Sociology of science (Kuhn's Structure of Scientific Revolutions)
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13-12-2013, 06:15 PM
RE: Sociology of science (Kuhn's Structure of Scientific Revolutions)
(13-12-2013 10:12 AM)Luminon Wrote:  That is a virtue which makes life easier. However, I think the global society is now in state of crisis and what was pragmatic before changes very quickly. Old notions of practicality become outdated. If you learn anything from the qualitative sociology, learn this at least. You surely know that an economy can not run on financial speculation alone. You know that what we think of as money is an invention of the Federal Reserve Bank 40 years ago and it's a catastrophe for the very near future. You know that human workforce is technologically obsolete and most human jobs are not productive.
Sociology has the unenviable role of Gandalf the grey, an unwelcome messenger of bad news.
I'm not sure whether I agree with that last part. I can see why you would say that about jobs which can easily be replaced by machines, but those are not in the majority. Think of doctors, lawyers, engineers, scientists and policemen, just to name a few.

(13-12-2013 10:12 AM)Luminon Wrote:  If you say it's pipe dream, then you don't really know much about the current developments. We are moving towards The Venus Project by a huge rate of automating jobs away. The problem is, as long as we use money, this is going to cause catastrophe. The ironical thing is, the well-known institutions like corporations, families and military all have an internal organization that is resource-based and not price-based. Monetary market is a very inefficient arrangement and no stand-alone institution uses it internally, except perhaps stock exchanges.
Why, stick me in a dress and call me Sally, if it happens to be implemented within my lifetime; I know I'm not going to hold my breath. I don't understand why you consider the automation of manual labor jobs as something new or significant though; it has been happening since the Industrial Revolution. The jobs I mentioned above and many others cannot yet be replaced by machines.

(13-12-2013 10:12 AM)Luminon Wrote:  That depends, what do you consider as evidence? The longest discussion I've ever had was with an anarcho-capitalist. He had a paradigm in which he only accepted rational evidence, such as mathematical proofs. He did not understand empiricism.
This is not your case of course, but the paradigm you have may only allow you to make certain kinds of observations and not others. If you shared mine, these observations would be self-evident basic premises. So we really have to find out what do you mean by evidence.
You repeatedly claimed to know about the personal motivation of individual scientists and their world views. As a sociologist in training, you really ought to know how to substantiate a claim like that. In support of these assertions, you could have, for example, provided me with a piece of opinion research in form of a representative study.

(13-12-2013 10:12 AM)Luminon Wrote:  Because they all refer to the same thing, society. And if you really want to know how something looks like, you look at it from multiple angles of view. Technical professions use a front view, side view and top-down view to get down a basic scheme for production. Sociologists use different paradigms. The thing may look entirely different from these views, but it's still the same thing. And you need a synthetic thinking to realize that.
Also, multiple paradigms are an opportunity for students to make works of comparison, searching for middle ground, unification and so on.
How are the natural sciences any different in that regard? All of them refer to nature and examine it from different angles.

(13-12-2013 10:12 AM)Luminon Wrote:  There is no single "general science" which uses a "general scientific method". This method is a philosophical concept, like "logic" or "truth", which are of course used in sciences as well. Sciences are based on technically specific inputs of these concepts.
No single science can provide a general definition of science or scientific method. This was a big problem during one recent trial against creationists in 2005 or 2006, because no particular science could provide a definition of science as such. What you really mean are basics of philosophy, such as noetics and logic.
Physics, chemistry or mathematics use their own methods and they are incomparable, each use a different paradigm. Even if they agree, they may agree for entirely different reasons.
"For a chemist the atom of helium is a molecule, because it behaves as a molecule from the point of view of a kinetic theory of gases. For a physicist it is not a molecule, because it does not show a molecular spectrum." (Kuhn, 1952, p. 50)
No, I'm not talking about neotics or logic. You didn't address the link I provided you with, you merely repeated what you said in an earlier response. You can stick your fingers in your ears and pretend that there is no scientific method shared by all of the natural sciences for all I care, but that doesn't make it untrue.

I've read and watched a lot about the Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District trial and that's the first time I've heard that they had problems defining the term "science". Where did you read about that?

(13-12-2013 10:12 AM)Luminon Wrote:  Before, nobody told me how peer review works from a sociological or institutional point of view. Things like that the review is done anonymously, but the committee that assigns reviews still works with applicant names and that this has a measurable effect on the result of review, such as if the name is famous or is not.
Why didn't anyone tell me that? Was it a professional scientific blindness, or what?
I doubt that that is actually true. What is your source for that information (and please don't make me remind you what a reliable source is)?

(13-12-2013 10:12 AM)Luminon Wrote:  If you realize that different sciences may have different paradigms and different instruments, then you can not apply them from one science (natural) to social sciences. You do that because you equate the philosophical concept of science with all natural sciences, which is not permissible.
You have to accept that sociology studies social world and that world has its specifics, such as epistemic uncertainty. We live within a social world, we are parts of it and the observer, instrument and observed are sometimes one and the same. These are not circumstances in the natural sciences, where we are able to simulate a controlled environment - or in case of astronomy - at least observe separated phenomena. A phenomenon such as a star is isolated, thus deterministic. Social world is not isolated, not in itself and not from us, the observers. However, we still have philosophically-scientific mental instruments to make sense of it. Some are deductive and quantitative, though of course many are qualitative and inductive. But not to use them would be missing the whole point of the study.

We have to accept that sociology is a science sui generis, just as mathematics is a science sui generis. (for example nobody ever saw a number two, just as nobody ever saw Weber's ideal type of a city) Sociology is science, because it is used as science. To resign on social science would be to endorse irrational traditions like mythologies or positivistic naturalistic interpretations of social world, such as social darwinism. Which is actually happening today, to our detriment.

So what is the test in sociology? Provided that the observer, instrument and observed are interconnected, then sociology is being tested by sociologists or social thinkers all the time, when formulating a social theory. If multiple sociologists are able to formulate a theory at all, that in itself is a positive sign. More positive signs can be derived from comparisons of these theories and extrapolation of long-term social principles or formations. Differences are of course expected, sociology is not an exact science, it is probabilistic, just as society is probabilistic. A major benefit of it is understanding of the social phenomena and society as a whole, instead of just being along for the ride. The next logical step is intervention, but for that we unfortunately have only blunt instruments right now. Internet activism is the subtlest instrument we have today...

