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Thread by @kaclk: "Can I have a moment to talk about science? Articles like this that equate “traditional knowledge” with science are a disservice to science. […]"

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Can I have a moment to talk about science?

Articles like this that equate “traditional knowledge” with science are a disservice to science. yesmagazine.org/planet/how-ind…
Also, I’m sorry to be a party pooper, but there’s no such thing as indigenous science (unless that’s a sub-area of some social science discipline).

Science is science, anything that uses the scientific method is science, anything that doesn’t isn’t science.
If something is proven to be science then it’s just science, similar to if “alternative medicines” work then they’re just medicines.
Science isn’t based off of knowing that there are casual relationships between things, it’s understanding *why* there’s a casual relationship that makes something science.

For example, stars cause light because of photons created by nuclear fusion reactions in their core.
The example given in this article are not science, they’re survival skills or things that have been discovered without explanation of how they work.

Without understanding how something works, that’s not science.
Just because you know that throwing a fish carcass helps the river doesn’t make you a scientist. It means you know something, but the science is understanding the relationship between nitrogen in the carcass and it’s affect on aquatic ecosystems.
Traditional knowledge can certainly open new areas for science to investigate, but that’s the thing: they are still investigated. They are not themselves science facts, not if there is no causal link established (causal, not mere correlation).
Like I’m sorry, but knowing which plants to eat isn’t science, it’s Darwinism, it’s survival of which people know that eating that plant won’t kill you. The science is knowing this plant kills you because of toxins and that plant is good because of nutrients.
And again, traditional knowledge can lead science in the right direction, but so that science can do its sciencing: testing hypothesis, analyzing data, figuring out why something is the way it is, not just that it is.
Because the real gift of science is understanding *why* something is the way it’s is, because it allows us to transplant that knowledge to totally different conditions and improve upon existing inventions and practices. Science allows us to move forward past the past.
Like if there is something in traditional knowledge that says that such and such a plant has healing properties, that’s something we should be investigating (it’s also basically the history of medicine, we find random things that work, like acetaminophen).
But it’s also possible that’s it’s just a placebo, we can’t be sure unless we run trials on it.

Both options are possible. After you test the hypothesis in a rigours way (double blind trials), they you can say for certain, then you can say scientifically.
(I also say this because I have a background in Philosophy of Science. Things like Naïve empiricism isn’t science, they’re just stumbling upon things at random)
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