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Why is “just so happened” science?

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The question arose from this run-of the mill “sciencey” PR:

Compared to its celestial neighbours Venus and Mars, Earth is a pretty habitable place. So how did we get so lucky? A new study sheds light on the improbable evolutionary path that enabled Earth to sustain life.

“We played out this impact erosion story forward in time and we were able to show that the effect of the conditions governing the initial composition of a planet can have profound consequences for its evolution. It’s a very special set of circumstances that make Earth.”

So it is NOT science to say that the outlined story is almost impossible on its own? Like getting dealt a royal flush five time in a row? Why are we better off looking for just-so-happened explanations?

Why can’t science take probability into account?

See also: Copernicus, you are not going to believe who is using your name. Or how.

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4 Replies to “Why is “just so happened” science?

  1. 1
    Querius says:

    What I dislike is the “slamming” of remote possibilities under the guise of science.

    You take a cobbled together theory, data that’s been glued together with conjecture and slathered over with appeals to authority, and then you claim that since “were here,” it “musta” happened the way you propose despite all odds and the occasional discordant fact that hasn’t yet been rationalized into the system.

    Then, let the ad hominem games begin!

    -Q

  2. 2
    Kyrilluk says:

    Quote from a physists:
    “I once invited a famous evolutionary theorist (MacArthur Fellow) at Oregon to give a talk in my institute, to an audience of physicists, theoretical chemists, mathematicians and computer scientists. The Q&A was, from my perspective, friendly and lively. A physicist of Hungarian extraction politely asked the visitor whether his models could ever be falsified, given the available field (ecological) data. I was shocked that he seemed shocked to be asked such a question. Later I sent an email thanking the speaker for his visit and suggesting he come again some day. He replied that he had never been subjected to such aggressive and painful attack and that he would never come back. Which community of scientists is more likely to produce replicable results?”
    http://infoproc.blogspot.co.uk.....sigma.html

  3. 3
    News says:

    Kyrilluk at 2: Darwin’s followers, so far as one can make out, are mainly interested in producing legal briefs to force their theories on publicly funded school systems. No, it does not even need to make any sense.

  4. 4
    Axel says:

    Stuff that’s falsifiable and proves to be true only appears to be true. Ask Richie. He’ll tell you. That so-called ‘reverse-engineering’ is just flam-flam.

    No wonder that speaker chappie was mad as a cut snake. It’s the meanness of the thing, as a recently-deceased, Irish priest friend of mine, with a wonderfully quirky sense of humour, used to intone in jocular vein.

    Another of his gems was:
    ‘I never went to school. But I used to meet the scholars on their way home.’ I feel a bit like that on this board. I know just how he feels.

    I’ll be back shortly. Just going to pick up a watch I left with a blind watch-watcher. He’ll surely have spotted the problem and fixed it.

    I’ve been informed that blind people have this special gift for watch-making and repairing. Like they have a heightened sense of hearing. They call them, ‘horological savants’, apparently.

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