Wednesday, May 19, 2010
Why I don't believe in science.
Science is about change: What we know changes, and the very nature of science is that it changes with new studies, new research, new theories. We once thought the earth was flat or was only 10,000 years old, but now we know the earth is round and 4.5 billion years old. When a new technology is developed and we can use smaller DNA samples, what we know about forensic science or genetics changes. When a new theory of the universe is developed or when the Mars lander sends back pictures, what we know about our universe changes. When a new study confirms that apples are good for us, what we know about nutrition changes.
The sign of a good scientist is a lot of curiosity and an open mind. When questioning is considered heresy, you know you're dealing with belief instead of knowledge. When I see statements like, "I don't believe in research, I believe in my experiences", I know I'm dealing with a true believer with a closed mind. (The plural of anecdote is not data...)
I am open to criticism and questioning. I always say that I gain confidence from my successes, but I learn from my failures. (Always consider a failed recipe as a way of learning what not to do next time!) This is why I appreciate you, my wonderful reader, when you question an inconsistency in a post or a recipe (like the recent writing of AS-90 instead of AS-40 that would have made for an interesting body wash recipe!!!) because it makes me go back to my books and question what I think I know.
Belief is a good thing! I believe Toblerones are delicious (although possibly deadly) chocolate bars. I believe my husband is a kind, intelligent, funny man. I believe my dog is the cutest dog in the world. Although I'd claim these are facts, they're really just my opinions because odds are your husband is the most wonderful, your dog the cutest, and your favourite chocolate bar the best tasting in the world!
In making products, opinions are vital because it's what makes your product different from mine. I like SLeS, you could be avoiding sulfates. I like BTMS, you might prefer cetrimonium bromide. I love rice bran oil, you prefer olive oil. It's those little changes that take a heavy night time cream to a day time lotion or a lotion more suitable for dry skin. If we both make a body wash, mine will likely be suited to my climate and skin type with a different scent and possibly different surfactants. This is what makes cosmetic chemistry really interesting! The backbone of the recipe might stay the same, but the ingredients change with personal preference!
On this blog, the recipes you see reflect my personal preferences, my skin or hair type, and my supplies. I encourage you to try new things according to your personal preferences and philosophy. (And share that information with me because I love seeing how the recipes morph when they are released into the wild!) And I encourage you to learn as much as you can about the products you love - you can't tweak something if you don't know what needs to be tweaked!
Stay curious, question everything, and be prepared for the answers!
As a note, I don't consider myself a scientist. I haven't put in enough hard work or conducted any serious research, which are the dues a scientist must pay to claim that title. I consider myself a chemistry obsessed geek girl!