So *That’s* How You Do Science…

Scott Welty recently visited the Fermi National Laboratory (not far from Chicago) to sit in on a couple of presentations and he was shocked by what he saw: Actual science!

… here’s what I observed:

  • Calm and logical presentations
  • Polite and attentive audience
  • An almost crushing critical eye on their own data (more on this)
  • Respectively presenting results from the other detector and from the big machine at CERN without any high fiving or end zone dances (but that would have been kind of awesome).
  • Questions being asked and answered without any shouting or interrupting.

… I watched as each group looked very hard for ways their data could be WRONG. That’s right. That’s the real scientific method. You have a hypothesis, you collect data, it may be suggestive of the hypothesis but before you go there you check the 999 ways you could be wrong…

Scott elaborates further on his observations at his site.

What a far cry from anything you’ll ever see Creationists do.

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.

  • Rbray18

    aww i was hoping all scientists were like doc brown from back to the future. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/cburschka Christoph Burschka

    Respectively presenting results from the other detector and from the
    big machine at CERN without any high fiving or end zone dances (but
    that would have been kind of awesome).

    Somewhat disappointing. :P

  • http://thestir.squarespace.com/ Servaas

    Have you ever even watched Creationists do science?

  • gski

    I’m sure that in their lives, all creationists do science.   Problem is, they don’t know they are doing it and don’t apply it to creationist ideas.

  • Anonymous

    “the quality of one’s answers can only be determined by the quality of one’s questions” - Andy Andrews

  • Xeon2000

    Consider the idea that something like the Higgs Boson particle is akin to the holy grail for many theoretical physicists.  Consider the mountains of money poured into Fermi and all of the hours that those involved have dedicated to the their endeavors.  For some, the passion of such a discovery consumes their entire life.

    And yet… they still have the integrity to be skeptical and look at the data.  No matter how convincing the data, they keep poking and prodding, searching for holes and alternative solutions.

    In the end, it’s not about convincing others of a belief they hold dear.  It’s about discovery.  It’s about the very essence of truth.

    • Guest

      Physicist push to falsify theories. Reconfirming old theories is boring, won’t get you a Nobel, won’t even get you mention in a newspaper. Disproving a theory and defying expectations, that’s where the excitement is, that’s where the discovery is.

  • Helmichv

    A few weeks ago Richard Dawkins was in the news with: “Maybe there is a god”.
    Like a scientist mr. Dawkins is questioning in 999 different ways if there is a possibility.
    Thank you mr. Dawkins for your type of discussion.


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