scientia [L] n 1: knowledge 2: science
Current Internet search engines claim to access more than 8 x 109 webpages. Many of the latter are devoted to some aspect of science. Why, then, add more?
causaScientia was created partly because, in spite of free public education, supplemented by millions of words online plus countless TV shows, popular books and magazine articles, to many people science remains an activity perceived, when perceived at all, with doubt and even incredulity. In spite of compelling evidence to the contrary, it is still difficult for a scientist to make any comprehensible, technical statement in public without someone raising the supposedly irrefutable objection, "Yes, but that's just a theory!"
There are, no doubt, psychological as well as socioeconomic reasons why people believe as they do and it would be presumptuous to think that this website might change that to any significant degree. In this regard, we can hope only to be a force in a positive direction. However, there is more specific motivation for causaScientia which derives from the nature of scientists themselves.
As even their critics will concede, scientists are justly renowned for their skepticism. Indeed, the latter trait is often used pejoratively by those inclined to dismiss scientific conclusions. This raises the obvious question: "Why do scientists 'believe' in science?" Is it self-interest, implying a conspiracy of some sort? Is it merely arrogance in another guise? Or do they know a secret that others do not?
This site was created primarily to provide a scientist's perspective on this issue, at length and in detail. For now, suffice it to say that the iconography depicted in our frontispiece is not accidental.
causaScientia focusses on the physical sciences and supporting disciplines. This is not meant to slight the biological sciences. It is simply that answering the question posed above is most easily done by considering those domains that are most obviously quantitative.
This site consists of tutorials, essays, and links to reference material and software. Its intended audience is assumed to comprise reasonably well-read individuals whose grasp of science and mathematics is, perhaps, tenuous but not completely absent. In accordance with our stated goals, and unlike the usual fare proffered to nonspecialists, we shall not omit the technical detail. It will be included and frequently emphasized, wherever appropriate and with suitable elucidation.
The reader will find herein subject matter at different levels of difficulty, some of which should be read in the order presented since explanations are necessarily cumulative. We note this without apology, ever mindful of Albert Einstein's admonition that "Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler."
Verbum sap. sat.
The causaScientia website is expected to grow very slowly. Please be patient while we are Under Construction.
©Michael P. McLaughlin -- This page last updated on 1 February 2005