Re: @Trevor_Pott - Questions And Statements, Valid And Otherwise
"So in the span of a few short words you've managed to go from the correct idea that scientific theories are provisional and subject to change (in consequence of the acquisition of better data, different interpretations of the data or of the pre-existing theories on which the theory under discussion is built, or simply in consequence of someone having newer and maybe better ideas), to the completely erroneous idea that science has arrived at something which you seem to think is very, very close to an incontrovertible truth."
No, I think what's key here is that you seem to believe that a very - very - small possibility that the current theory is false means that, somehow, it is almost inevitable that this will be proven wrong.
I am not taking any offence at all to your asking what is the current state of knowledge. What i took offence to was your request that things be know "beyond a doubt". KNowing anything "beyond a doubt" is utter horseshit, yet that seems to be the standard you require before you believe something.
If anyone is "pompous" here, it's you.
You clearly have an agenda and are determined to see others agree with it, though you're attempting to wrap it up in inquisitiveness.
Contrary to your bogus assertions, I do not believe that we have arrived at "The Truth" at all, because I don't share your irrational requirement for knowledge to be "beyond a doubt". I am, however, entirely content to look at the evidence, say "the possibility that we're wrong about this is irrelevantly small" and move on to building on that knowledge to ask newer questions and learn more things.
You're like a creationist screaming that we shouldn't set about working on new isotopic dating methods because we haven't proven "beyond a doubt" that the Earth isn't only 6000 years old. With perhaps a handful of exceptions, the entire scientific community is perfectly happy with the evidence that the Earth is way the hell older than 6000 years, and is ready to put it's time and effort into getting more accurate information about just how old, and the details of it's evolution.
Similarly, here we are with a scientific community that is pretty chill with the idea that Mars has a wet past, but you're demanding "beyond a doubt" evidence. Most scientists aren't trying to prove Mars had a wet past any more, they accept that it had one. They're not trying to find out how wet, and over what periods, and what the conditions were in those waters, how long did it last, etc?
So, do I find your "stop science, I don't think we're sure beyond a doubt" to be utter fucking horseshit? Absolutely. Do I accept that we've got this "wet Mars" thing taped enough to stop working on if Mars was wet and start working on how wet Mars was? Again: absolutely.
Search hard enough, and you'll find someone with a science degree who will claim the Earth must be younger than 6000 years. If any when they can explain away all the evidence that leads the majority of scientists to accept the more mainstream theory of 4.6B (+/- 0.2B) years, I might listen to the Young Earth types.
Similarly, I am sure you can find a scientist to claim Mars couldn't possibly have been wet. If and when they can explain away all the evidence that leads the majority of scientists to accept the more mainstream theory of "wet Mars", I might listen to the Dry Mars types.
And if you don't like that, blow it out yer arse.