Of course, a major source of testing are historical events themselves. Marx was disproven by historical success of capitalism and fall of Soviet Union, both of which have known and logical causes. And if you remember the economist John Maynard Keynes, in 1920 he made a great sociological prediction on Versailles conference, that the draconic penalties for Germany imposed by France will not be paid and that there will be another war. Hell, Jacque Fresco predicted, that the U.S. economy after WW2 will either fall or go into war, because the problems that caused the crisis in 1929 were not resolved. And U.S. history has been a history of wars.

You may think these are economical observations, but a war or politics is not really an economical subject, is it? This is the specific of social sciences. They are multi-paradigmatic and they are often interconnected with other sciences, just like society is. For example, nobody can be a good economist by knowing just economy. It is good to know the legal science and politology, and if god would be so merciful, also sociology. And similarly, if one wants to be a great sociologist, one has to be a philosopher also. A philosopher should at least be able to examine a specific mix of meanings underlying concepts, that is, to look under the hood of his own and people's thinking, instead of just being along for the ride.
Not much in there that I disagree with, though none of it changes the point I made that the social sciences are not as rigorous as the natural sciences because of their methodology. I think we'll have to agree to disagree on whether that's a problem that needs to be solved.

(13-12-2013 10:12 AM)Luminon Wrote:  Again, you are comparing the incomparable paradigms. Marx was not entirely wrong, he was largely correct in his premises and observations and so Marx is valuable to study, he developed a lot of useful concepts. He just applied them wrongly or narrowly, but that is not our problem, as long as we acknowledge that, we can avoid his mistakes.
Similarly, you learn about Lamarck what he was wrong about and that is a valuable information as well. Although scientists who turn out to be wrong might be very well right within the current paradigm back then.
Such lessons are important, because nowadays we may encounter epigenetic phenomena which superficially resemble Lamarckism. We must not be so rigid as to reject them superficially. We may even come to rehabilitate Lamarck partially, maybe he stumbled upon the same thing back then. Studying history of our science helps us to keep open mind, that is a research instrument as well.
You are equating sociological theories with sociological paradigms here. How does that make any sense?

(13-12-2013 10:12 AM)Luminon Wrote:  If you take in the research rate of laboratory experiments and engineering development of prototypes, then the success rates might be well comparable. Of course. Medicine, electrical engineering and micro-biology are the things we found retrospectively valid and working and we do not mention all the failed experiments or preliminary phases - all of these are locked away out of sight. The natural science only publishes finished work in journals, while sociology is based on the preliminary steps also, because other paradigms might benefit from them as well. Thus progress of sociology must be very slow, it is tied to historical science.
Wait, what? How can you claim that their success rates are comparable when you admit that you know anything about the failure rate in the natural sciences? Consider

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14-12-2013, 12:34 AM
RE: Sociology of science (Kuhn's Structure of Scientific Revolutions)
What a fucking depressing thread.

Kuhn and paradigms and the alleged "rigidity" of scientists are all irrelevant. A paradigm starts to be questioned when its explanatory power and explanatory scope begins to diminish in the face of certain confirmed observations.

Where are the confirmed observations that the dominant paradigm is unable to account for or that require complicating ad hoc hypotheses to account for?

The subjective reports of some Czech with a degree in Clown Studies don't count as confirmed observations.

@Luminon:
That you are idignant that the entire scientific enterprise isn't being reorganised around your hallucinations and delusions suggests to me that you are a retard crackpot nutcase.

Every person that experiences genuine hallcuinations and delusions is absolutely convinced that those are something more than subjective phenomena (at least before they are taught how to deal with them). That is why they respond to them. I know of a case of a paranoid schizophrenic that hacked off his left arm below the elbow joint because he said it was "full of hell bodies". He too was absolutely certain that he was experiencing something real. So fucking certain that he amputated his own limb with a blunt axe. Your sense of certainty means absolutely nothing as does the length of time you have been experiencing your hallucinations and delusions. Until you can demonstrate something objective and external you have absolutely nothing. Your hallucinations and delusions aren't even psychiatrically interesting. Many people with psychotic conditions believe they have psychic powers.
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14-12-2013, 06:31 PM
RE: Sociology of science (Kuhn's Structure of Scientific Revolutions)
(13-12-2013 06:15 PM)Vosur Wrote:  I'm not sure whether I agree with that last part. I can see why you would say that about jobs which can easily be replaced by machines, but those are not in the majority. Think of doctors, lawyers, engineers, scientists and policemen, just to name a few.
But they are a few. It is not the number of jobs, but the number of workers. Automation automated away the laborer class and now it starts with the middle class. Desk jobs, clerk jobs, office jobs, these can be all automated.

(13-12-2013 06:15 PM)Vosur Wrote:  
Why, stick me in a dress and call me Sally, if it happens to be implemented within my lifetime; I know I'm not going to hold my breath. I don't understand why you consider the automation of manual labor jobs as something new or significant though; it has been happening since the Industrial Revolution. The jobs I mentioned above and many others cannot yet be replaced by machines.
It happened in the Industrial Revolution and it turned the world upside down. It caused two generations of poverty, especially in the textile industry. Then the consumerism caught up, created a huge culture of nonsense jobs to fleece the rich and get the money back into economy, but that was paid for in blood of wars and huge economic crises, when shops were full of goods but people just didn't have money to buy what they produced. Science made jobs so productive, that monetary exchange just couldn't distribute it, the circulation stopped and economy had a heart attack. In monetary economy, unless money flow two ways, the flow stops. We can't just produce things and throw them on the market, we have to pay the money to people so they can buy the things they produced, so that social order works and all the other industries that need money work too. Technological productivity made money flow only one way and that caused the crisis.
Now technology and science are even more productive than ever (not to speak of financial speculation) and the only way to fix the cardiac arrest of American economy is a series of wars.
I hope that's clear, I think the metaphor works wonderfully here.

(13-12-2013 06:15 PM)Vosur Wrote:  
You repeatedly claimed to know about the personal motivation of individual scientists and their world views. As a sociologist in training, you really ought to know how to substantiate a claim like that. In support of these assertions, you could have, for example, provided me with a piece of opinion research in form of a representative study.
I don't think I claimed that. I rather meant that heuristically scientists just convert money into bombs, no matter what their worldview is. Science is just a pendant of market and politics. It stays true to natural facts, but it doesn't stay true to the society.

