I've been discussing the difference between science and pseudo-science for the last few months with my theology, science, and sociology friends, and we've come up with more questions then answers. This is good news, because that is what good science dictates....
Anywho... I found an interesting article on the status of the "Hobbit" species found several years ago on the Island of Flores. They're about a meter long, and have human like features, except for the fact that they're about a meter long, and don't exhibit any signs of a disease to have stunted their growth. The small size is/was believed to be a necessity of the lack of food (scarcity of resources) on the island they were inhabiting.
I heard humans are adaptive creatures....
Now to my main point. I found this article on the BBC site, which on the side also has any relevant information about the current article. This feature gives the reader a great history of the developing story. This article is a science based one, and shows how the science of this discovery was viewed and reported at each new development. This article has the following trail:
- 'Hobbit' human 'is a new species' (29 Jan 07 | Science/Nature)
- New twist in 'hobbit' human story (31 May 06 | Science/Nature)
- Team widens search for 'Hobbits' (14 Oct 05 | Science/Nature)
- 'Hobbit' stirs scientific clash (19 May 06 | Science/Nature)
- More Flores 'Hobbits' described (11 Oct 05 | Science/Nature)
- New 'Hobbit' disease link claim (23 Sep 05 | Science/Nature)
- Hobbit was 'not a diseased human' (03 Mar 05 | Science/Nature)
- 'Hobbit' joins human family tree (27 Oct 04 | Science/Nature)
Notice the tone of each sequential news article.
- 'Hobbit' joins human family tree
- they're just like us.... we've learned so much about ourselves
- Hobbit was 'not a diseased human'
- 000 more clues, they're sort of like us, but evolved differently
- New 'Hobbit' disease link claim
- they're like us, but diseased... but still like us!
- More Flores 'Hobbits' described
- oooo... even more clues... we can start classifying them much better now
- 'Hobbit' stirs scientific clash
- scientists argue over the science involved in categorizing the 'Hobbits'... scientific rigor and review
- Team widens search for 'Hobbits'
- more research is needed.. and we've learned so much in the process
- New twist in 'hobbit' human story
- they had small brains, but were smart enough to make and use tools.. hmm.. interesting... very interesting
- 'Hobbit' human 'is a new species'
- they don't fit a formula.. they must be a new species
- 'Hobbit' wrists 'were primitive'
- oooo, more clues revealed through empirical evidence: bones, mass, motor skills, pressure, etc
Science by it's nature is open to criticism. It wouldn't be science if it wasn't. It's not exact all the time, but scientists realize it's a work in progress on most days. And if anything is true in the first principle and self-evident, such as
if (true OR false) then truethen it's true "as far we can tell". And that's true through practice, no metaphysics involved.
The most important thing is that scientists are always willing to say, "this is what we believe", and it's never an absolute truth, unless it's an axiom, as appose to tautology.
To me it comes down to subjective and objective logic. Subjective conclusions are biased. Subjectivity is great for formulating hypotheses, but conclusions require a greater amount of empirical and logical proof; and that proof NEEDS to be objective. Otherwise you're playing politics by consciously pushing an agenda.
I don't know if you've linked into this yet but this "Leave Britney Spears Alone alone video, has been insanely popular. I'm not a fan of hers, or defending this guy's rant, and free speach says let him rant.. why not! I'm not particularly interested in spreading the video either.
The reason I'm writing about it, is that it's view count is going up incredibly quickly. This video was uploaded yesterday (Sept 11, 2007) When I first saw it on YouTube at 10:30am EST, it already had about 1.4 million views. I checked again now at 6:40 pm EST, and it has 2,317,638 views, with 41,266 comments been favorited 5,940 times, and 575 video responses. Keep in mind that YouTube's most popular video of some dude dancing has just over 36+ million views. Way to go Chris Crocker!
Check out YouTube's "YouTube :: Most Viewed Videos - Today" list.
The closest is Kanye West's breakdown, with a measly 834,663 views.
So to recap (approx as I don't know what it started with):
2,317,638 views in 24 hours
96,568 per hour
737,638 views in the last 8 hours
56 commnets per hour
100 favorited per hour