Objectivity in science
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09-04-2013, 08:09 AM
Objectivity in science
So, I'm doing this seminar on ethics, politics and gender, and the other day the debate drifted to the objectivity in science and, more specifically, the objectivity in the product of scientific inquiry.
Bare in mind that everyone in this seminar come from a social sciences background.
They started from an example from a book that explained how sexism and gender bias can affect the interpretation of data, it talked about how the idea of the sperm penetrating the egg (male superiority) lead to biologist be confused for some time on how the sperm achieved that (now we know is actually the egg who "choose" the sperm, to say it simple).
So far so good.

The problem started when I said that in some sciences, specially the more hard sciences like physics and such, are more impervious to this kind of bias because the object itself and the data it produces doesn't allow for that kind of wrong interpretation. And all hell broke loose and shit started to fall on me Tongue

I acknowledge that physicists and mathematicians are biased in a myriad of aspects, and that those biases can affect the course of investigations, but I insist that even after that initial skew, the knowledge produced is objectively true and is not stained by prejudice. At least in those hard sciences, there are some disciplines that are actually prone to prejudice (every social dicsipline) and some are not so immune (medicine for instance) but there're some that are, if not absolutely, mostly objective.

Am I so wrong? opinions? Consider

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09-04-2013, 08:33 AM
RE: Objectivity in science
There's a truism: there ain't no such animal as "non-biased." Tongue

The scientific method explains both sides of the issue. One, the chosen experiment demonstrates the bias of the experimenter. Yet, two, repeatability, tends to remove previous bias.

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09-04-2013, 08:55 AM
RE: Objectivity in science
science and even science that is based in mathematics isn't unbiased.

Remember, during the 90's new mathematical computing software was made to compute and figure all of the economic data and predict economic models, these predictions turned out to be totally wrong and didn't figure in any economic recession.

Science, mainly quantum mechanics and other sciences that are mainly based in mathematical formulas apparently forgot the whole economic meltdown thing.

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09-04-2013, 08:59 AM
RE: Objectivity in science
(09-04-2013 08:55 AM)I and I Wrote:  science and even science that is based in mathematics isn't unbiased.

Remember, during the 90's new mathematical computing software was made to compute and figure all of the economic data and predict economic models, these predictions turned out to be totally wrong and didn't figure in any economic recession.

Science, mainly quantum mechanics and other sciences that are mainly based in mathematical formulas apparently forgot the whole economic meltdown thing.

Drinking Beverage

But the math wasn't wrong, what was wrong was the economic theory or the models.
Besides, I think it's hard to consider economy as an exact science, it has to many sociological components. And how a economic meltdown would affect a quantum physicist's investigation?

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09-04-2013, 09:24 AM
RE: Objectivity in science
(09-04-2013 08:59 AM)nach_in Wrote:  
(09-04-2013 08:55 AM)I and I Wrote:  science and even science that is based in mathematics isn't unbiased.

Remember, during the 90's new mathematical computing software was made to compute and figure all of the economic data and predict economic models, these predictions turned out to be totally wrong and didn't figure in any economic recession.

Science, mainly quantum mechanics and other sciences that are mainly based in mathematical formulas apparently forgot the whole economic meltdown thing.

Drinking Beverage

But the math wasn't wrong, what was wrong was the economic theory or the models.
Besides, I think it's hard to consider economy as an exact science, it has to many sociological components. And how a economic meltdown would affect a quantum physicist's investigation?

I think the economic models were based on mathematical calculations and these were wrong because mathematics can't predict or determine an outcome on things that have many variables, like the randomness of shit happening in space or the economy.
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09-04-2013, 09:26 AM
RE: Objectivity in science
(09-04-2013 09:24 AM)I and I Wrote:  
(09-04-2013 08:59 AM)nach_in Wrote:  But the math wasn't wrong, what was wrong was the economic theory or the models.
Besides, I think it's hard to consider economy as an exact science, it has to many sociological components. And how a economic meltdown would affect a quantum physicist's investigation?

I think the economic models were based on mathematical calculations and these were wrong because mathematics can't predict or determine an outcome on things that have many variables, like the randomness of shit happening in space or the economy.

randomness and uncertainty are hard to deal with, so people like to believe everything or most things are stable and can be predicted or known, hence science and religion.
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09-04-2013, 09:36 AM
RE: Objectivity in science
(09-04-2013 08:55 AM)I and I Wrote:  science and even science that is based in mathematics isn't unbiased.

Remember, during the 90's new mathematical computing software was made to compute and figure all of the economic data and predict economic models, these predictions turned out to be totally wrong and didn't figure in any economic recession.

Science, mainly quantum mechanics and other sciences that are mainly based in mathematical formulas apparently forgot the whole economic meltdown thing.

Drinking Beverage


It is amusing that you think economics is a science.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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09-04-2013, 09:36 AM
RE: Objectivity in science
(09-04-2013 08:09 AM)nach_in Wrote:  So, I'm doing this seminar on ethics, politics and gender, and the other day the debate drifted to the objectivity in science and, more specifically, the objectivity in the product of scientific inquiry.
Bare in mind that everyone in this seminar come from a social sciences background.
They started from an example from a book that explained how sexism and gender bias can affect the interpretation of data, it talked about how the idea of the sperm penetrating the egg (male superiority) lead to biologist be confused for some time on how the sperm achieved that (now we know is actually the egg who "choose" the sperm, to say it simple).
So far so good.

The problem started when I said that in some sciences, specially the more hard sciences like physics and such, are more impervious to this kind of bias because the object itself and the data it produces doesn't allow for that kind of wrong interpretation. And all hell broke loose and shit started to fall on me Tongue

I acknowledge that physicists and mathematicians are biased in a myriad of aspects, and that those biases can affect the course of investigations, but I insist that even after that initial skew, the knowledge produced is objectively true and is not stained by prejudice. At least in those hard sciences, there are some disciplines that are actually prone to prejudice (every social dicsipline) and some are not so immune (medicine for instance) but there're some that are, if not absolutely, mostly objective.

Am I so wrong? opinions? Consider

I don't think anyone in tune with reality would argue that scientists are exempt from bias, whether it has to do with the objectivity of a finding they discovered, or the accepted laws observed to be true. The fascinating thing about science is the process of which the product is then reviewed, multiple scientists from several different sciences, a variety of backgrounds, and from numerous countries all retest the conclusions any science ultimately concludes. It may not ensure objectivity, but it definitely ensures a firmer grasp on the reality. There is no such thing as objectivity regardless, as nothing is possibly 100% correct.

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09-04-2013, 09:38 AM
RE: Objectivity in science
(09-04-2013 09:24 AM)I and I Wrote:  
(09-04-2013 08:59 AM)nach_in Wrote:  But the math wasn't wrong, what was wrong was the economic theory or the models.
Besides, I think it's hard to consider economy as an exact science, it has to many sociological components. And how a economic meltdown would affect a quantum physicist's investigation?

I think the economic models were based on mathematical calculations and these were wrong because mathematics can't predict or determine an outcome on things that have many variables, like the randomness of shit happening in space or the economy.

The mathematics aren't wrong, the model is wrong. Not the same thing.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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09-04-2013, 09:39 AM
RE: Objectivity in science
(09-04-2013 09:36 AM)Logica Humano Wrote:  There is no such thing as objectivity regardless, as nothing is possibly 100% correct.

You are 100% correct.Drinking Beverage

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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