(13-12-2013 06:15 PM)Vosur Wrote:  How are the natural sciences any different in that regard? All of them refer to nature and examine it from different angles.
No, each science examines nature only from the angle of itself. Chemists see the world as chemical, they don't consider relativistic or quantum effects or Turing cellular machines like biologists or like a dance of atoms like poets.

(13-12-2013 06:15 PM)Vosur Wrote:  
No, I'm not talking about neotics or logic. You didn't address the link I provided you with, you merely repeated what you said in an earlier response. You can stick your fingers in your ears and pretend that there is no scientific method shared by all of the natural sciences for all I care, but that doesn't make it untrue.
I don't say it's untrue. But that doesn't make it enough either. General scientific method is not in dispute here, never was. You just throw it around like a red herring. No science can exist with GSM alone, because there is no such thing in empirical reality as "guess", "test" or "consequences". These are just concepts, not physical objects. So there is really no "general science". Sciences are defined in terms of what input they provide into the GSM. GSM is a meta-scientific concept derived from philosophy. Empiricism needed to be philosophically proven to justify science, back in the days when the display of science were much less impressive.

(13-12-2013 06:15 PM)Vosur Wrote:  I've read and watched a lot about the Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District trial and that's the first time I've heard that they had problems defining the term "science". Where did you read about that?
That was one of points during my Philosophy lectures last year. I just had to break up the bundle of old exercise book to find it. During the Dover vs. Kitzmiller case, the court needed to define science. The problem is, the court asked the National Academy of Sciences and the NAS gave a wrong definition.
"Explanations that cannot be based upon empirical evidence are not part of science." (you may Ctrl+F this paragraph here )
By its own merit, is that definition of science scientific, that is, empirically testable? Me and my philosophy teacher don't think so. The statement may seem logical, but neither a statement nor logic is empirical, both are rationalistic. Therefore the definition is self-contradictory, it is a mistake of empiricistic naturalists. Science can not define science. Only philosophy can define science.
For example, the trial was about evolution, but biologists are not competent to define what is science. They are only competent to define what is biology. That changes nothing about the result of the trial, of course.

(13-12-2013 06:15 PM)Vosur Wrote:  
(13-12-2013 10:12 AM)Luminon Wrote:  Before, nobody told me how peer review works from a sociological or institutional point of view. Things like that the review is done anonymously, but the committee that assigns reviews still works with applicant names and that this has a measurable effect on the result of review, such as if the name is famous or is not.
Why didn't anyone tell me that? Was it a professional scientific blindness, or what?
I doubt that that is actually true. What is your source for that information (and please don't make me remind you what a reliable source is)?
Damn, another exercise book to pull out. I hope I kept my notes well of this one. My hand hurts from all the handwriting, you know?
OK, looks like this information is from Science wars period in 1990 and author is probably Alan Sokal. If I didn't specifically ask about the name and details, I wouldn't know it.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Science_wars
Of course it is possible that today peer reviews are done more anonymously, but it is just as likely they are less anonymous or the same. It's a complex subject, probably varies a lot from field to field.

(13-12-2013 06:15 PM)Vosur Wrote:  Not much in there that I disagree with, though none of it changes the point I made that the social sciences are not as rigorous as the natural sciences because of their methodology. I think we'll have to agree to disagree on whether that's a problem that needs to be solved.
Yes, of course social sciences are much less rigorous than the natural sciences. But it's still a science. If we tried the methodology of natural sciences in social environment, the results would be much worse.

(13-12-2013 06:15 PM)Vosur Wrote:  You are equating sociological theories with sociological paradigms here. How does that make any sense?
Uhm... paradigm usually has a leading theory? Also, paradigm often has no name, so referring to it by its leading theory makes sense socially. But I probably still made some kind of mistake, I think. Only you'll have to tell me what it is explicitly, I won't crawl and beg you to tell me. I'm too busy and lazy.

(13-12-2013 06:15 PM)Vosur Wrote:  Wait, what? How can you claim that their success rates are comparable when you admit that you know anything about the failure rate in the natural sciences? Consider
Does it matter at all? I don't think so. Natural sciences are reliable today, because natural laws do not change very often. At most about 10 billion years ago when Dark Energy kicked in, but that's it. A study unchanging subject can become practically infallible fairly quickly, even if it's failure rate is very high. All it needs is to build on the confirmed evidence.
The problem with social sciences is, they don't have an unchanging subject and they can't easily perform social experiments on it. I mean, Soviet Union might have been a social experiment, but it was so slow that even if social sciences had a miraculously high success rate, it would still be a very bad idea to conduct such experiments. And it was not scientific or innovative, by any means, it was just a mob rule of state dictatorial capitalism which gave lip service to Marx's thoughts (who did not have any practical ideas himself, Bellamy did) and who secretly copied true market-generated price system to keep the circus running for a while longer.

(14-12-2013 12:34 AM)Chippy Wrote:  What a fucking depressing thread.

Kuhn and paradigms and the alleged "rigidity" of scientists are all irrelevant. A paradigm starts to be questioned when its explanatory power and explanatory scope begins to diminish in the face of certain confirmed observations.

Where are the confirmed observations that the dominant paradigm is unable to account for or that require complicating ad hoc hypotheses to account for?

The subjective reports of some Czech with a degree in Clown Studies don't count as confirmed observations.
Who confirms the observations? Who questions the paradigm? Who decides when the paradigm is dead, but there are two equally good new but different paradigms?

(14-12-2013 12:34 AM)Chippy Wrote:  @Luminon:
That you are idignant that the entire scientific enterprise isn't being reorganised around your hallucinations and delusions suggests to me that you are a retard crackpot nutcase.

