2015. 9. 7. 1:41 RockOn #1 1/7 1. The US government, and most other governments of the world, provide support for scientists but not for astrologers, palm readers, or telephone “psychics”. Why do governments support scientists? A) Scientists learn the Truth, and governments are always deeply committed to learning the truth. B) Scientists use a careful method, and governments are always committed to supporting the use of careful methods. C) Scientists help humans do useful things, which makes the humans healthier, wealthier, etc., and governments often like to support health and wealth. D) Scientists are amazingly sexy, and government functionaries simply cannot control themselves in the presence of such overwhelming sexiness and throw money at the scientists (sometimes tucking tens and twenties into the pockets of the scientists’ lab coats). E) Scientists all drink Diet Pepsi because they think it makes them look sexy, and governments are all controlled by the powerful Pepsi Corporation and so the governments support the Diet-Pepsi-drinking scientists. Feedback: The government is often interested in seeing people live longer, or improving the economy, or having better and more-accurate explosive devices for the military, or in many other things that improve our lives, and science plus engineering and scientific medicine are better than any other human activity at delivering these. A cynic might say that politicians are often not all that interested in finding the Truth. And a realist would note that science is being improved all the time, and because you cannot improve on the Truth, science has not (yet?) learned the Truth. There are many methods in the world, some of them are careful, and many of them are not funded by the government. Some of our spouses or significant others may think that some scientists are sexy, but many other sexy persons are not funded by the government. One of the professors has been known to drink a competitor of Pepsi on occasion, and some scientists refrain from soft drinks entirely. 2. A scientist gains knowledge about how the world works, and uses that information to successfully predict what will happen in an experiment. This proves that the scientist’s knowledge is: A) True; you can’t get it right unless you know what is going on. B) Lucky; no one knows what is going on, so only lucky people get things right. C) Close; no one really knows what is going on, but people sort of know. D) Cheating. E) One or more of True, lucky, or close to being true (or cheating), but we can’t tell which. Feedback: If you guessed “heads” before a coin flip, and it came up heads, that would NOT prove that you can predict all coin flips; you will get half of such guesses correct by chance. You might be cheating, you might be lucky, or you might have figured something out.
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