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November 2, 2005

The End is the Beginning is The End - The final chapters of It Ain't Necessarily So

Chapter 10
"Thus our first point is not that either personal characteristics or objective forces provide the "true" explanation; instead, it's that complementary explanations are likely to be more informative than any single one." (165)

Whenever public policy and genuine science combine to produce "SCIENCE," problems arise, because the principles of these respective areas differ." (179)

The previous quotes from each chapter just struck me as really good overall points of the text. From chapter 10, it is trying to say "this isn't necessarily better than that, but this and that together are best."

The bit from the conclusion talks about why it is so difficult for science and politics to work together because they have different agendas and purposes.

"'The more you learn, the more you understand that you don't understand very much.'" (Quote of NASA's David Rind, 191)

And this quote just seemed very true about everything in life, not just science and journalism. I think I will print it out and hang it on my wall.

Posted by LorinSchumacher at November 2, 2005 10:33 PM


Recognizing that scientists make flaws as well and scientific studies are often proved wrong, science and journalism are human institutions and therefore imperfect.

I think if we recognize--like you allude to in this post--that every institution (political, social, economic, etc) is imperfect and evaluate what each institution says with a healthy skeptical inquiry, we will be more accurately informed.

Science and SCIENCE both have their agendas. The best way to tell the accuracy of a scientific study is through the methods. It is hard to delineate the accuracy of a public statement where the methods are unclear.

I think Socrates would be in accord with the Rind quote. ("I do not even have any knowledge of what virtue itself is.") I think a big problem is the lack of discourse in our society. We have given up on the conversation. But, I'll stop before I tread into the grounds of my informal presentation.

Posted by: Evan at November 11, 2005 1:13 AM

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