Every person that experiences genuine hallcuinations and delusions is absolutely convinced that those are something more than subjective phenomena (at least before they are taught how to deal with them). That is why they respond to them. I know of a case of a paranoid schizophrenic that hacked off his left arm below the elbow joint because he said it was "full of hell bodies". He too was absolutely certain that he was experiencing something real. So fucking certain that he amputated his own limb with a blunt axe. Your sense of certainty means absolutely nothing as does the length of time you have been experiencing your hallucinations and delusions. Until you can demonstrate something objective and external you have absolutely nothing. Your hallucinations and delusions aren't even psychiatrically interesting. Many people with psychotic conditions believe they have psychic powers.
I'm not going to be polite to you (maybe it gets the point across by social means, worth trying), but important thing first: If you can't trust people with basic observation skills, then you can call anyone a retard as a universal answer and live in a small island of people in the sea of retards. My basic observation skills tell me, that there is nothing in whole official medical science that even remotely describes my perception. Nothing. Zilch. Nada. All the things with schizophrenia, synaesthesia and other S-words, I've checked, no match. So what do I do? Wait another two decades for a dispensation from priests in white coats?
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Well, market has a wisdom, if one guy can't deliver the goods, you turn to someone who can deliver the goods. Even if the goods are a pre-war literature on occultism. So I try to get the goods and come back and politely say, you guys have missed this, social, cultural, neurological or whatever phenomenon, that has been there, like, for all human history. And what response do I get? "You just believe there is something there, you're just imagining things, we're all imagining. Nothing exists unless it can move the dials on OUR machines, which were by the way not really designed for this kind of job. And we choose to ignore people with devices designed for the job."

I don't want your faith, your money or your children. I just want you broaden the range of what is realistically possible. What you think of as rationality is just checking thing against the authority of journals. A good authority, but a limited one and I intentionally choose to explore beyond these limitations, with due caveats. If you're not interested in possible things, then you're no better than those interested only in Scriptural things or government news. Nothing wrong with that - but then just leave people alone unless we're discussing some specific confirmed discoveries. Don't worry, I do not deny any confirmed discoveries, this is just not the topic right now. Yes, call yourself well-grounded, rational, both feet on Earth, common sense pragmatical guy, but at the same time you're just a bitch of journals, with no ideas, curiosity and observations of your own. People like you are the salt of earth, the grunts on the ground. You may consider a career in engineering.
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14-12-2013, 07:48 PM
RE: Sociology of science (Kuhn's Structure of Scientific Revolutions)
(14-12-2013 06:31 PM)Luminon Wrote:  But they are a few. It is not the number of jobs, but the number of workers. Automation automated away the laborer class and now it starts with the middle class. Desk jobs, clerk jobs, office jobs, these can be all automated.
Well, yes, at some point in the future, most, if not all of these jobs will be automated.

(14-12-2013 06:31 PM)Luminon Wrote:  It happened in the Industrial Revolution and it turned the world upside down. It caused two generations of poverty, especially in the textile industry. Then the consumerism caught up, created a huge culture of nonsense jobs to fleece the rich and get the money back into economy, but that was paid for in blood of wars and huge economic crises, when shops were full of goods but people just didn't have money to buy what they produced. Science made jobs so productive, that monetary exchange just couldn't distribute it, the circulation stopped and economy had a heart attack. In monetary economy, unless money flow two ways, the flow stops. We can't just produce things and throw them on the market, we have to pay the money to people so they can buy the things they produced, so that social order works and all the other industries that need money work too. Technological productivity made money flow only one way and that caused the crisis.
Now technology and science are even more productive than ever (not to speak of financial speculation) and the only way to fix the cardiac arrest of American economy is a series of wars.
I hope that's clear, I think the metaphor works wonderfully here.
I'm sorry, but I don't follow your argument here. Why would you think that starting a series of wars is going to help the American economy? It may have a positive short-term effect, but when you consider the US' history in Afghanistan, Iraq, Vietnam and Korea, you'd think that that is not at all true in a long-term perspective. The USA have accumulated more and more debt over the years because of their ridiculous military spending.

(14-12-2013 06:31 PM)Luminon Wrote:  I don't think I claimed that. I rather meant that heuristically scientists just convert money into bombs, no matter what their worldview is. Science is just a pendant of market and politics. It stays true to natural facts, but it doesn't stay true to the society.
Yes, that is something I can agree with. After all, science, much like a knife (I love that analogy!), is but an amoral tool that can be used both to take and save people's lives.

Or as Spider-Man would say, "With great power comes great responsibility!".

(14-12-2013 06:31 PM)Luminon Wrote:  No, each science examines nature only from the angle of itself. Chemists see the world as chemical, they don't consider relativistic or quantum effects or Turing cellular machines like biologists or like a dance of atoms like poets.
Biochemistry is a prime example of why that view is inaccurate.

I don't know of a single science in which research can be conducted without the help of at least one of the other natural sciences (ex. computer engineers need to know quite a bit about physics).

(14-12-2013 06:31 PM)Luminon Wrote:  I don't say it's untrue. But that doesn't make it enough either. General scientific method is not in dispute here, never was. You just throw it around like a red herring. No science can exist with GSM alone, because there is no such thing in empirical reality as "guess", "test" or "consequences". These are just concepts, not physical objects. So there is really no "general science". Sciences are defined in terms of what input they provide into the GSM. GSM is a meta-scientific concept derived from philosophy. Empiricism needed to be philosophically proven to justify science, back in the days when the display of science were much less impressive.
I don't know where you're getting the idea from that I think the scientific method alone is sufficient; I didn't meant to express such a view at any point.

Obviously all of the natural sciences have to have their own methods, standards and instruments when it comes to doing research.

(14-12-2013 06:31 PM)Luminon Wrote:  That was one of points during my Philosophy lectures last year. I just had to break up the bundle of old exercise book to find it. During the Dover vs. Kitzmiller case, the court needed to define science. The problem is, the court asked the National Academy of Sciences and the NAS gave a wrong definition.
"Explanations that cannot be based upon empirical evidence are not part of science." (you may Ctrl+F this paragraph here )
By its own merit, is that definition of science scientific, that is, empirically testable? Me and my philosophy teacher don't think so. The statement may seem logical, but neither a statement nor logic is empirical, both are rationalistic. Therefore the definition is self-contradictory, it is a mistake of empiricistic naturalists. Science can not define science. Only philosophy can define science.
For example, the trial was about evolution, but biologists are not competent to define what is science. They are only competent to define what is biology. That changes nothing about the result of the trial, of course.
You have to be fucking kidding me. Here's the full quote from TalkOrigins:

"Science is a particular way of knowing about the world. In science, explanations are restricted to those that can be inferred from the confirmable data – the results obtained through observations and experiments that can be substantiated by other scientists. Anything that can be observed or measured is amenable to scientific investigation. Explanations that cannot be based upon empirical evidence are not part of science."

