My husband and I have an ongoing discussion/game/thought experiment about what technologies we would actually be able to bring with us if we found ourselves suddenly back in time. (Especially if we stayed in the same place and had the opportunity to warn Native tribes about what was coming) After all, neither of us knows how to make a cell phone or an airplane. As a fiber artist and woodworker, I’m pretty sure I could make a spinning wheel given enough time, but odds are they already have those. My husband went to an engineering school, so while he doesn’t know much about metallurgy, he’s pretty sure that he could help an experienced blacksmith reproduce a variety of simple machines.
But one that we realized we both had in our ability to share was the modern scientific method. More than any invention of a physical gadget, the scientific method transformed our society and rapidly accelerated scientific and technological advancement.
What makes science different from most standards of belief or thought is its constant attempts to prove itself wrong. Indeed, many philosophers of science have argued that if there’s no theoretical way to prove a claim false, it can’t be considered science. Hypotheses only gain scientific credibility after they survive numerous attempts to prove them wrong. Just imagine if we applied that standard to political thought!