August 8, 2022

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Ask questions - in all sciences!

Ask questions – in all sciences!

Thinking of new things is hard for everyone, and often even more difficult for us experts, often without even realizing it ourselves.

Within the scientific method, questions are asked. new questions. Always.

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  • Stig Weigstrand
    Stig Weigstrand

    Ph.D. Associate Professor of Pedagogy, University of Southeastern Norway

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The better the question, the better the science. This is exactly what makes science so exciting for those of us who like questions better than answers.

Debate editor Harald Berkefold commented on July 23; Culloden boils his head in reference to Norwegians’ “climate denial.” He writes that there is a consensus on man-made climate change among 99.99% of the world’s climate scientists, and asks whether it is the very form of debate that makes many Norwegians still skeptical of the message from the IPCC, the United Nations climate panel.

I am not a climate scientist. My field of expertise for more than 20 years has revolved around the thought processes of experts, and in particular the problems of seeing ourselves and our profession in new ways. An ‘expert’ here is understood as a professional at the international level, for example in music, politics or research – climate research, for example.

Thinking of new things is hard for everyone, and often even more difficult for us experts, often without even realizing it ourselves. Neurological, social, and psychological conditions – along with our capacity for justification – are fundamental. I use the term “expert thinking” for this complex, and I’ve previously described expert thinking as Habitual and silly thinking on stimulants.

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ten paradoxes

Typical problems/paradoxes are that

  1. We think we’re right – because we’re experts.
  2. We think we must be right – because we are experts.
  3. Others think we are right.
  4. We think other people think we’re right.
  5. We lock ourselves into entrenched mindsets more easily than non-experts because we spend so much time building them, they are intricate and intricate and hard to break out of.
  6. We are particularly interested in our own theories and solutions, as they symbolize and confirm our experience.
  7. The safety factor means that we thrive best in a supportive professional environment, so we intuitively ground our professional opinion in line with well-established experience – including prestige and prestige potential.
  8. We also develop the language of experience that helps us rationalize and enhance our intuition.
  9. This language makes it difficult and challenging for others to understand and challenge our experiences.
  10. We, like all people, are distinguished by a mind that intuitively wants to save energy, and so we take shortcuts, however, we are very good at (far) at explaining and rationalizing – precisely because we are experts.

Think and learn new things?

Expert thinking can distinguish climate scientists, politicians, and other experts, from all sides of the debate. I myself am influenced by the same mechanisms in my field, and I think it’s important to be aware of that, in all discussions – if you want an open exchange where you might be able to learn something new.

I think Berkefold has a point here as well. Today’s public debate has somewhat inappropriate packaging where clicks, entertainment, quick points, labels, moral bullying and a little time are key. This works poorly if the goal is to increase insight into a complex and complex topic, but perhaps that’s not the point of today’s discussion?

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It requires delving into complex theories and models, and it demands at least as much to establish a critical distance for the same theories and models.

It’s also been many years since stories started appearing about scientists who falsified the research, for example here, here and here. In 2005, Stanford University Professor John PA Ioannidis published the classic book Why are most of the published research results wrong?which, among other things, are described as fundamental in metascience.

Ask questions!

Regardless of the field – in a scientific debate we are never talking about “evidence”, but about “the results that indicate this (…)”. Evidence as such exists only in mathematics and logic, since these are the regions in which the relevant components of the region are identified by the region itself.

By the way, within the scientific method one asks questions. new questions. Always. When scholars or debate editors claim that there is a “consensus,” they are dealing not with science, but with politics. This does not mean that what they claim cannot be true. of course not. But “consensus” as an argument does not work within science.

There are no scientific theories or definitive knowledge. There are no definitive answers in science, only more questions. And the better the question, the better the science. This is exactly what makes science so exciting for those of us who love questions – better than answers.

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