Scientific Method = Lust

What is the scientific method? Is there a set of formal guidelines followed by scientists?

Lee Smolin says there is no real scientific method, and that science is based on democracy and ethics.

Krauss says that a lot of us forget that some physicists become scientists because it is sexy.

The drive to do science is based on lust, a darwinian misfire which causes us to believe that we will replicate more if we do correct science, because science is more manly (or womanly) than doing witchcraft or religion. Instead of "god did it", "science did it". Science is the new manly hunting and the new replication of ideas (instead of babies); science is hunting down brilliant ideas which are worth millions of people's lives saved, and millions of children in your gene pool benefiting from your discoveries. If the life of children can be improved down the road, your gene pool succeeds more than other gene pools. Therefore the more science we offer to our children and friends in our rough gene pool, the more our genes succeed.

Science is lust: an instinct to want more, to want better theories, and to be right. Being right is more beneficial to our peers who we perceive to be in our gene pool or tribe, even if some peers are unrelated to us (altruism misfire). Science is based on the drive to succeed with a theory, just as replicating species and cooking food causes a great feeling of success to a caveman. The modern caveman is the scientific community. Who invented fire? A pre-scientist: maybe the first scientist of all time. The cave man who invented fire is a role model, whereas mouse or lion does not have that role model to follow.

Since many scientists come from similar backgrounds, it literally makes a scientist feel at home with certain peers more than others, as if those scientists are part of his gene pool even if they are not directly related. This causes certain scientists to work together in groups or clans rather than all scientists working together on one giant theory of everything. String theory is lacking and isn't even a scientific theory, but that may change, and some of us may even switch tribes at some point in time. Einstein ridiculed the Big Bang theory at one time. In the future we may find there were more than one bang and the Big Bang is severely limited, and some of us may have to switch tribes to a larger big bangs of many theory.

Some of us lean toward a digital universe whereas others are in the analog camp. Whatever is the right camp, should eventually attract more members to the tribe - and some scientists may end up befriending others in that tribe, and spending large parts of your life dedicated to that tribe (consider the four horsemen). There are dangers in tribalism, since two tribes may otherwise get along and need not be separate (for example christians and anti-theists both want to rid the world of Islamic dogma, so why are we separate tribes? Sam Harris has written about this.)

Many remain in an agnostic tribe (my preference), probably the biggest tribe that ever existed (maybe it's not a tribe but a special buffer zone for everyone). All religious people are agnostics despite their arrogant claims otherwise. I know of zero Catholics who fully practice catholic dogma; almost all of them are only partial Catholics, but they still hold on to that catholic tribe even though they are truly agnostics.

Understanding altruism, tribalism, and lust is most likely the key to putting an end to dogma and religion; different tribes will always exist, but we need to get rid of the dogmatic religious tribes and encourage less dogmatic scientific tribes, where your skin color does not matter, but your science and correctness matter.

Science is a strong lust, and also an admission of "I don't fully know the answer, I will get more experts working on those questions and subjects. Patience."

Organized Religion (and dogma) is the opposite of patience: it's a quick way out and false insurance. Religion is false economy. Blind faith religion (and dogma) is intellectual laziness, whereas science is the opposite.

© Olson 2012   Email: mail at olsonb dot com