Scientific reasoning, as I understand it, is the antithesis of blind faith in authority.
A scientifically minded thinker investigates things for himself and rarely, if ever, settles important questions by taking someone’s word for it.
A scientist understands the age old adage that sincerity is not a substitute for truth; that someone’s honest belief in an idea doesn’t make the idea correct.
To be scientific, one must be willing to follow the evidence wherever it leads-even if the hard data leads one in the opposite direction of his cherished biases.
Now that I’ve spelled out all the obvious stuff about science, here’s the most important, and frequently overlooked, component of scientific reasoning:
Having scientific beliefs isn’t the same as thinking scientifically about the beliefs you have.
At the heart of science, is the assertion of one’s right and responsibility to question, experiment, and scrutinize things for himself.
Placing unquestioned faith in the pronouncements of scientists is just a fancier, smarter sounding version of the blind faith game.
If you’re not looking at the evidence for yourself, in spite of the fact that your beliefs are approved by the scientific community, then you’re not practicing science; you’re practicing blind faith in the judgments made by scientists.
Don’t just believe in science. Be scientific.