LETTER: Common sense is not enough

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The Independent Online
JOHN Enderby's view that science is simply a systematic application of common sense to the universe is misleading (Letters, 7 April). So-called common sense is largely intuitive and "obviously true". Like religion it is also authoritative (eg ideas passed on by parents and teachers). By comparison, science may be intuitive, but the intuitions are tested to destruction and the resulting laws and observations are often anti- intuitive. (Results from the theories of relativity and quantum mechanics provide good examples.) The word of authority is not the guiding logic of science; indeed scientists who overthrow cherished theories are rewarded. Common sense is the last resort of the politician who plays to the crowd, rather than following the evidence.

Dr Ron Gardner

Northwich, Cheshire

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