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CLOSEMINDED SCIENCE

Examining the negative aspects of the social dynamics of science.

Skepticism is a primary tool of science. We'd be hypocrites if we never directed a skeptical eye towards Scientific Skepticism itself. Denied imperfections and errors are free to grow without limit, and Skepticism is not immune to this problem. Unbridled gullibility can destroy science, but unbridled disbelief is no less a threat because it brings both a tolerance for bias and ridicule as well as the supression of untested new ideas. Better to take a middle road between total closed-mindedness and total gullibility. Practice pragmatism, pursue humility, and maintain a clear, honest, and continuing view of ourselves and the less noble of our own behaviors.

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"The most erroneous stories are those we think we know best -- and therefore never scrutinize or question." -Stephen Jay Gould

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"Advances are made by answering questions. Discoveries are made by questioning answers." - Bernhard Haisch, astrophysicist

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"We do not believe any group of men adequate enough or wise enough to operate without scrutiny or without criticism. We know that the only way to avoid error is to detect it, that the only way to detect it is to be free to inquire."      - J. Robert Oppenheimer

Dishonest Argument

If you've ever conversed with a closeminded person, you are aware how difficult it is to get your point across and to maintain your cool. You might not realize it, but there are good reasons for this. While some people seem like scientists and genuinely want to know the truth, others seem like bad politicians and lawyers: dishonest truth-hiders whose only goal is to defend and persuade. Below are some of their tactics. Once you're familiar with these ploys, you can fight against them (or at least not let them drive you crazy!)

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