Your question as to whether science can be tested empirically is nonsensical given the above definition. Science is what produces the explanations, but it's not an explanation itself. It is a method of gathering knowledge about the world.

Also, your initial claim that they had trouble defining science is false in any case because that's only your opinion.

(14-12-2013 06:31 PM)Luminon Wrote:  Damn, another exercise book to pull out. I hope I kept my notes well of this one. My hand hurts from all the handwriting, you know?
OK, looks like this information is from Science wars period in 1990 and author is probably Alan Sokal. If I didn't specifically ask about the name and details, I wouldn't know it.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Science_wars
Of course it is possible that today peer reviews are done more anonymously, but it is just as likely they are less anonymous or the same. It's a complex subject, probably varies a lot from field to field.
You already did my work of criticizing your source (outdated information, no homogeneity among different fields of science, etc.). Well done.

(14-12-2013 06:31 PM)Luminon Wrote:  Yes, of course social sciences are much less rigorous than the natural sciences. But it's still a science. If we tried the methodology of natural sciences in social environment, the results would be much worse.
Agreed. What I'm saying is that the social sciences should come up with a more rigorous methodology than the current one.

(14-12-2013 06:31 PM)Luminon Wrote:  Uhm... paradigm usually has a leading theory? Also, paradigm often has no name, so referring to it by its leading theory makes sense socially. But I probably still made some kind of mistake, I think. Only you'll have to tell me what it is explicitly, I won't crawl and beg you to tell me. I'm too busy and lazy.
You used the words "paradigm" and "theory" as if they were synonymous; I was confused by your choice of words, that's all.

(14-12-2013 06:31 PM)Luminon Wrote:  The problem with social sciences is, they don't have an unchanging subject and they can't easily perform social experiments on it.
Yes, point taken.

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15-12-2013, 07:29 AM
RE: Sociology of science (Kuhn's Structure of Scientific Revolutions)
(14-12-2013 06:31 PM)Luminon Wrote:  I'm not going to be polite to you (maybe it gets the point across by social means, worth trying),

I don't deem any of your posts to anyone to be "polite". You are only superficially civil. You don't practice charitable interpretation, you are evasive, you eventually resort to agency based explanations (e.g. conspiracy theories), you don't even attempt to define the pseudoscientifc pseudo-jargon that your post, you never admit error even when it has been clearly demonstrated, etc. etc.

Quote: but important thing first: If you can't trust people with basic observation skills, then you can call anyone a retard as a universal answer and live in a small island of people in the sea of retards.

No. Reasonable people appreciate the difference between subjective experience and objective reality. When my friend tells me what he experienced after injecting mephedrone he doesn't then proceed to argue that the walls of the room were actually warping and that a paradigm shift is hence required in materials science. Do you know why?

Answer:
Because he isn't a fucking idiot.

Quote:My basic observation skills tell me, that there is nothing in whole official medical science that even remotely describes my perception. Nothing. Zilch. Nada. All the things with schizophrenia, synaesthesia and other S-words, I've checked, no match.

You don't know anything besides pseudoscience so your self-appraisal is meaningless.

Quote:So what do I do? Wait another two decades for a dispensation from priests in white coats?

There is nothing to wait for. Hallucinations, delusions, illusions, perceptual biases and cognitive biases are well-researched and well-understood. The onus is on you to demonstrate that you have experienced something other than these.

Quote:Well, market has a wisdom, if one guy can't deliver the goods, you turn to someone who can deliver the goods. Even if the goods are a pre-war literature on occultism.

I don't see any "wisdom" or "goods" there. You have violated the heuristic of Ockham's Razor. You've multiplied the furniture of the universe without any warrant.

Quote:So I try to get the goods and come back and politely say, you guys have missed this, social, cultural, neurological or whatever phenomenon, that has been there, like, for all human history.

Belief in deities has also always been part of human history. So what? Is that all you can cite in defense of your superstitions?

Quote:And what response do I get?

The response you deserve. Regardless of all of your bloviations you have nothing more than a report of your subjective experience.

Quote:And we choose to ignore people with devices designed for the job.

What devices? Name them and link me to research that confirms that they measure what they purport to measure.

Quote:I just want you broaden the range of what is realistically possible.

Based on nothing more than your subjective report. Why would anyone--other than someone like Gordon--treat your subjective experiences as real phenomena?

Quote:What you think of as rationality is just checking thing against the authority of journals.

No it isn't. Rational in this regard is asking you to provide objective evidence of your claims.

Quote:A good authority, but a limited one and I intentionally choose to explore beyond these limitations, with due caveats.

The due caveat is that all you are doing in actuality is exploring your own subjectivity--that is all.

Quote:If you're not interested in possible things, then you're no better than those interested only in Scriptural things or government news.

Rational people are interested in plausible and probable things not possible things. Anything that isn't self-contradictory is possible. It is possible that while I am typing this there is an elephant in my bathroom but I am not going to devote any time to that idea because it is not plausible and highly improbable.

Quote:Nothing wrong with that - but then just leave people alone unless we're discussing some specific confirmed discoveries.

You don't concern yourself with all possible things and I doubt anyone can or does.

Quote:Don't worry, I do not deny any confirmed discoveries,

You don't understand "confirmed discoveries".

Quote:Yes, call yourself well-grounded, rational, both feet on Earth, common sense pragmatical guy, but at the same time you're just a bitch of journals, with no ideas, curiosity and observations of your own.

There is no virtue in:
--being ignorant
--failing to distinguish subjective experience from objective reality
--making-up pseudoscientific bullshit to disguise your essentially superstitious (and idiotic) beliefs

Ideas like yours are of no value to anyone. I too can make bullshit up like you do. Here is my theory of why people wake up with nasal congestion.

Nasal congestion is not due to allergy or infection it is due to the Bipedal Nose Shagger (BNS). While you sleep the BNS uses its electro-biologic fenestrated bituminous egg and cheese field to overcome the Foss constant and materialise in your bedroom. Once it materialises it stands on your face and inserts its dual penis structure into your nose. The BNS first extracts your radionic clunes and then it simulatenously ejaculates into both of your nostrils. It then withdraws its phalluses and using the cremple from the radionic clunes traverses the dimensional striation to return to Nefras to share what it has left of the radionic clunes.

[Image: 2h5o1sg.jpg]

I assert that nasal congestion can be explained in no other way. Science and medical journals will not publish my BNS theory because it doesn't fit with the dominant paradigm. If you don't understand my explanation of the BNS it is because I am using extra-paradigmatic jargon.

