Science Works
Post Reply
 
Thread Rating:
  • 0 Votes - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
24-12-2014, 08:52 AM
Science Works
Apologies, starting a new thread in the hopes we can get a fresh start on the topic of science. Speaking for myself, I'll make a good faith effort to provide more light and less heat.

It has been stated by a number of members that science is an effective tool for developing knowledge. Agreed.

Some members then go on to further state that science is better at developing new knowledge than religion. They seem to claim this makes science superior to religion, apparently upon the assumption that new knowledge is good.

My thesis, summarized here minus my regrettable snarkiness, is as follows:

1) A "more is better" relationship with knowledge has been valid and useful since the dawn of man.

2) This agreed upon historical fact does not automatically equal a "more is better" relationship with knowledge being valid and useful forever.

Here's an example to illustrate my concerns.

Since the beginning of time humans have very reasonably had a "more is better" relationship with food, because humans typically lived on the edge of starvation, and were only one crop failure away from disaster.

We now live in revolutionary times, and for the first time in history huge numbers of people have reliable access to food.

In the developed countries at least, excessive food consumption has become an epidemic of sorts, leading to rampant obesity, diabetes, and a host of other serious ailments.

So, while a "more is better" relationship with food made perfect sense for thousands of years, it's no longer that simple in much of the modern world. For many of us, "less is better" is the new paradigm we need to learn, or we will die.

My argument is....

1) We face essentially the same situation in our relationship with knowledge. The "more is better" relationship with knowledge is now outdated, just as it is with food.

2) Most of our culture is clinging blindly to the ancient "more is better" relationship with knowledge.

3) Part of the reason for this clinging is just an understandable habit developed over thousands of years.

4) Another part of the reason for the clinging to the "more is better" relationship with knowledge is that human beings need to be able to trust that some authority is leading them towards a promised land, and in the modern world science very often plays this role.

Thus, if one challenges the main business of the new trusted authority called science, one is about in the position of those in previous centuries who challenged the authority of the church.

Yes, science is just a tool which produces knowledge. Yes, it is a very effective tool. Yes, it's better at developing new knowledge than religion. We don't need to debate these points, as I believe we all agree on them.

The question I'm hoping you will address is....

Can human beings handle an unlimited amount of new knowledge delivered at ever accelerating rates?

As example, we limit access to knowledge by children, on the reasoning that they don't have the maturity to constructively consume all available information.

Do adult human beings have the maturity to constructively consume whatever new knowledge science will make available?

Are there any limits? Is there any amount of knowledge, or any rate of knowledge development, which is too much?

Or do you feel the "more is better" relationship with knowledge is still the valid paradigm?

If you know of scientists who are asking such questions in earnest it would be very helpful if you could link us to their work. Thanks!
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
24-12-2014, 09:39 AM
RE: Science Works
You could answer these questions a lot better from just reading through the literature than a forum, the questions you want answered have a lot of literature on them, they are better places to look

"A witty quote means nothing"
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
24-12-2014, 09:55 AM
RE: Science Works
(24-12-2014 09:39 AM)tear151 Wrote:  You could answer these questions a lot better from just reading through the literature than a forum, the questions you want answered have a lot of literature on them, they are better places to look

In this thread I hereafter promise to simply ignore all such empty content posts whose only purpose seems to be to somehow establish one poster as being somehow superior to another.

If posters desire to fill this thread too with even more endless piles of blurby ego stroking nothingness, it is their right to do so, and upon becoming fatally bored I will retire from the forum rather than complain any further.

All I'm requesting from members is a good faith effort to add interesting, intelligent, articulate, and relevant content to this thread. A good faith effort is enough, posters of all ages and abilities welcomed, and none of us have to be perfect. A good faith effort, that's all.

On with the show, hopefully...
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
24-12-2014, 11:03 AM
RE: Science Works
(24-12-2014 08:52 AM)Baba Bozo Wrote:  Apologies, starting a new thread in the hopes we can get a fresh start on the topic of science.

Good idea.

(24-12-2014 08:52 AM)Baba Bozo Wrote:  Some members then go on to further state that science is better at developing new knowledge than religion. They seem to claim this makes science superior to religion, apparently upon the assumption that new knowledge is good.

Assumption? So, would you like to live in a cave in the woods, with dead animals skins as clothing, assuming you get to kill one with sticks and sharpened stones as weapons, eating what you manage to kill, not mention you might need to protect yourself and possibly your family from some bear that wants you for dinner?

Also, will you be helping someone to give birth in those conditions, with the chance that it might really go wrong even just for the utter lack of hygiene?

I know it sounds sarcastic, but I'm trying to make a point: if you think knowledge being good is an assumption, then you're ignoring the countless advantages we have gained from it. We are the most successful species on this planet, with many bad aspects sure, but it's only thanks to knowledge if your life expectancy is over 24 years old.

