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We are All Scientists

On Uncertain Principles, Chad Orzel differs with Neil Degrasse Tyson, saying that scientific thinking isn’t that new, or that exclusive, and in fact has defined humanity from the very beginning. Chad describes science as “a method for figuring things out: you look at some situation, come up with a possible explanation, and try it to see if it works.” We start with idle hands, move on to stone tools, furrowed fields, Egyptian pyramids, Roman aqueducts, and now the pinnacle of our drive to master the universe, the iPad 2. In a follow-up article, Chad dismisses stereotypes of the scientific elite, saying “scientific thinking and scientific problem solving use exactly the same mental skills that you apply to pretty much any task more complicated than breathing.” Charlie Sheen provides a good example on Dean’s Corner, where he was recently described by Neil DeGrasse Tyson as being “more scientifically literate than most.” Dean Toney has his doubts about Tyson’s assessment, but Sheen does ask a pretty pointed cosmological question.