Scientists Should Test and not Assume

There are some things we know because we know them. You know? That is, we have some things we presuppose without verification. When we discover that we had something wrong, we are often surprised. Since this is human nature, it happens in science as well.

Dr Sherry Mayo operating the XuM ultra-high resolution X-ray microscope
Dr Sherry Mayo operating the XuM
ultra-high resolution X-ray microscope

Photo by Mark Fergus for CSIRO (CC BY 3.0)
(Usage does not imply endorsement of site
contents; this is a picture of
a scientist doing science stuff)

If you study on it, things that are taken for granted and "conventional wisdom" can be overturned with a bit of research or testing. Sometimes that startles us reg'lar people, and I reckon it does the same for scientists.

One example is that because of their presuppositions of deep time and evolution, carbon-14 dating of coal, diamonds and other items was slow in happening because they "knew" there would be no carbon in them. There was carbon in them after all, and those of us who support recent creation were vindicated.

Scientists "know" that plastic bags are bad for the environment and allegedly contribute to global warming/climate change. Paper and cloth? Not so much. Someone got the notion to test those ideas, and the results were not as expected. Also, we are told that cattle (including their farms) contribute to global warming. Although people should follow the money because of a possible conflict of interest, some researchers found that if dairy cows were removed, the environmental impact would be small but other significant problems would result.

You can read about these and some other interesting items by following the link to "Science Findings Can Be Counter-Intuitive".