The Fundamental Difference Between Science And Engineering

Whenever you hear the consensus of scientists agrees on something or other, reach for your wallet, because you’re being had.

Michael Crichton

I have degrees and many years professional experience in both science and engineering.

Scientists take comfort in long lists of prior research which supports their position. For most academics, it doesn’t matter if they are wrong or right.  There are no consequences for being wrong, particularly if they have consensus to hide behind. There are no consequences for scientists who bring money into their university. Only for those who don’t.

Engineers do the exact opposite. They assume that everyone before them was incompetent, until proven otherwise. Engineers have to, because lives depend on getting it right. There are no appeals to authority or excuses when a bridge falls down, or a product fails to work properly.

Once a train wreck like climate science gets started, it is difficult to stop. Because the long list of worthless peer-reviewed references keeps getting longer, and the money supporting the junk science keeps increasing.

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32 Responses to The Fundamental Difference Between Science And Engineering

  1. Gummans Gubbe says:

    The train wreck called “climate science” goes deeper than that. They did get busted with the “climate gate” emails. As you have shown they are changing their data.

    I bet any major “news” organization could end this in a month.

    Connie Hedegaard, Europe’s most senior climate change official;
    “Let’s say that science, some decades from now, said ‘we were wrong, it was not about climate’, would it not in any case have been good to do many of things you have to do in order to combat climate change?.”

  2. MGJ says:

    Agreed and well articulated.
    It’s for this reason I recommend young people to study Engineering rather than science as such. There’s no hiding from objective reality in Engineering. Ayn Rand gives a magnificent description in Atlas Shrugged of what happens when Engineering meets post modernist thinking.

  3. Dave Ward says:

    “There are no consequences for scientists who bring money into their university. Only for those who don’t.”

    Those few words alone do more to explain the global warming scam than anything else! If only there was a way to make them appear as headlines in EVERY newspaper…

  4. Landscape Architects are trained in all things for 4th Dimension.
    Mere P.Es. & Archies are not equipped to succeed long term only problem save, not solve.
    We are the 2nd oldest profession but our role has been diminished by politics.
    FDR promised to “put a ‘Planner’ in every Town. “Planners” were invented during 1930s these box checkers had no reality experience & needed a PE brain react.
    Ask President to put a Landscape Architect in every Town. Every Symphony needs a Conductor not just competing specialists. We have been reduced to being consulted last instead of first. “Parsely ’round the Pig” as in this ugly misplaced structure needs a tad of curtness to hide it a bit.

  5. arn says:

    The difference between science and engineering is the difference between

    integrity and loyalty

    observing and seeing

    understanding and knowing

    effeciency and effectivness

    and the lack of punishment/consequences is why they can do what they do.
    If illegals would be sent to those politicians,celebrities and high income educated idiots in gated communities and would be threatening their jobs
    as they threaten the jobs of blue collar workers(there is a reason why brexit or trump voters belong to this group) these hypocrits would instantly change their behaviour,
    they”d do the things to save their status and jobs as they do now when tzey come up with new apocalyptic scenarios to keep taxpayers money flowing.

  6. Anon says:

    I am a scientist and I would agree with you. We are at the point now where “truth” is determined by the political left. Science was useful to them when it could topple things like religiously ordered hierarchies but has become a thorn in their side when it makes evident certain realities that conflict with their politically determined truth. As scientific output is often only a piece of paper, this makes the discipline particularly susceptible to corruption. And what I have noticed is that when scientists see this happening for political purposes it is only one small step to extend the corruption for economic purposes and personal gain; if they can get away with it.

    The “problem” with engineering is that it needs needs to produce a “real world product” at the end of the process and is hence constricted by this reality. Not that engineers are immune from trying if given the chance, human nature is human nature after-all, but they are much more likely to be exposed.

    The photo below is an example of “peer review” in the engineering field.

    If anyone wants to get into the specifics of what is systemically happening to scientific field, I recommend this article by Richard S. Lindzen. He talks about climate change but what he says is applicable to a lot of other scientific disciplines as well:

    Climate Science: Is it currently designed to answer questions?

