Misconceptions About Science

Based on the many comments received on my blog posts, I gather that there are many misconceptions about science – how it works and what it can and can’t do.

I am therefore quite chuffed at having this valuable resource pointed out to me by Facebook friends at the link below, and hope you will find it as useful as I have:

Misconceptions About Science. 2012. University of California Museum of Paleontology. 25 September 2012. http://undsci.berkeley.edu/teaching/misconceptions.php

It is part of a larger resource by the same authors known as Understanding Science. How science really works, of which I have posted a permanent link in the sidebar of my homepage.

Here’s a small sampling:

  • MISCONCEPTION: Science is a collection of facts.

CORRECTION: Because science classes sometimes revolve around dense textbooks, it’s easy to think that’s all there is to science: facts in a textbook. But that’s only part of the picture. Science is a body of knowledge that one can learn about in textbooks, but it is also a process. Science is an exciting and dynamic process for discovering how the world works and building that knowledge into powerful and coherent frameworks.

  • MISCONCEPTION: Science is complete.

CORRECTION: Since much of what is taught in introductory science courses is knowledge that was constructed in the 19th and 20th centuries, it’s easy to think that science is finished — that we’ve already discovered most of what there is to know about the natural world. This is far from accurate. Science is an ongoing process, and there is much more yet to learn about the world. In fact, in science, making a key discovery often leads to many new questions ripe for investigation. Furthermore, scientists are constantly elaborating, refining, and revising established scientific ideas based on new evidence and perspectives.

  • MISCONCEPTION: Science contradicts the existence of God.

CORRECTION: Because of some vocal individuals (both inside and outside of science) stridently declaring their beliefs, it’s easy to get the impression that science and religion are at war. In fact, people of many different faiths and levels of scientific expertise see no contradiction at all between science and religion. Because science deals only with natural phenomena and explanations, it cannot support or contradict the existence of supernatural entities — like God.

Have fun exploring the rest…