It’s true. I’m mad. Yet again.
In part one, I confessed that I was mad because I believe in the human race. In part two, I also confessed that I was mad because I believe in science. If those two confessions didn’t convince you of my total commitment to being committed, then this should do it.
For I also believe that it’s possible for science to untangle those things we still think are untangle-able. It’s possible for us to study those things we think are beyond rigorous thought, disciplined definitions, and logically fixed syllogism. Yes, we can study behavior. And not just any behavior – all of it. Anything any living thing does is behavior, and it should be possible for science to study it.
Ah, you say, science already does this! Ah, I respond, not quite. Ask any behavioral scientist for a rigorous definition, for their most important axiom, or their greatest prediction, and not one can answer you. Not the high and mighty economist, and not the lowly sociologist. Not one of them.
Yet, I still believe that it’s possible for science to unravel the mystery that is behavior. The problem isn’t the science, it’s the people posing as scientists. They are the ones that ignore the basics of the scientific process, and as a result humanity suffers.
And this, Gentle Reader, is why I am ultimately mad. I know that it can be done. I know behavior can be unraveled. And if that were not enough, I know that I am capable of taking the first step. I have chosen to speak out and claim aloud, “The emperor has no clothes!” even though everyone else claims he does.
For those of you who don’t know the children’s tale, what this means is that peer pressure is so great it keeps everyone from stating the obvious. Peer pressure is a powerful force, and has kept entire groups of people from enjoying their rights for centuries. Women and the suffrage movement, for example. Or how about minority rights among non-light-skinned people in the US, or those with different attitudes towards sexuality?
I fight this peer pressure. I tell you that humanity is great. I insist that science is the best tool for learning. I tell you that we can study behavior in a truly scientific way. And finally I confess to you that I can take the first step. There. I said it in full.