The nature of science …

SAR-MEMBER: Photo: José FahrniRecently some Norwegian and Swiss biologists have made an amazing discovery. After examining genetic material, they found that the non-bacterial life (eukaryotic life) should be listed in four main groups, not the five that are currently listed in textbooks.

Many people would find this discovery to be proof that science isn’t very good or doesn’t work well. However, this discovery proves that science does work. To a scientist, it’s as important to prove a hypothesis as it is to disprove one. The joy and excitement of scientific inquiry is finding out something you didn’t know before, to learn something new, to expand knowledge, or to broaden our vision of our universe.

To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.
From Ulysses by Lord Alfred Tennyson.

Science is the study of fact — not truth or what is politically correct, but fact. If research finds that, with more facts at our disposal, the meaning of those facts now points in a different direction then so be it. It does no good to deny what is. These biologists found by looking beyond what we could previously examine, to examine the genetic material itself that what they thought they knew was incorrect. So, rather than bemoan the error, or try to hide it — they gathered information, collated the data and found that what needed to change was our understanding of what we knew. We now have a new view of non-bacterial life and hopefully this updated information will help biologists in taking a new look at what they thought they knew and revising and re-examining existing research in light of this new information.

The true scientific mindset is to seek, to find, to learn and not yield or bend knowledge away from what IS to what one wants.