This is, in fact the critical discovery of science. That we often perceive what we expect or want to perceive, often at variance with what is objectively true. The Cro Magnon genius of trumping objective evidence with subjective belief. The original and only true form of magic.

How has science dealt with this quandary? By encouraging open enquiry and vigorous reciprocal accountability. And by enticing younger researchers to take risks and challenge portions of the edifice that may be weak, with substantial status awaiting those who do succeed in toppling a paradigm, some time.

I have generalized this with a catchy acronym-aphorism - CITOKATE ... or...Criticism is the Only Known Antidote to Error. A practicing scientist knows this, in his or her bones, even as the Cro Magnon ego inevitably tugs in the other direction, murmuring to each of us that we are 100% correct and that critics are all vile fools. Yes, that tug is overwhelming. Which makes even the partial success of scientific training - at making some egotists welcome criticism - all the more wondrous, almost a miracle.


An acronym that expresses an important scientific principle: "Criticism Is The Only Known Antidote To Error"

Folksonomies: science scientific virtues

/science (0.534458)
/science/biology/biotechnology (0.372098)
/society/unrest and war (0.369184)

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scientist:JobTitle (0.800038 (neutral:0.000000)), 100%:Quantity (0.800038 (neutral:0.000000))

Epistemology (0.983233): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc
Scientific method (0.866145): dbpedia | freebase
Science (0.651178): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc
Truth (0.613332): dbpedia | freebase
Critical thinking (0.595231): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc | yago
Knowledge (0.579117): dbpedia | freebase
Inquiry (0.555959): dbpedia | freebase
Philosophy of science (0.536693): dbpedia | freebase

 Modernism Part 13: Michael Crichton vs Science
Electronic/World Wide Web>Blog:  Brin, David (FEBRUARY 18, 2005), Modernism Part 13: Michael Crichton vs Science,, Retrieved on 2011-03-30
  • Source Material []
  • Folksonomies: science skepticism modernism


    01 JAN 2010

     Scientific Virtues

    Memes that define the virtues of science and behaviors that we should emulate.