Science and reality

by Wolfgang Feist, 2010-June-5th

Has it to be the satirist to tell us the truth about http://j.mp/Science_and_reality ? A MUST READ for everybody. Example: "Can a majority decide Pi equals 4?" - They can, but it does not change the quotient of perimeter and diameter of a circle.
P perimeter; d diameter. Definition of π: π = P/d.

Historical Information: It was Archimedes who first made a thorough investigation into this – it’s a very nice piece of really bright reasoning, a work already using a limiting value, methods, which were only centuries later generally introduced in mathematics. There is a nice introduction to this work auf Archimedes: http://j.mp/Measurement_of a_Circle.

It's easy: Insisting that π = 4 is mainly a problem for those, who do... Well, I see the problem: A majority could take the rest of a country hostage by deciding this. Well – how could that happen? I insist, it could only happen if the fundamental rules of an open discourse are not accepted. It can only happen, if mighty interests have such a high influence on people that these can deceive a lot of people from using their brains. And it could only happen, if there is something wrong in education. Fundamentally wrong. To insist to be allowed to be ignorant is dangerous. To insist that others have to be ignorant – that’s not only dangerous, it’s a crime. Now: what does this have to do with modern discussions? It does! Still there are a lot of people thinking, that truth is only a truth if it is believed by the majority. Yes, there is a problem in defining what is a “truth” – I am not going to discuss this here. There are certainly different levels of evidence. One level is: “It is so certain like the earth is moving around the sun.” And, there are lot’s of scientific facts which are certain like this: That the age of earth is at least 4 Billion years. That there was a process called evolution. That CO2 is absorbing infrared light. That the CO2 level in the atmosphere has risen from 290 ppm in pre-industrial times to now 390 ppm – and that the combustion of fossil fuels is the by far most important reason for this. There are rules needed in a democracy: One is, that a majority is still not allowed to exploit a minority – this is why we need a constitution and a judicial review. What we see here: we also need a scientific review. It should have only consultatory power and all decisions should be published.

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