“Nullius in verba” – Words to live by

February 11, 2010

Latin for “Take nobody’s word for it”, the original motto of the Royal Society of London, the 1st “modern” scientific (natural) philosophy society.  Additionally the Royal Society pointed out that “The truth of scientific matters through experiment rather than through citation of authority.” It is sad that these guiding principles of modern scientific thought  seem to take a backseat when scientific discourse moves to the media (and unfortunately has bled into the scientific (or peer review) media).

“The Experts have Spoken!”

As a scientist I care not for how “esteemed” a fellow practitioner is considered.  I care only that the topic discussed be based in an honest, verifiable,  reproducible study.  Investigation – NOT dogma.  Heaven knows scientific success (the long toil from hypothesis to actual reproducible results) is few-and-far-between, but that does not excuse sub-par investigation practices, complacency, incompetence, political advocacy, and out right fraud.  As the late Carl Sagan was fond of saying when pestered by reoccurring claims of so called evidence of  alien presences on Earth,   “Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.”    Where is the Extraordinary Evidence?


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