To play the part of CONTRARIAN is not synonymous with playing the part of a fool but perhaps more like playing the "devil's advocate" or ADVOCATUS DIABOLI. A contrarian is someone who can remain skeptical of the accepted popular or consensus conclusions in science on the ground that there is still too much uncertainty (or not enough certainty) to make a permanent decision. This process can be used to test the quality of the original argument and identify weaknesses in its structure. For those skeptical of Contrarians, it is fully understood that in the vast majority of modern cases, scientific consensus can be expected to hold up under scrutiny precisely because the decision was reached through a lengthy and rigorous process of professional skepticism and criticism. May the truth permit us to pursue a liberty divided from ignorance; aside from craziness; and, for the sheer spite to insanity.
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