logic, but nobody can make an experiment or deduce if there is not a speculation to direct that. And every new speculation comes from the latest science.

Lacking a good grasp of particle physics, I do not fully understand the speculation or experiments under discussion. I suppose I am in the majority.

This raises the question of trust. Scientists seek truth at community expense. The ancients bestowed similar confidence on priests who stepped past the obscuring veil to directly contact the divine. Someone must pursue deeper knowledge, otherwise we accept ignorance. The current system enforces accountability through a peerage of intellectual elite with vested interest in maintaining the structure. Beyond a doubt, science has helped us understand the universe in which we live. As it investigates increasingly obscure aspects of reality, we need to ensure its veracity and usefulness.


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