(24-12-2014 08:52 AM)Baba Bozo Wrote:  My thesis, summarized here minus my regrettable snarkiness, is as follows:

1) A "more is better" relationship with knowledge has been valid and useful since the dawn of man.

2) This agreed upon historical fact does not automatically equal a "more is better" relationship with knowledge being valid and useful forever.

1) Not necessarily, it depends on what we're talking about.

2) Agreed upon... by who?

(24-12-2014 08:52 AM)Baba Bozo Wrote:  In the developed countries at least, excessive food consumption has become an epidemic of sorts, leading to rampant obesity, diabetes, and a host of other serious ailments.

I don't really agree. Obesity and the such are not linked to consuming large amounts of food (reasonably of course), but rather linked to consuming unhealthy food.

If you eat fried stuff, every 2 days at fast foods, you shouldn't really expect to keep a fit body or live very long.

(24-12-2014 08:52 AM)Baba Bozo Wrote:  So, while a "more is better" relationship with food made perfect sense for thousands of years, it's no longer that simple in much of the modern world. For many of us, "less is better" is the new paradigm we need to learn, or we will die.

Again, it's not about more or less. Diets that suggest to eat less are not good diets.

Eating less means you deteriorate, you don't just get thinner. The difference should be "eating well", rather than eating bad. Yes I would also prefer to eat chicken and fries every day, but the truth is that a tomato salad would be much better for your body (especially if you're a male).

(24-12-2014 08:52 AM)Baba Bozo Wrote:  2) Most of our culture is clinging blindly to the ancient "more is better" relationship with knowledge.

Indeed, as I have said above, it's a wrong approach.

(24-12-2014 08:52 AM)Baba Bozo Wrote:  4) Another part of the reason for the clinging to the "more is better" relationship with knowledge is that human beings need to be able to trust that some authority is leading them towards a promised land, and in the modern world science very often plays this role.

You're not really describing science there, are you?

(24-12-2014 08:52 AM)Baba Bozo Wrote:  Thus, if one challenges the main business of the new trusted authority called science, one is about in the position of those in previous centuries who challenged the authority of the church.

The success of science is actually due to the opposite. You can refute and challenge any current discovery and knowledge, and you might even win a Nobel prize if you manage to convince everyone.

But we're not talking about simply disagreeing with that particular discovery or that other concept. You need to bring forth evidence of what you say, you need to demonstrate your case.

(24-12-2014 08:52 AM)Baba Bozo Wrote:  Can human beings handle an unlimited amount of new knowledge delivered at ever accelerating rates? [...] Are there any limits? Is there any amount of knowledge, or any rate of knowledge development, which is too much?

Knowledge is not concrete object. It's abstract, it's only a term we use to refer to an abstract concept, only because it's easier to talk about it that way. So, potentially it is unlimited. I don't think it poses any problem. We just discard useless knowledge after all.

(24-12-2014 08:52 AM)Baba Bozo Wrote:  As example, we limit access to knowledge by children, on the reasoning that they don't have the maturity to constructively consume all available information.

We do that because they are not mature enough to deal with the kind of knowledge (such as a violent crime), not because of the amount of it, if you get what I mean.

孤独 - The Out Crowd
Life is a flash of light between two eternities of darkness.
[Image: Schermata%202014-10-24%20alle%2012.39.01.png]
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 5 users Like The Polyglot Atheist's post
24-12-2014, 11:20 AM
RE: Science Works
Bullshit.
Fallacy of the false analogy.
Too much food is not healthy. Too much knowledge is not.
Nice try though, ya bozo.

If YOU were seriously ill, YOU would avail yourself of all the "too much knowledge".
You wouldn't just pray, ya hypocrite.

Insufferable know-it-all.Einstein God has a plan for us. Please stop screwing it up with your prayers.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes Bucky Ball's post
24-12-2014, 11:22 AM
RE: Science Works
Thanks for joining the thread, appreciated.

Quote:Assumption? So, would you like to live in a cave in the woods, with dead animals skins as clothing, assuming you get to kill one with sticks and sharpened stones as weapons, eating what you manage to kill, not mention you might need to protect yourself and possibly your family from some bear that wants you for dinner?

Ok, we are in agreement that we don't want the cave experience. So some science is good, we agree here.

But how much? That's what I'm asking.

When do we reach the point where developing more and more and more knowledge at ever accelerating rates outstrips human maturity and judgment and we can no longer handle all the power that flows from knowledge?

Quote: but I'm trying to make a point: if you think knowledge being good is an assumption, then you're ignoring the countless advantages we have gained from it.

We have obtained countless advantages from food. So should we eat more and more and more food, until maybe we explode?

Quote:2) Most of our culture is clinging blindly to the ancient "more is better" relationship with knowledge.

Quote:Indeed, as I have said above, it's a wrong approach.

Why? Why is clinging blindly to the ancient "more is better" relationship with knowledge the wrong approach?

Quote:You're not really describing science there, are you?

Describing our emerging relationship with science.