Quote:People like you are the salt of earth, the grunts on the ground. You may consider a career in engineering.

Surely my BNS puts me up there with great intellects like yours.

Quote:[Image: image.w174h200f3.jpg]

So your knowledge of what engineering is about derives from a sit-com. That's good. Well done.
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15-12-2013, 10:29 AM
RE: Sociology of science (Kuhn's Structure of Scientific Revolutions)
[Image: 1478972_722614034426277_775591068_n.jpg]

I think you have hit every box on the right hand side Lum.

(31-07-2014 04:37 PM)Luminon Wrote:  America is full of guns, but they're useless, because nobody has the courage to shoot an IRS agent in self-defense
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16-12-2013, 06:33 PM (This post was last modified: 17-12-2013 01:07 AM by Luminon.)
RE: Sociology of science (Kuhn's Structure of Scientific Revolutions)
(15-12-2013 10:29 AM)Revenant77x Wrote:  I think you have hit every box on the right hand side Lum.
That box had to be designed by a natural science enthusiast, probably. What about studying this pseudoscience thing from a sociological point of view?
Did I ever claim to do science or claim to be a scientist?
Are my motivations similar to intentions or motivations of a pseudoscientist?
(maybe, you tell me. Do anonymous internet ramblings count as pseudoscience?)

Maybe I know I'm not doing the actual science yet. I have enough to convince myself, so I'm gathering materials, exploring the field, trying to formulate a hypothesis that could then be tested. In this activity I've encountered every possible problem of communication and come to examine the very basics of science, language, philosophy and so on. It's just one big, huge work in progress, or preliminary study, if you want. Things never look good while not finished. But what the hell, I'm anonymous here and so I can't take credit, money or blame.

Why don't do I science directly? Because I am pretty sure that whatever I've encountered is not a part of the current dominant paradigm. That would explain the conspiracy without the conspiracy. That also means the research technologies were not designed for the job. Remember how many scientific proofs rely on a new, custom-designed technical device that emphasizes an otherwise obscure natural effect? I consider this a vital argument, yet I only learned it relatively recently. How can I be ready, if I'm still learning so much? And anyway there are things that go first, like a political and economical situation. There are hundreds of demonstrations every day all around the world. "Science" is just a hobby for me, the social stuff is a duty..

If you want to learn a lot, set yourself a great, impossible goal and then procrastinate on the way to it. Noble goals grant noble procrastination. Big Grin



I see some unbelievable rate of agreement with you, Vosur. I haven't seen anything like that in a long time, maybe never in a conversation with a skeptic.

(14-12-2013 07:48 PM)Vosur Wrote:  Well, yes, at some point in the future, most, if not all of these jobs will be automated.
It already happened, but then we invented bullshit jobs. Now even the bullshit jobs are getting automated. And we can't invent enough bullshit jobs, because the demand for bullshit is not growing as fast as unemployment. There is only one way to turn back the clock, return back to times when human labor is actually needed, and that is to destroy the surplus productivity, which in case of American superiority means going to war. I'll explain.

(14-12-2013 07:48 PM)Vosur Wrote:  
I'm sorry, but I don't follow your argument here. Why would you think that starting a series of wars is going to help the American economy? It may have a positive short-term effect, but when you consider the US' history in Afghanistan, Iraq, Vietnam and Korea, you'd think that that is not at all true in a long-term perspective. The USA have accumulated more and more debt over the years because of their ridiculous military spending.
War will only "help" in a very wrong and perverse sense. Shortly said, there is a phase in capitalism when the production profile closely corresponds to a profile of real useful human needs, the ratio of bullshit jobs in economy is still relatively low. That means the common people can earn money by honest work. Governments may try return to to these golden times by very perverse means - by wholesale destruction and murdering. War destroys the surplus productivity and so capitalism gets for a while back into sync with people. Only today we've got this nuclear bomb thing - we can't risk a big war, only small ones. So there goes inventing fake enemies in the middle east.

What worse, governments print money and printing money is like dumping countless tons of cocaine into the national water supply. It gets the economy into a frenzied activity, followed by a big downfall and a cold turkey called economic depression. Of course, politicians care about nothing of this, they know nothing, they can blame the previous administration, they rarely get demoted in times of war, they're wonderful at lying and they keep the public woefully ignorant by controlling the media. When election term is over, they're millionaires if they weren't before and they don't care about the economy anymore. They all steal taxes as fast as they can. We all live on tax farms and they are the farmers.

(14-12-2013 07:48 PM)Vosur Wrote:  Yes, that is something I can agree with. After all, science, much like a knife (I love that analogy!), is but an amoral tool that can be used both to take and save people's lives.

Or as Spider-Man would say, "With great power comes great responsibility!".
Yay! Such insight! Thumbsup Now, who's holding the knife? Governments, business, military, all the worst people, who went to the college together.

(14-12-2013 07:48 PM)Vosur Wrote:  Biochemistry is a prime example of why that view is inaccurate.

I don't know of a single science in which research can be conducted without the help of at least one of the other natural sciences (ex. computer engineers need to know quite a bit about physics).
I'm glad to see that, obviously I've been over-generalizing. But my sociological gut tells me, in the beginning biochemistry probably had to face lots of criticism for fence-sitting from chemists and biologists. And I'd still like to see some science that connects natural and social worlds. Humanities without natural sciences are weak, natural sciences without humanities are blind. So far the only such synthesis I saw in The Venus Project, which never ceases to amaze me how foolproof and sane a model of society it is.

(14-12-2013 07:48 PM)Vosur Wrote:  I don't know where you're getting the idea from that I think the scientific method alone is sufficient; I didn't meant to express such a view at any point.

