Beyond Intuition

Razib Khan builds off the arguments in Michael Specter's new book:

[S]erious problems emerge when our intuitive prejudices push themselves into the scientific domain. Natural science has over the past few centuries has proven itself to be a marvel not by extension of our intuition, but contravention of that intuition resulting in an even closer fit to reality (contrast Newtonian physics with "folk physics").** Humans have always had engineering in the form of tinkering with technology. But the last two centuries of productivity growth through mechanical improvements have been based in part on the rise of science as a theoretical framework which allows for more than trial & error experimentation guided by intuition. Science allows us to stand on the shoulders of giants, no matter how bizarre or counterintuitive their theories are, because they are judged not on plausibility but predictivity.