I shudder when I hear the term “science-based.” It is used only by those who don’t known what science is. It is merely a method– Observe, Classify, Infer, Interpret, Measure, Predict, Questions, Hypotheses, Experiment, Model Building– and it is a method seldom taught. These 10 Process Skills of Scientific Inquiry are the much vaunted Scientific Method. You can’t use it unless you are looking for something. They are “process” skills, and the very word “process” means you have to be going somewhere with it.
I remember some website where a member of one of the “sciences” touted that they were collating data according to their model, and he called that the definition of “science.” That is actually an Hypothesis, and no hypothesis is science. It is a step within the skills toward the ultimate and undeniable fact. It is also towards the last. After you form your hypothesis, you then start to what? Prove it. Which means Experiment and Model Building (reproducing the effect). Anybody who starts with an hypothesis based upon a presumption is going to end up with Anti-Science, Anti-Theory, and Anti-Knowledge.
What are called the “Sciences” are merely houses of knowledge— biology, geology, cosmology, for examples. But these are houses that contain only facts and the accumulation of discoveries based on working these facts together. Science is the method by which these facts are sewn together to create greater houses of knowledge through discovery. Starting at Hypothesis is creating the house first and then trying to make the facts fit. It is to create a false house of knowledge, which will only skew all studies based upon it– thus it becomes Anti-Knowledge.
All things, all steps, begin at Observe. The brain immediately must Classify. Then it will Infer. These steps cannot be broken. They are the process of Logic. These 3 steps are also called the Rules of Circumstantial Evidence in Law. Everything ultimately can only be put together by Logic, and Logic can only be used by Intelligence.
All Progress, all Learning, all Discovery is based on three distinct requirements.
If a man in Montana says he will keep heading north until he hits Texas, you know there is a problem. You know there is a problem because of knowledge. You KNOW where Texas is. Without that knowledge you cannot even assess the statement. You have the Intelligence to know that north from Montana is not the best way to go to get to Texas. You know his statement is not Logical because Logic is merely a criterion– the conclusions we make must be supported by the reasons we give; the actions we take must be in response to our motives.
Gerd Gigerenzer, of the Max Planck Institute, described what is the intuitive component which is the prerequisite of intelligence. It is not knowing what is important to an equation. It is knowing what is NOT important to the equation and therefore what can be discarded. This is true, and without lots of knowledge, intelligence, a processing ability, is little used.
Thus we see the 3 steps above condense as follows:
Knowledge is the SUM
Intelligence is the QUOTIENT
Logic is the CRITERION
We can understand why Einstein said “Science is merely the refinement of everyday thinking.”
In British education, there used to be quite a complex process to test you for your processing abilities. In 6th Form you had to take a level of calculus if you wanted to take Philosophy at a major university. This was necessary because Logic is a deductive process, with one goal: the truth. Philosophy is the Science of Thought, the study of things undiscovered through thinking out the potential that may therein exist in things already discovered and known. True philosophy is always deductive. Observe, Classify, Infer, Interpret. Most of Science is philosophy. It is only toward the end that one must now entrench oneself into the realm of proving it– experiment and reproduce the effects.
If one has taken great care and trained their mind to think clearly, to have gained the level of knowledge where you intuitively know what is not relevant to any pursuit, you still lack one thing: a goal. Without a goal there can be no Science. You have to be looking for something.
Thus we can see why Scientific Method and Investigative Method are the same thing. A “Scientist” and an “Investigator” look for different things, but they use the same method. A Scientist is looking to Discover whereas an Investigator is looking to Reveal the truth of what already is. A Scientists puts together many facts to Create. A police detective is looking for a serial killer. He is not trying to create one. A scientists uses the current knowledge to find more knowledge and then how to use it to discover more and to create new houses of knowledge. Newton said: “I stand on the shoulder of giants.” Knowledge builds upon knowledge.
My hobby is well known. I have spent 27 years investigating the popular and sometimes not-so-popular mysteries of this world. My purpose: to reveal the truth. It was not to create. Some topics seem very respectable. Some have squarely washed into the realm of tabloid rubbish. The most obvious is: flying saucers. I dislike any connection with the topic. But I have a tough hide. So let’s talk a little bit about it. There is much to reveal here, and the truth has been clouded by popular folklore, not by government conspiracies.
With the recent admission by the Pentagon that they have been studying UFOs again, we have seen the failure of 50 years of supposed “Science-based” investigation and poorly conducted investigations by most independent “Investigators.” Many of them never showed that intuitive ability to know what is unimportant to the issue. So called Investigators were more or less folklorists who compiled a market of contradictory rubbish and conspiracy theories to explain their lack of proof. Dr. Donald Menzel was a high level physicist who reached into the House of Physics merely to try and explain UFOs away, often very poorly. He had no goal of discovery. His goal was to maintain the status quo.
Yet 70 years of interest in the topic has not solved the issue. It has only become more clouded. The recent account by Navy pilots in the Pacific has only re-enforced the same vignettes told from 70 years ago. The real saucer is oblong and can come and go from the ocean with great speed. Nothing has changed in 70 years. Nothing has progressed.
Although the carnival has captured the spotlight for at least the last 50 years, the rational investigator has added much data. The true scientist has done the same. The investigator must remove all that is unimportant from the equation now to reveal what really is the phenomenon, and from there the scientist must use it and add it to the house of true knowledge.
In popular parlance: those damn things are out there and we have to figure out what they are and what their purpose is. In future posts we will reveal some of the repeating facts in the phenomenon. We will Observe, Classify, and Infer. Then we must go where all the disagreements begin: we must Interpret.
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Since 1990 Gian J. Quasar has investigated a broad range of mysterious subjects, from strange disappearances to serial murders, earning in that time the unique distinction of being likened to “the real life Kolchak.” However, he is much more at home with being called The Quester or Q Man. “He’s bloody eccentric, an historian with no qualifications who sticks his nose into affairs and gets results.” He is the author of several books, one of which inspired a Resolution in Congress.