Science operates based on the philosophy that the truth is knowable if we design experiments correctly, and we do enough of them to rigorously test our hypotheses. And I hope that you know by now that anyone with a keyboard can make stuff up. Peer review is how we test that someone isn’t making things up. Experts in your field have to agree with your conclusions.To me, this is the essential point about science and why science is so valuable and important. In this day and age anyone with access to a computer can write and say anything he or she wants. This blog that I write on costs me nothing and I have total freedom to post anything I want. I try to be accurate and I try to ensure that my claims are true, but basically you only have my word (and your own independent analysis) to go on. Science, by contrast, won't accept anything based on someone's say-so. Instead, science consists of a rigorous set of practices and a methodology to eliminate, as much as possible, human bias and human error. In addition, science has peer review whereby other people examine claims and evidence, and retest to ensure that the results are as accurate as they can be. It is often the case that scientists or doctors are accused of being elitists, or in the pocket of this or that special interest group, but even when these claims are true, the methodology of science and the peer review process can weed out these conflicts of interest and get us as close as possible to the Truth. There is simply no other method that we have that can achieve the same results. And this is why, as Dr. Raff writes, "Your physician knows more than the University of Google."
h/t to Pharyngula