- Apr 17, 2012
Every person that has some kind of college degree should know scientific methods. Of course, I might overlook something, but even "official" scientists do. And they do it very often, that's why we get researchs on same subjects with totally different results. But if you ever read a scientific work you know it's mostly talking about methods used in experiment. Results and explanation are often taking up very small part of whole publication. There's a reason behind that, it makes other people think where I was wrong and do it better. Or even make their own conclusions based on my work. That's how science works. Reiterating, questioning and experimentation.The other thing is that "official" researchers are trained to execute controlled studies. It is such a difficult thing to do- to ensure that the results you are getting are really what you think they are, that we not only do it as many independent ways as we can BUT we also have countless examples of MAJOR oversights that our training did not teach us to think about, we were too excited to notice, etc. So if someone who is genuinely trying to understand something and has long term training and practice has difficulty executing a meaningful study then it is almost absurd to expect a lay person to be able to just throw together some project in their basement. It does happen but it is so infrequent that we hear about it when it does. Kind of like when a credentialed scientist intentionally fudges data. It does happen, but so infrequently that it is news-worthy. The more common case is simply drawing conclusions that aren't exactly represented by the data you gather. We do this very assignment with "real" papers all the time with students, at least once a week- read this "legitimate" publication from X highly reputed journal, tell me what it says and tell me why it shouldn't have said that. That's generally why we work in teams from an assortment of specialties, right? To avoid oversights that people from other backgrounds would/will catch.
You can set up some project in your basement and call your self an "official scientist" and a "lab" if you want, but no one will believe you until someone else in a more controlled setting with verifiable training can reproduce your results. In all likelihood, unless you are one of those very rare cases, they won't be able to or will be able to find a myriad of other obvious explanations for what you are seeing counter to what you concluded.
And who says I can't set up controlled setting? We live in time of free information. I can gather college level knowledge from almost any field you can think of. Of course, it will take time, but I myself spend on average more than 4 hours a day learning even though I'm not going to school anymore and am working full time.