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Perception and reality

Many of the things called magic in the middle ages are now called science. And what today is called magic might one day as well become science.

Science is based on the scientific method, where hypotheses are proposed as theories, and experiments conducted to proof or disproof the theory. The theories that survive and are confirmed as true by all (without exceptions) conducted tests, are accepted as our current scientific truths and laws.

But here is the thing:

According to the scientific method, it’s enough that ONE single experiment outcome contradicts the hypothesis, to invalidate the theory. It’s thanks to the rigor of the scientific method that science has advanced so much in the last centuries, disproving the previous theories one after the other. So there is no wonder in thinking that some truths that might sound unbelievable and unscientific today, might become the accepted norm in the light of new findings disproving our present beliefs.

Then there is the second thing:

What many call (in these dark ages of awareness) science is not based anymore on the scientific method, rather on public consensus. To lay it down, people believe generally to the scientific statements published on famous outlets and endorsed by the scientific community.

Now, the two keywords here are “famous” and “community”.

If a news outlet is famous, it doesn’t mean necessarily it speaks the truth. And the qualities needed to be accepted in today’s public communities – in this case the scientific one – belong more to the realm of social skills to raise public consensus in the historical context you live in. In other words, you might be well a sound scientist following the rigor of scientific method, and still not be published in any (famous) news source nor be accepted in the (scientific) community because your ideas might not be popular, or even go in a direction contrary to the public consensus of the present time.

To make you a trivial example, if on one side I came to you as a beggar, poor, dirty, ugly and offered you a delicious mango riped at the sun, and on the other side came a renowned scientist in suit and tie acclaimed by the main newspapers and offered you GMO horseshit, don’t underestimate the number of those choosing the latter. Why? Because of the suit and tie, of course :-)

Joking (or not joking) aside, I challenge any single one of you, dear reader, to proof you are not falling in the very same psychological traps every day. Because we don’t follow reality (for what this words means anyway), we follow our perception of reality, a perception that has been deeply biased and ingrained in our inner beliefs through the (dis)education system of our society.

I know that I know nothing – said a wise Socrates – but until you know that you don’t know, there is really little hope, because if you don’t know anything, how would you know that you don’t know, especially if you know yourself as highly educated?

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