What is science?
Perhaps the most used (perhaps over-used) term in the English language (with the possible exception of "white supremacist") over the course of the last year and a half has been the "science," as in the familiar refrains "follow the science" and "the science is settled." The word denotes a type of intellect that by definition cannot be disputed, and those who attempt to do so are to be branded as "science deniers" and, therefore, ignorant of the facts.
So, what exactly is science? Merriam-Webster defines it as "knowledge about or study of the natural world based on facts learned through experiments and observation" and "a subject that is formally studied in a college, university, etc."
When we were kids in grade school, our "science" classes normally consisted of such subjects as biology, chemistry, the metric system, and astronomy. As grown-ups, "science" (in the colloquial sense) has been expanded to include politics and the environment.
Perhaps a more rational question is, what is not science? Can anyone think of anything whatsoever in the known universe, either real or fiction, that cannot possibly be, in any way, connected with "science"? Science can be real or not real — fact or fiction. It does not have to encompass the "natural world" (whatever that means), nor, certainly, does it have to be taught in colleges and universities, nor is it ever "settled." It is constantly evolving every nanosecond of time.
Science is literally everything and anything. For one to be a "science denier," one would have to be a disbeliever in all things real and fictional, which is impossible. However, when attempting to demean someone who goes against the mainstream narrative, it seems to be an effective tool, just as calling one a "white supremacist" often does.
Interesting how these two terms emerged parallel to each other, with similar goals — to dehumanize their targets.
Image via Pixnio.
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