Two concepts to help upgrade our definition of science. 🔬
Everybody agrees that there are a ton of things which people believe in to have some basis in science but don’t. This agreement is however limited to what somebody else believes in and not they themselves. Applying the scientific method to everything that we come across is not possible. We as individuals have neither the resources nor would our experience as a single data point count for anything more than an anecdote. There are two concepts to help us check if what we believe in would even qualify to be evaluated by the scientific method.
The first is “correlation does not imply causation”. Just because two things are found to be correlated, it does not mean one is the cause of the other. The more popular version of it is a similar fallacy, an event that followed another was necessarily a consequence of the first event. For example, you bought a car on a Saturday and then later met with an accident. Drawing a conclusion that every time someone buys a car on Saturday will definitely meet with an accident is believing the correlation is causation without proof and hence false. You washed your hair on a Tuesday and then failed in an upcoming exam. Does not imply everyone who washes their hair on a Tuesday will fail their exam. The accident and exam have more to do with your lack of preparation than anything else. Key is to not be driven by fear and learn to accept personal responsibility.
The second is every theory should be “falsifiable”. Whatever you believe to be true should also be theoretically proven as false. This sounds counter intuitive at first but very powerful once you understand it. An easy way to theoretically prove that gravity does not exist is by saying if I jump off the roof, I will not fall down. However, the real world does not let you prove that because you will in fact fall down if you jump. Let us apply this to a widely accepted theory. Wish fulfilment temples are popular across all cultures. The theory states if you go to the temple and follow a certain process, your wish will be fulfilled. This can however not be proven false in any situation. If you follow the process and wish is fulfilled, the temple works. If the wish is not fulfilled, you did not follow the process correctly. If you followed the process correctly, you did not put in enough personal effort towards the goal (more popularly known as God helps those who help themselves). If you followed the process and put in enough personal effort, it was not in your destiny for the wish to be fulfilled. The temple however still works. The temple is not falsifiable.
These two concepts help get rid of most superstitions. Concepts which have even some possibility of being proven true will not fail them.