At one time there was a widely shared intuition that the sun went round the earth. Do I have to produce a list of intuitions that science has found to be wrong?
Frank counts on his readers not to know (or notice, especially if they were educated in an entirely unjustified sense of intellectual superiority) one thing: Prior to the development of calculations and instruments over the past half millennium, there was no way of determining the relations between sun and Earth accurately.
Because it is a relationship, the calculations would work either way, especially centuries ago. That is what made the discussion so difficult.
As a rising tide floats all boats, it also enables pom pom science writers to make a living flattering the egos of those of us who come after this work was done.
So the intuition that the sun revolves around Earth is based on observation. The observation was later corrected when we learned more about the organization of the solar system.
Now contrast that with fatuous claims by science writers that humans are 98% similar to chimpanzees.
Not only isn’t it true but no information is likely to arise anywhere that will show that it is true.
Because all observation is against it, not for it.
Consider all the cutesy, artificial attempts to show that chimps have police forces or use abstract concepts. When one points out that this is blithering nonsense, the purveyors look shocked and announce that they are in the defiled presence of someone who wants chimps to go extinct in the wild.
But I wouldn’t mind getting some facts straight before we discuss how best to preserve chimp colonies. Conservation always works better that way.
Would work better in genetics too, I expect. – O’Leary for News
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