Serendip is an independent site partnering with faculty at multiple colleges and universities around the world. Happy exploring!

Reply to comment

drichard's picture

loopy science, accepting subjectivity and ourselves

I have thoroughly enjoyed this past week's discussion of loopy science. I believe that we should continue to combat the notion of subjectivity as pollution of "scientific data." After all, no human observation is made free of perspective. Furthermore, any observation made without the human touch of perspective would be useless. What good is an observation that does not apply to our actual lives? Isn't science, the study of our reality, successful insofar as it enhances our experience of it? Our summary of observations helps us to understand our world and thus better exist in it, whether that means coming to know the habits of a herd of buffalo so as to better hunt them or mastering the microscopic mechanisms of infectious diseases so as to prevent them.

Our acceptance of subjectivity also carries significant philosophical implications. If we conceptualize science as an experiential endeavor specific to the individuals doing it we can begin to forgive ourselves for natural human error; we can begin to better understand and love our humanity.

Lastly, the idea that "there is nothing that may not change" is instrumental when it comes to being responsible for our realities. "Science" could conceivably be defined as "taking charge of one's reality by actively engaging the world around oneself with a healthy skepticism/distrust ." We cannot take for granted any aspect of our existence as tomorrow that aspect could be completely different or backwards.


To prevent automated spam submissions leave this field empty.
4 + 6 =
Solve this simple math problem and enter the result. E.g. for 1+3, enter 4.