    Although the focus of this paper is on climate science, some of the problems pertain to science more generally.

    http://blog.friendsofscience.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/Lindzen12-March-ClimateScienceNOTansweringQ.pdf

    Engineering Peer Review:

    https://www.engineering.com/Blogs/tabid/3207/ArticleID/410/categoryId/4/Ever-see-a-12-story-building-just-fall-over.aspx

  7. TEH says:

    Why this sudden attack on Engineers? As a Mechanical Engineer who has followed this website closely for sometime, I am taken back by these unprovoked and untrue, stereotype statements. While I completely agree with the climatology content of this website and even the conservative political background , dragging Engineers into the discussion only to be slammed – as liken to kicking something or someone when you are angry. It serves no purpose but to alienate a supportive group of scientists. Because yes, that is what many Engineers are, practicing scientists.

    I assure you most Engineers do not, “assume that everyone before them was incompetent, until proven otherwise.”
    What an incredibly false statement!!

    • tonyheller says:

      Good luck with that approach

      • Gator says:

        He’s no ramblin’ wreck.

      • TEH says:

        What approach?
        At 62 years young and having practiced as an Engineer in the energy field, I am still confused as to why Engineers were brought into a climate discussion and “kicked” about? I follow this website daily and agree with everything tonyheller posts regarding fake man-made climate change. However to attack an entire science-based profession is unfounded.

    • Frank K. says:

      assure you most Engineers do not, “assume that everyone before them was incompetent, until proven otherwise.”
      What an incredibly false statement!!

      The designer of the Tacoma Narrows Bridge probably designed the structure using proven engineering practices of the time. But…

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tacoma_Narrows_Bridge

    • Anon says:

      I think you are taking Tony verbatim, when he was just using a figure of speech. I believe he meant to say that engineers can’t afford to just rely on a figure or calculation reported in some journal, but must check its veracity; as a mistake in engineering often can’t be rectified by a simple mea-culpa and journal retraction. Thus the engineering standards tend to be higher and I would imagine that all good engineers might regard all third party calculations and figures with suspicion until personally verified?

      • Andy says:

        “he was just using a figure of speech.

        What, on a science blog?

        Hmmm, slippy slope. Not sure a scientist would agree to that approach

    • spike55 says:

      An Engineer get’s something wrong, they can lose their career.

      Quadruple check everything, then assume there is still something not 100% right, and check again. You have to assume not only that previous Engineers made errors, but that you also have made errors.

      A climate scientist gets something wrong, they getting more funding and become famous.

      @THE.. I can’t see where anyone “slammed” engineers. (except where they goofed up in a fairly monumental way. )

      Building looks like a major geotechnical engineering failure.

      • Gator says:

        Hank Johnson wants to know if the building became overpopulated.

      • Anto says:

        I have 5 globally recognised computer models that assure me it’s still standing and has parking for 200 cars.

      • Andy says:

        “An Engineer get’s something wrong, they can lose their career.

        Quadruple check everything, then assume there is still something not 100% right, and check again. You have to assume not only that previous Engineers made errors, but that you also have made errors.”

        How many bridges have fallen down since Einsteins theory of special relativity.

        To the nearest hundred

        Andy

    • R Shearer says:

      The commentary was complimentary of engineers on whole, compared to somewhat denigrating scientists. I can see your point but also Tony’s. As a scientist that’s worked mostly in industry, I would say that science in industry is very much objective, but that in academics suffers from leftism but not anywhere as bad as in the humanities.

      I’m conflicted. All of these things overlap to one degree or another and generalizations might be accurate overall but still be unfair. Frankly, I find engineering to be on the boring side, but I delight in helping engineers to solve engineering problems by the application of science. We can work well together.

  8. Robert Austin says:

    To be granted a license to practice professional engineering, I had to write an examination in engineering ethics. And I am pretty certain that most engineering license granting organizations have a written code of ethics. Indeed, an engineer can be censured for violating their code of ethics. In contrast, the code of ethics for scientists is unwritten. Just a vague allusion to the “scientific method” and “pursuit of truth”.

  9. oeman50 says:

    “Whenever you hear the consensus of scientists agrees on something or other, reach for your wallet, because you’re being had.” -MC

    When I studied science, reaching a consensus was not described as part of the scientific method. I have participated in many an engineering meeting where I challenged the consensus and was later found to be correct. MC is right.

  10. Andy says:

    Tony,

    How many bridges have fallen down since Einsteins theory of special relativity?

    To the nearest 100

    Andy

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