imaginary_golux: adult red riding hood and her wolf (wolf)
[personal profile] imaginary_golux
So Best Beloved and I were talking over dinner, as we do, and we got to discussing the scientific method as it relates to right-wing religious wingnuts. I was thinking specifically about a thing from a while back, where a prominent wingnut said something about all porn turning people gay - don't even ask, I dunno - and thinking, okay. Back when I was going through puberty and figuring out my sexual orientation, my thought process went something like this: 'Data point: I am attracted to men. Data point: I am also attracted to women. Conclusion: You know, I think I may be bisexual. Huh, who'd've thunk.'

Whereas if you're in one of those areas where being gay is not an acceptable option, that process might go: 'Conclusion: I cannot be gay. Data point: I am attracted to men. Extrapolation: Some horrible outside force is tainting me and turning me towards the dark side, aiee!'

Which...no. That is not how science works. You're allowed and encouraged to have hypotheses, because those give you a starting point, but when the data does not back up your hypothesis - and I remember this clearly from science class! - you write up a conclusion which says, in essence, "Well whaddaya know, I was wrong, I thought X was true but pretty clearly X is not true, and Z might well be true instead, we should do some more experiments." And then you come up with a hypothesis about Z and start testing *that*.

Now, this is not nearly so easy with self-image and sexuality as it is with chemicals in a lab, and I quite understand that. But I think a lot of things would benefit from being approached with the scientific method: I think X is true. I will gather lots of data to see if I am correct. If I am not correct, well, drat. Better find a new hypothesis!
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