I think Boyd Reasor (“’Fake science’ is the same as ‘fake news,’” Feb. 8-14) does not really understand “science.” Science is a reliable “method” of producing reasonably accurate information about basically what physical reality, and life, are all about, and often, how this reality works. It seeks to describe what exists, and how it functions. Scientists rarely address ‘why’ questions, and if they do, it is pure speculation. The universe began with a “big bang!” We have no idea why, only what and how.
Modern science begins with a hypothesis as to what and how something works. It is tested by many
scientists. If they all come up with the same conclusions, then the hypothesis is true. If there are a thousand proofs, and only one contrary “lack of proof,” then the experimentation continues or the hypothesis is altered. Science begins and ends with theory, never absolute fact or truth, just reasonably
reliable theory, which we generally call “scientific fact or truth.” Scientific truth is always relative.
The physical sciences are easier to conceptualize and concretize than the life and social sciences, which are more mysterious, complex, and often self-contradictory. That’s why nearly all our problems are personal and social in nature, and most of our successes are in the physical realm of our existence.
Fake science is an oxymoron. Proven and/or unproven theories are not fake. All theories, scientifically proven or not proven, are reliable.
Fake news on the other hand is “false news,” misleading and unreliable. Fake news can result accidentally or be created on purpose. There is no relation whatsoever to reliable science. There is no such phenomenon as fake science—only proven or unproven theories, and relatively reliable truth.
R. Hahn, Sandia Park