Science is not automatically bad, agreed. Believing blindly in science, in a "more is better" way is bad, because we have turned our brains off, and are just followers then.

Quote:The success of science is actually due to the opposite. You can refute and challenge any current discovery and knowledge, and you might even win a Nobel prize if you manage to convince everyone.

Please show us the scientists who are challenging science itself? That is, who are asking if it is wise to keep developing more and more knowledge as fast as we can.

This is a sincere question, not a gotcha comeback. If you know of such folks, I'd be happy to learn about them, and will thank you for it.

If none of us can produce the names of such self questioning scientists, shouldn't that be a warning sign?

Quote:You need to bring forth evidence of what you say, you need to demonstrate your case.

As it stands, what do you see to be my case? Can you paraphrase my case for us in your own words? This might help me modify my statements.

Quote:Knowledge is not concrete object.

Actually it is, but never mind, not important.

Quote:I don't think it poses any problem. We just discard useless knowledge after all.

Um, can you tell us how we might go about discarding the knowledge of nuclear weapons?

Quote:We do that because they are not mature enough to deal with the kind of knowledge (such as a violent crime), not because of the amount of it, if you get what I mean.

Ok, should knowledge be limited for adults too? Or do we have infinite maturity, and are able to constructively handle any and all knowledge, not matter what?

More is better?
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
24-12-2014, 11:24 AM
RE: Science Works
(24-12-2014 09:39 AM)tear151 Wrote:  You could answer these questions a lot better from just reading through the literature than a forum, the questions you want answered have a lot of literature on them, they are better places to look

Ok, my bad, I need to offer a better response to this.

If you can link us to the literature you are referring to, perhaps with quotes of representative samples to make your case, I withdraw my complaint above and apologize for my impatience.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
24-12-2014, 11:34 AM
RE: Science Works
QUESTION OF THE THREAD:

Is there any amount of knowledge, or any rate of knowledge development, which is too much?
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
24-12-2014, 11:39 AM
RE: Science Works
(24-12-2014 11:34 AM)Baba Bozo Wrote:  QUESTION OF THE THREAD:

Is there any amount of knowledge, .... , which is too much?

ANSWER TO THE QUESTION1:

No.

(24-12-2014 11:34 AM)Baba Bozo Wrote:  .....or any rate of knowledge development which is too much?.

ANSWER TO QUESTION2:

What kind of rate do you think is happening? How do you measure it? What yard stick do you put it/place it against? Are you even still talking about the knowledge garnered by science? Or are you attempting to lump in other stuff?



Not nice mushing two questions into one statement so as to go where ever you wish in regards to the responses.

Much cheers to all.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
24-12-2014, 11:41 AM
RE: Science Works
(24-12-2014 11:22 AM)Baba Bozo Wrote:  Ok, we are in agreement that we don't want the cave experience. So some science is good, we agree here. But how much? That's what I'm asking.

Science is a method to discover and understand the world around us. It's good in that way, but there isn't "much" or "few" science, it doesn't make any sense.

(24-12-2014 11:22 AM)Baba Bozo Wrote:  We have obtained countless advantages from food. So should we eat more and more and more food, until maybe we explode?

Lol are you serious?

(24-12-2014 11:22 AM)Baba Bozo Wrote:  Why? Why is clinging blindly to the ancient "more is better" relationship with knowledge the wrong approach?

Using the same approach for everything is not appropriate. I'm a fan of "it depends".

(24-12-2014 11:22 AM)Baba Bozo Wrote:  Describing our emerging relationship with science.

Science is not automatically bad, agreed. Believing blindly in science, in a "more is better" way is bad, because we have turned our brains off, and are just followers then.

Nobody follows science religiously. Believing blindly in anything is bad, but we don't need to do that with science because we have evidence when something is being claimed.

(24-12-2014 11:22 AM)Baba Bozo Wrote:  Please show us the scientists who are challenging science itself? That is, who are asking if it is wise to keep developing more and more knowledge as fast as we can.

I don't think that's a proper question. I think that improving our knowledge is good. Knowledge of how the universe works, how to fight diseases, or even understanding the brain better.

You challenge the discoveries. That's going to productive, who cares about challenging the scientific method (that's what you're asking for), since it's probably the most useful thing humans ever invented?

(24-12-2014 11:22 AM)Baba Bozo Wrote:  
Quote:Knowledge is not concrete object.

Actually it is, but never mind, not important.

You just claimed that knowledge is concrete, can you show it?

(24-12-2014 11:22 AM)Baba Bozo Wrote:  Um, can you tell us how we might go about discarding the knowledge of nuclear weapons?

That's not what I was talking about. I said that you cannot have too much information in your brain, since it discards useless information for you. Do you remember everything that you have ever experienced?

孤独 - The Out Crowd
Life is a flash of light between two eternities of darkness.
[Image: Schermata%202014-10-24%20alle%2012.39.01.png]
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes The Polyglot Atheist's post
Post Reply
Forum Jump: