Past Meetup

Skeptics Supper Central - Scientific Disagreements

This Meetup is past

20 people went

Every 3rd Wednesday of the month

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Details

This month, let's discuss what happens when reasonable scientists disagree. This isn't like our previous discussion, where "scientists" who support creationism make things up in order to "disagree" with secular scientists, this topic is centered on how scientists professionally disagree. Kicking it off was an article Randall sent me about competing theories regarding the mass extinction of dinosaurs around 66 million years ago. Was it an asteroid impact which decimated the dinosaurs? Or was the extinction underway before that event? See:

https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2018/09/dinosaur-extinction-debate/565769/

What about Lynn Margulis and the argument that eukaryotic cells evolved from the symbiosis of more than one living entity?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Symbiogenesis

When scientists disagree, what biases come into play? Note that in the two examples above, both proponents of challenging hypotheses/theories were female. What role did gender play in the greater resistance to those ideas? We often state that science changes its mind with new evidence, but this is no absolute or immediate shift in support. What causes scientific revolutions to finally snowball into acceptance of better ideas and how does the gender/race of those arguing those new ideas come into play?

Let's discuss the making of new scientific ideas into accepted theories and all the ways in which science balances evidence-based shifts with resistance to sudden change.