OK, fair’s fair, there’s that whole GENETICS thing; I’m torn–being ginger and gingerist, I’m pro-that-piece; but I’m also sorely tempted to shop them in to Bad Science for this:
For ages now – over a hundred years in fact – there have been too many “reports” and “surveys” and “research” into the fact that the gene for red hair is dying out.
To all believers in and lovers of common sense and proper usage: STOP THE SCARE-QUOTES!!! These are neutral plain straight-forward descriptive terms. And there’s no need for this silly negative connotative loading as soon as there’s mention of anything scientific, methodical, and methodological; let alone having anything to do with actually finding out stuff, researching, searching for knowledge, and generally being proactive in discovering and communicating how and why stuff works. Making sense of the world, inc. humans.
That’s all science is: the word’s been perverted over the last couple of centuries, and other forms of knowledge denigrated and marginalised, with the paradoxical result of those other forms of knowledge distancing themselves further by refusing and rejecting all things scientific.
The method or means empoyed: replacing the usual combination of rational argument + evidence, proof, data, statistics with what’s perceived and proudly propagated as equal and equivalent methodological tools: sarcasm (of the bitchy rather than Wildean sort) + irony (usually as far from Socratic as humanly possible, though).
The end, both desired and actual: positioning oneself as far from science as possible.
The end result: mission accomplished: making themselves less scientific, in the “knowledge” sense. Thus shooting self in foot.
No, says I.
It’s all knowledge. It SHOULD all be scientific. And the words science and scientific should be returned to their natural, intrinsic loading: either neutral or positive.
But there’s always another “side” to every “story,” even to conspiracy theories: