Science Is Slow And Confusing, And That’s The Point


I suppose science could be a fast thing to do if we didn’t really care about all the things that make science important.

The thing is, science is really hard. Not always technically hard, but just generally a difficult thing to do. It’s because nature isn’t exactly forthcoming when it comes to the secrets of the universe.

Some things are just hard to figure out, and are never immediately obvious. If there is some subtle interaction or small shift, it takes a lot of studious, hard work to tease it out.

The whole point of science is to be as careful as possible. If we’re not careful, then what we’ll see in our results will simply be what we want to see, rather than what actually is. Our biases and prejudices will infiltrate their way into the measurements, into the analysis, and even the data. We won’t reveal nature, only reveal ourselves.

And so the entire apparatus of science is designed to filter out as much bias as humanly possible and arrive at a result that represents nature as accurately as possible.

Sometimes this can take what feels like an eternity. It can take many scientists around the world and even through the decades to arrive at a solid conclusion. And that’s simply the way it is; there is no other way around it. If the results were obvious, they would already be known, and we wouldn’t have to do any research to investigate. We would simply already know.

So yes, science can be slow and confusing and full of blind alleys and contradictory results. If the latest news seems utterly confusing when it comes to science, well then you’re in good company, because it means that the scientists themselves are confused. But this is exactly the place they need to be before they can arrive at a confident answer.

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