Scientific Humility

0
3060

I was listening to NPR a while back and there was a segment about the Great Dying 250 million years ago.

There is a new theory that purports the die-off of the dinosaurs wasn’t as cataclysmic as previously thought. Most traditional theories have either an asteroid or volcanic event as the main cause, but this new theory posits that the die-off might have been more subtle. They are wondering if an increase in prolekytes that gave off more methane than normal, which added more carbon dioxide to the atmosphere, might be a theoretical cause to the Great Dying. These theorists were unconvinced with the evidence of an asteroid or volcano. They feel that this new theory better explains the fossil record and the huge increase in carbon at the time.

It’s fascinating that these new theories are often communicated as fact and less with appropriate scientific humility such as:

“We don’t know because we weren’t there, but perhaps it could have been this…”

I would appreciate more humbly stated theoretical ideas rather than this is how it happened. Perhaps the scientists have theoretical humility themselves, but when their theories get published or reported, the humility gets stripped away.

By the way, Christians should speak with hermeneutical humility as well!