I have noticed a disturbing trend of late. I had seen examples of it for many years but recently it has been popping up daily. And I am sure you have seen it as well.
Primarily on scientific Facebook pages or blogs on like topics, there will invariably be some commenter that invokes the laws. As in, “That’s stupid. It violates the first law of…” whatever.
The rudeness of the commenter is certainly obvious but another part of this trend is subtler and far more unsettling.
When has arrogance replaced skepticism?
Do these people actually think that “Laws” are somehow sacrosanct and cannot be broken? That they are somehow set in stone from time immemorial and tell us what we can and cannot do?
I certainly hope not!
Like it says in the wiki on “Scientific law”: “Like theories and hypotheses, laws make predictions (specifically, they predict that new observations will conform to the law), and can be falsified if they are found in contradiction with new data.”
So any law has the possibility of being invalidated under certain conditions and pending new discoveries.
A law is not superior to fact. Nor can a law invalidate a premise. And a theory cannot invalidate another theory. This should not be too hard to grasp.
The use of these terms in such cavalier a fashion is usually done in a pejorative manner to imply the intended victim is somehow unintelligent.
I am sure it makes them seem like they know ALL about “science” and how sharp their keen intellect really is but it actually shows the opposite: a dogmatic, rote-educated intellect of limited conceptual capacity.
They find it is so very much easier to point a finger and yell “stupid!” than to actually think.
That said, there is a place for skepticism but for the life of me I cannot find a proper place for rudeness.