by: Jonathan Salem Baskin

(note: this is part 2 in this week's 5-part series on the brandification of our lives).

Shorthand is anathema to science, isn't it? 

So are metaphor and analogy. Ditto for most any sort of imaginative modeling. Anything that might truly help communicate a scientific theory, or observable fact, generally confounds the invention of such concepts. The what invariably gets all messed up with the why, and versa visa.

That's why Creation Scientists actually have a bone to pick with proponents of evolutionary theory. 

Sure, there is uncontroverted proof that generations of fruit flies evolve traits basted on avoidance of swatters and frog's tongues, but elevating that process into an absolute, and then reapplying it as a model in which to piece together a story for, say, humanity, is putting the proverbial ape before the man. 

Evolution is certainly a far more likely theory, based on observable reality, but the claim that the bits of said reality are objectively dictated into a story has the process bass-ackwards. Scientists fit the pieces into a pre-conceived idea that helps guide what they do, just as a photo or memory helps a rescue crew reassemble the wreckage of an airplane. 

The presumption is that evolutionists will revise (or reject entirely) a theory once those pieces either

  1. Prove otherwise, or
  2. After enough trying, fail to materialize. 

So, for instance, astrophysicists are in a sticky wicket these days, as they're presently stuck with a theory for the Universe that has the vast majority of matter and energy utterly invisible and undetectable. Let's see how long they can hold onto that theory without some pretty amazing discoveries.

Creation Scientists, on the other hand, can pretty much be expected, no matter what, to find the wood chips from Noah's Ark. Adam and Eve cavorted with dinosaurs not because the fossil record confirms it, but because there's no evidence to deny it; therefore, the lack of a negative supports the positive assertion. 

This is what makes Creation Science a branding creation, irrespective of the merits (if any) of the science of its theory. 

While there's a difference between the two approaches, the shorthand of labels -- or brands -- contributes nothing to our understanding. In fact, it impedes it.

Is all "paranormal science" really paranormal and/or scientific? What about how alternative or medicinal "alternative medicine" might really be? Are there really such things as "Islamic" or "Indo-Asian" (or "Christian") science? And what about "environmental science," in that a bias affects how researchers interpret indicators of, say, global warming?

I think not. The language of branding doesn't mix well with science, other than as a tool with which to overlay religious, political, or cultural qualities. Pre-conceived notions don't help discovery as much as hinder it. 

While it helps to have an idea of what you're looking for, the idea is to find what's truly there to be found. Not just further promote your brand position

Original Post : http://dimbulb.typepad.com/my_weblog/2008/05/facts-theories.html

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