Obviously all of the natural sciences have to have their own methods, standards and instruments when it comes to doing research.
Yes, that's what I claimed all along.
"Also, you still haven't told me what exactly it is that we can't study with the scientific method used by scientists in the natural sciences (though I can already guess what it is)."
I suspect the answer you wanted me to give was "woo". Not really. Even what you consider as woo can be studied by scientific method. The problem here is not the method, but a technical aspect of reality.
Do you know the "multiple worlds, multiple bodies" theory?
It says that there are multiple forms of matter, which differ on sub-atomic level. As such they only interact rarely, if ever, with our type of matter. But our instruments are made of our type of matter, so they're bound to interact rarely, if ever with these forms of matter. However, as every esotericist will tell you, a living being, particularly a person consists of multiple of these types of matter. A person is a composite being, consisting of a set of bodies, less or more in sync. According to esotericism, this is what it means to be alive, this is what life is, besides a simple life as emergent property present in all matter. Lesser or greater coordination between these bodies and their corresponding levels of material universe is the source of most mystical or occult traditions, at least as far as some founders are concerned.
So this is the multiple worlds/bodies theory. It has implications that go into many sciences, both social and natural, so it's not easy to verify. But that's what any esotericist will tell you.

(14-12-2013 07:48 PM)Vosur Wrote:  
You have to be fucking kidding me. Here's the full quote from TalkOrigins:

"Science is a particular way of knowing about the world. In science, explanations are restricted to those that can be inferred from the confirmable data – the results obtained through observations and experiments that can be substantiated by other scientists. Anything that can be observed or measured is amenable to scientific investigation. Explanations that cannot be based upon empirical evidence are not part of science."

Your question as to whether science can be tested empirically is nonsensical given the above definition. Science is what produces the explanations, but it's not an explanation itself. It is a method of gathering knowledge about the world.

Also, your initial claim that they had trouble defining science is false in any case because that's only your opinion.
Well, what if creationism or astrology is also a method of gathering knowledge about the world? It seems to me that my teacher's problem was that the definition equated truth with empiricism. Empiricism can not be proven true by empiricism alone. Therefore, empiricism alone can not be legally protected in its own right. I think creationists might make a few more troubles in the court if they knew this error in logic. At worst, they might manage to restrict the legal protection only to a few sciences dealing with tangible stuff, like biology or geology. I know it's dumb, but law is a blunt instrument and it needs clearly defined targets.

(14-12-2013 07:48 PM)Vosur Wrote:  Agreed. What I'm saying is that the social sciences should come up with a more rigorous methodology than the current one.
Oh, that is a holy grail of social sciences. They all admit they suck at the first pages of any good textbook, but they still make a case that they're sciences, just less rigorous. For example, Miroslav Disman must cite Kuhn in preface of his book in defense of social sciences and he refuses all but the most serious and reasonable objections against sociology. Curiously enough, social science is considered difficult by some people, maybe it needs to handle a lot of disparate information at once, look for hidden phenomena of fuzzy social dynamics and so on. Even the observer's personality counts as a factor. You may see it in some classes that some people take readily to a subject and some struggle with it. I've seen it in Philosophy, I had a salt-of-earth type friend there and he needed lots of my help with it. He could cram legal documents with brute force, but he struggled with subtleties of looking under the hood of concepts that drive around our mind.

But if I try to be provocative, why do we need a more rigorous methodology? What for? What if this problem is not just a fault of social sciences, but also of the society itself? What if social science just can not work properly in a society that denies it application of basic observations and solutions? How can a scientist work with an instrument that can only be passively watched, but refuses the feedback from the scientist? Politely refuses or ignores, in case of politicians. Any scientist needs feedback, needs to see his theories applied in practice. In that case the only practical social scientist was Ernesto "Che" Guevara Smile And maybe people from Frankfurt school, which are very sympathetic to me.

The reason why social sciences can not be properly applied and thus properly developed is, because we live in a primitive, traditional and rigid environment, bound by made-up borders, laws, ownership claims, sentiments, antipathies and so on. If someone tries to pull its strings, people get hurt, because they are tied with their lives and health to economy, money, laws, religions and so on. We are not truly free, which also means economically secure.
The Venus Project is very mysterious to some people, because it does not have a legal dimension. There is no ownership law, yet that doesn't mean people will take away your roof. It means that if a house is just another device with sensors of wear & tear and these sensors are connected to the city computer and the computer is connected to the industry that produces replacements and the replacements can be delivered and assembled automatically on place, then no ownership law is necessary to keep the housing in shape. Warning signs do not fix holes in a road and they don't prevent people from stealing. In TVP we don't give people rights to not be bitten by a shark, we install a machine sending signals that repel sharks.
Imagine how much culture would disappear if the laws disappear. Good riddance!

Well, I actually think there are many pointless things in sociology or history, such as mapping tribal or cultural borders and trends in regions. I would be ashamed to arrange a conference on such a topic, yet all the grey heads were there. It seems to me like mental masturbation, only it doesn't feel good. If there's any useful knowledge in there, we should apply it. This imperative to apply the observations is in case of sociology a scientific imperative, I suppose. It is not just me, young hothead demanding, it is the methodology itself! If in sociology the observer and observed are one(s), then the methodology must be one with social action as well.
The problem that we can't, means that we need to change the society, so that society becomes able to integrate this science. The proper means of this action must be as simple and harmless as possible. Any traditional social action is bound to evoke a shitstorm of misunderstanding. I see that the duty of sociologists is instead to use the instruments such as technology and environmental design to affect the society. Sociologists must not form any new political party or shit like that, that would not work and they should know it best. They must use truly scientific instruments, even from natural or behavioral science.
Hence I admire The Venus Project, it really cuts the Gordic knot quickly and painlessly. It allows sociologists to do some real work instead of getting tangled in politics, law, culture, history, nationalism, rights of minorities, religion and business.

So what is the sociology needed for, if we can just dump some money on TVP and go ahead? Well, someone has to point the way, explain the public, including academic public and experts what's going on! Someone has to allay their fears and professional objections, apply the suggestions and watch out for any totalitarian tendencies. Someone has to bridge the past and the future, show that these changes are no sudden new invention, they're just application of what we knew all along, if it wasn't for the nightmares and opium dreams of 20th century. Someone has to educate the public, someone who remembers like a historian and understands like a philosopher. Uneducated people are a danger, yet if we can't educate them non-violently, we have no right to educate, because we are the danger.
It is known of me, that I am a mildly autistic individual. I am individualistic by neurology, not by choice. Anything I promote is therefore by necessity maximally individual-friendly. I am a professional stranger, fence-sitter, trouble-maker, difference-seeker. A canary in the mine of the future, if you want. People think that all things socio- and TVP are collectivist. That is nonsense. One is all about paying attention to individuality, the other shows what really matters for an individual. If we define ourselves by what brands we consume, wear, work for and vote for, we are not really individuals. And some things are not worth of being individual about.

