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Feature Article by Paul Rosenberg
Apologies to those who are bothered by strong words; I feel that science deserves an especially strong defense.
I think we've all heard the pseudo-scientific phrase, "Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence." It's the kind of thing people throw out at parties to make themselves sound smart.
Except that this slogan isn't scientific at all; in fact, it's a perversion of science. Here's why:
Evidence Is Evidence
Science is a process of getting rid of bad ideas, of chopping them up. And just to be clear, science is not the formulaic list of steps you learned in school. Science is a careful examination of nature. It requires you to fully engage your mind and not to follow a pattern. Anyone's pattern. As Richard Feynman used to say:
It doesn't matter how beautiful your theory is. It doesn't matter how smart you are… If it doesn't agree with experiment, it's wrong.
Neither does being respected and published
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