Aurélie Jean – Science doesn’t care what you think

againstThis may sound like a cry of rage to you, but this rather harsh statement reflects our unhappy relationship with science and scientists. This, however, is reflected in a recent study, which concluded that only one Frenchman in two sees science as a reliable source of information and has confidence in doctors. While we thought the health crisis exposed the role of science and its actors, we have the bitter impression of going back to a time when beliefs took precedence over knowledge. So get more than 80% of the French who want to collect several opinions before giving an opinion. But science does not care about opinions because it depends on the scientific method.

Unlike scientific thinking, opinion is not always based on facts. By definition, it is subjective and can be subject to the emotional and affirmative biases that guide, distort, and even falsify our judgment – ​​whether it is good or bad. We must distinguish between hypothesis and theory which has not yet been proven from opinion. A hypothesis is an unresolved assumption and its discussion, if only partially; A theory is a set of conditions, rules, and principles for translating a phenomenon. Even if accepted theories sometimes still largely wait to be demonstrated, they are based on articulated, justified, and logical ideas. With this simple distinction we could have avoided the words of many personalities – scientists and doctors – who have been giving their opinions to the media since the beginning of the health crisis. For scholars can also, by chance or intellectual misguidance, give their opinions while forgetting the way that formed them nonetheless.

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think against yourself

And that we agree, we can take a position on the theory, but it is by no means an opinion in the first sense of the term. To be convinced of this, it is necessary to re-read Plato’s philosophy, which opposes opinion with science, assimilating it into beliefs and illusion. The scientific position, on the contrary, is a reflection driven by arguments and ideas that form a consensus within society. We speak of schools of thought to characterize these reflections. From there it spawned discussions of ideas and articles that delve into and defend the thesis, while posing the antithesis of anti-self thinking. However, this picture in an ideal world is a far cry from the opinion books that crowd each other with each literary output and which are nonetheless presented as objective analyzes.

Finally, we will say that we do not compensate for doubt with an opinion, but we must, on the other hand, declare: “I don’t know. And that, even if the majority of people hold the same opinion, it does not make it true. What is your thinking—not your opinion—on the subject? ?

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