This paragraph has got to be the most absolute boilerplate published in a long time:
For most of us, it’s easy to distinguish between real science and pseudoscience. Real science requires testing hypotheses, a rigorous analysis of the results, and peer review, after which the findings are either debunked, tweaked, or accept as fact. Pseudoscience dresses itself up in the clothes of science but doesn’t play by the same rules, particularly when it comes to abandoning ideas that fail to pass peer review.Matt Davis, “https://bigthink.com/culture-religion/strangest-scientific-theories” at Big Think
To which we have a one-word response: multiverse. And peer review makes no difference when such evidence-free assertions are science.
Davis goes on to identify exploded science theories, for example:
4. The spontaneous generation of life Originally developed by Aristotle, the theory of spontaneous generation persisted only until Louis Pasteur disproved it in the mid-19th century. In essence, it declared that life could and regularly did form from non-living matter spontaneously. Aristotle, for instance, claimed that scallops were generated from sand. Others made the observation that maggots grew in dead flesh — nobody ever saw maggots travel to dead flesh, and it took a surprisingly long time for people to understand that maggots were laid there by other flies.Matt Davis, “https://bigthink.com/culture-religion/strangest-scientific-theories” at Big Think
But stop, wait! The very doctrine of the natural origin of life from inanimate materials teaches precisely this. Is Davis saying that the one true doctrine of naturalism on the subject is wrong?
As a matter of fact, the belief in spontaneous generation is a very reasonable naturalist (nature is all there is, often called “materialism”) theory. It’s just probably not true, as Pasteur demonstrated. So where does that leave the smartass pop science tone that Davis adopts throughout?
See also: The Science Fictions series at your fingertips – origin of life What we do and don’t know about the origin of life.
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