Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Some Scientists

We were talking about various things at dinner a few nights ago, including a discussion of Congress’ grasp of science, which is to say, less than ideal.  (I’m talking ’bout you, Rep. Todd Akin.)   My husband said, “I think that we should begin each sentence with the phrase, ‘Some scientists believe that…’  For instance, ‘Some scientists believe that I should put my plate in the sink after dinner.’”

Youngest Daughter said, “Some scientists believe that is a stupid idea.”

(Some teenagers believe it is their job to contradict their parents, and believe they should get out of doing work like taking plates to the sink.)

Son said, “How about if you said, “Some theologians believe…”

I said, “I don’t think that has the same impact.  You expect theologians to believe things.  But on to more important things.  What do some scientists believe we should have for dinner tomorrow?”

I forget what they said, but it was some variation on the following:

Youngest Daughter Scientist: Macaroni and cheese from a box!

Son Scientist:  I dunno.  Something I like.  Lasagna.

Husband Scientist:  How about stuffed pork chops?  When I went to San Diego I went to the same restaurant every night because they served these great stuffed pork chops with beer.
- or –
Husband Scientist:  if you make that same meal you made last week, only leave out the tofu, substitute rice for the green peppers, add in some cream of mushroom soup, and serve steak on the side, that would be great.

Some non-scientists should know better than to ask what people want for dinner.


Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

That is a brilliant idea--"some scientists say..." I may adopt and abuse that phrase shamelessly.

Cassi Renee said...

I've always had trouble with the words "scientists believe", because belief seems to imply faith, rather than evidence.

I have trouble with this when I'm lecturing. Is it just me? Does "believe" imply faith or not to other people?

Common Household Mom said...

Cassi, yeah. The scientists believe it (whatever 'it' is), because of the evidence. But with faith matters, a person believes without any evidence, which is what makes it faith. And when someone says "Some scientists believe" they probably are avoiding saying "Most scientists have proof that..."

There is the same problem with the word 'theory' - a scientific theory means just about the opposite of what us regular people mean when we say 'theory', as in "it's just a theory, it isn't proven to be true."

Words and science and faith. They drive me nuts.

Joanie said...

When a scientist "believes," it is called "theory".