I have been thinking recently about Jacob Bronowski’s Ascent of Man particularly the programme titled, “Knowledge or certainty”. The prompt was a series of posts on sceinceblogs.nz by Drs Siouxsie Wiles and Ken Perrott (http://sciblogs.co.nz/infectious-thoughts/2016/02/18/are-feminists-really-bullying-richard-dawkins-a-response-to-ken-perrott/ and https://openparachute.wordpress.com/2016/03/06/misrepresentation-misogyny-and-misandry-these-should-concern-sceptics/).
My views are strongly influenced by Jacob Bronowski’s; particularly the need “to question” and the need to “hold doubt”. As I view it, when a group becomes so wedded to its ideology that questions are taboo; that is dangerous. For the most part scientist are immune to this because the scientific method requires constant checking with experimental evidence. And because, evidence trumps theory. That is critical.
As we move toward more sustainable ways of living, we must remain open to what works. I encourage readers to follow the link below, to a Brainpickings blog summarizing Bronoski’s views. The video link does not work, at least in New Zealand, but the full series may well be in your local library.
“Science is a tribute to what we can know although we are fallible… We have to cure ourselves of the itch for absolute knowledge and power.”