Saturday, October 25, 2014

Lord, grant me the strength to enlighten those who will listen, and ignore the rest, because I have better things to do

I'm anti-stupid.
Willful stupidity annoys me.  Willful ignorance annoys me. Those are two reasons I love science.  A critical and core tenant of science is:  test it, and revise it when found wrong.
A lot of willfully ignorant people like to tell themselves - and each other - that scientists make shit up.  Now, it's true that people who claim to be scientists make shit up, and it's true that people will claim to be scientists when given money, and make shit up and lie about it.
(Oh, Hell, people like Rush Limbaugh and Bill O'Reilly make shit up all the time and lie about it, and they only pretend to be journalists instead of scientists, so it's not only science that is tainted by lying sacks of crap infiltrating their ranks in order to be rank.)
For example, there were a lot of people who claimed nicotine was healthy (it's one of the most toxic and most addictive substances ever), and they did it for money. But, under the core tenant of science to "correct what is wrong," these people don't qualify as scientists, and certainly the rest of scientific community called them out as liars and kicked them out of the club for lying.
Same with the "anti-vaxxers" and the "anti-climate change" pseudo-scientists, and the "a little chemical waste from strip mining won't hurt you" asshats are not scientists either. They're all liars, and the real scientists call them out on it.  (Which is why the liars scream louder, and pour a lot of money into dishonestly and unethically and immorally attempting character assassination on the scientists - sick, but true: there's more money in lying than there is in being honest.)
I think my favorite willfully stupid liars are the Creationists - these people are even more flimsy than the anti-climate change morons, because their entire argument consists of "yeah, well, Evolution has holes in it, so there!" (That's their argument, because when you press them on their "proof" it collapses like tissue paper under the weight of its own contradictions - ever read Genesis 1 and Genesis 2? Yeah, they contradict each other in the first two frickin' chapters.)
Modern Theories are tested, re-tested, checked, and validated and honed and refined until they work. In contrast, a Hypothesis can collapse and be rejected when found full of holes.  Well, it gets rejected by reasonable adults anyway. Children, liars, and the willfully stupid will cling to bad hypotheses and throw tantrums (or hurl aspersions) when you try to challenge their soft fuzzy cherished blankeys of belief.
Theory - a Hypothesis that has withstood rigorous testing, and been consistently demonstrated to address the available evidence in a reasonable and logical fashion.
Hypothesis - A "what if" speculation that needs testing.
So, any moron who says "Well, it's only a theory" is showing either ignorance of what the word "theory" means, or is showing willful and arrogant stupidity by rejecting demonstrated evidence and proof-of-concept in favor of whatever pet belief he is clinging to.
Stupidity annoys me.