Blimpage 2 – Science Mystified

Quite by co-incidence a shortly after posting about the excellent initiative by Science to promote access to proper scientific papers to (US) school students, a colleague in the war against the unscientific drivel gpwayne posted on his blog about how the Heartland Institute was sending letters to US Teachers promoting their own publication the NIPCC which is the usual gish gallop of wishful thinking, handwaveium, unobtanium and outright unscientific assertions.

Needless to say, the open letter he wrote highlights the multiple lies they are pedalling, and illustrates how this organisation has a track record such as denying smoking causes lung cancer and sponsored bill boards equating climate scientists with serial killers (charming, but unscientific).

So I am now even more pleased that Science are doing the right thing in promoting scientific thinking:

As emphasized in the SitC Teachers’ Guides, each paper is designed to be used to illustrate general points about the way that science is done and the nature of scientific communication. Thus the exact topic covered in class is less important to us than the fact that students will be exposed to an authentic science paper and learn how the authors use evidence to derive important new understandings.

Which is what science is about – not starting from an ideological view of the world but collecting and understanding the facts, and then proposing the underlying mechanisms and expressing them in theories and hypothesis to derive established science.

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