Anti-science and Prediction

By Ira Mark Egdall

A certain politician was on The Daily Show the other day. He complained to John Steward that people say derogatory things about his religious group, like they are anti-science. Steward let the comment go. What I would have liked to have heard Steward say in response was:

“When you argue against climate science, evolution science, and big bang science, and offer no verified predictions to counter these theories, what do you expect?”

Don’t get me wrong. I myself am not arguing for or against any religious viewpoint. I’m just saying you can’t take on established science without confirmed predictions in support of your argument.

I’m not saying you gotta believe everything you read about science. On the contrary, healthy skepticism is a key to scientific progress. But at the heart of new science is a “prediction” — a new and specific prediction which can be tested. If and when other scientists independently validate your prediction via careful observation and measurement, then your new theory must be accepted as having merit.

Charles Darwin famously predicted the discovery of a “missing link” between humans and apes. Fossils which contain both human and ape-like characteristics have since been found. Today, compelling evidence in support of evolution’s predictions has been found everywhere across our planet, including in the DNA which makes up all living things.

The Cosmic Microwave Background is just one example of the many predictions made by the big bang theory verified by observation. Climate scientists’ predictions of long-term global temperature rise, arctic melting, sea rise, and more frequent extreme weather events have now been observed world-wide.

This is why these theories are overwhelmingly accepted by science experts in their respective fields. They represent our best current scientific understanding of the phenomena they describe.

So if you want to argue against established science, please feel free to do so. But please make a new prediction. One which can be scientifically tested. Otherwise, don’t call your ideas verified science.

Ira Mark Egdall is the author of the eBook, Unsung Heroes of Modern Physics.
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