(I need to sum it up, sociology may become more rigorous by applying itself to the society as any science does with its subject. However the method must be a sociologically valid and sound application of sciences, including natural sciences. The best course of action is not the means that interest groups (and sociologists) today use, such as increase legal rights for this or that group, but embracing a holistic socio-economic system. Understanding of such a holistic system is a major sociological asset, sociologists are best pre-disposed to understand, explain, bug-check and ultimately lend academical authority to such a system in the eyes of mainstream society.)
That's just a note which I'll maybe use in a thesis or something
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17-12-2013, 02:01 AM
RE: Sociology of science (Kuhn's Structure of Scientific Revolutions)
(16-12-2013 06:33 PM)Luminon Wrote:  I see some unbelievable rate of agreement with you, Vosur. I haven't seen anything like that in a long time, maybe never in a conversation with a skeptic.
I'm not in the habit of disagreeing with you for the sake of disagreement; what else am I to do but to concur with the points you make when they are valid? Sleepy

It seems to me that some of our differences in this thread were based on a mutual misunderstanding that has now been corrected.

(16-12-2013 06:33 PM)Luminon Wrote:  It already happened, but then we invented bullshit jobs. Now even the bullshit jobs are getting automated. And we can't invent enough bullshit jobs, because the demand for bullshit is not growing as fast as unemployment. There is only one way to turn back the clock, return back to times when human labor is actually needed, and that is to destroy the surplus productivity, which in case of American superiority means going to war. I'll explain.

War will only "help" in a very wrong and perverse sense. Shortly said, there is a phase in capitalism when the production profile closely corresponds to a profile of real useful human needs, the ratio of bullshit jobs in economy is still relatively low. That means the common people can earn money by honest work. Governments may try return to to these golden times by very perverse means - by wholesale destruction and murdering. War destroys the surplus productivity and so capitalism gets for a while back into sync with people. Only today we've got this nuclear bomb thing - we can't risk a big war, only small ones. So there goes inventing fake enemies in the middle east.

What worse, governments print money and printing money is like dumping countless tons of cocaine into the national water supply. It gets the economy into a frenzied activity, followed by a big downfall and a cold turkey called economic depression. Of course, politicians care about nothing of this, they know nothing, they can blame the previous administration, they rarely get demoted in times of war, they're wonderful at lying and they keep the public woefully ignorant by controlling the media. When election term is over, they're millionaires if they weren't before and they don't care about the economy anymore. They all steal taxes as fast as they can. We all live on tax farms and they are the farmers.
I understand your position now, though I question the reasoning that underlies it. Why, in your view, is it that the US is one of the only countries that attempts to 'fix' their economy this way?

As I'm sure you know, virtually every country on this planet is more or less deep in debt and a great many of them have high unemployment rates as well.

(16-12-2013 06:33 PM)Luminon Wrote:  Yay! Such insight! Thumbsup Now, who's holding the knife? Governments, business, military, all the worst people, who went to the college together.
What are we to do about it? After all, it's a global phenomenon and has been an integral part of human societies for a long, long time.

(16-12-2013 06:33 PM)Luminon Wrote:  I'm glad to see that, obviously I've been over-generalizing. But my sociological gut tells me, in the beginning biochemistry probably had to face lots of criticism for fence-sitting from chemists and biologists. And I'd still like to see some science that connects natural and social worlds. Humanities without natural sciences are weak, natural sciences without humanities are blind. So far the only such synthesis I saw in The Venus Project, which never ceases to amaze me how foolproof and sane a model of society it is.
I did a little bit of research and found an interesting article on this very topic. I'm sure you're going to appreciate it as much as I did.

(16-12-2013 06:33 PM)Luminon Wrote:  Yes, that's what I claimed all along.
In that case, I'm sorry for misrepresenting your position; it certainly wasn't my intention to do so.

(16-12-2013 06:33 PM)Luminon Wrote:  "Also, you still haven't told me what exactly it is that we can't study with the scientific method used by scientists in the natural sciences (though I can already guess what it is)."
I suspect the answer you wanted me to give was "woo". Not really.
While I understand why you would say that, I do feel aggrieved that you think of me this way. I don't want someone to give me a certain answer when I ask them a question.

(16-12-2013 06:33 PM)Luminon Wrote:  Even what you consider as woo can be studied by scientific method. The problem here is not the method, but a technical aspect of reality.
Do you know the "multiple worlds, multiple bodies" theory?
It says that there are multiple forms of matter, which differ on sub-atomic level. As such they only interact rarely, if ever, with our type of matter. But our instruments are made of our type of matter, so they're bound to interact rarely, if ever with these forms of matter. However, as every esotericist will tell you, a living being, particularly a person consists of multiple of these types of matter. A person is a composite being, consisting of a set of bodies, less or more in sync. According to esotericism, this is what it means to be alive, this is what life is, besides a simple life as emergent property present in all matter. Lesser or greater coordination between these bodies and their corresponding levels of material universe is the source of most mystical or occult traditions, at least as far as some founders are concerned.
So this is the multiple worlds/bodies theory. It has implications that go into many sciences, both social and natural, so it's not easy to verify. But that's what any esotericist will tell you.
I doubt I need to tell you what I think of this.

(16-12-2013 06:33 PM)Luminon Wrote:  Well, what if creationism or astrology is also a method of gathering knowledge about the world?
If someone were to make that claim, I would tell them that they're wrong because these things have no method by which they could conduct research.

(16-12-2013 06:33 PM)Luminon Wrote:  It seems to me that my teacher's problem was that the definition equated truth with empiricism. Empiricism can not be proven true by empiricism alone. Therefore, empiricism alone can not be legally protected in its own right. I think creationists might make a few more troubles in the court if they knew this error in logic. At worst, they might manage to restrict the legal protection only to a few sciences dealing with tangible stuff, like biology or geology. I know it's dumb, but law is a blunt instrument and it needs clearly defined targets.
But that's not what the definition does; equating truth with empiricism, that is.

(16-12-2013 06:33 PM)Luminon Wrote:  Oh, that is a holy grail of social sciences. They all admit they suck at the first pages of any good textbook, but they still make a case that they're sciences, just less rigorous. For example, Miroslav Disman must cite Kuhn in preface of his book in defense of social sciences and he refuses all but the most serious and reasonable objections against sociology. Curiously enough, social science is considered difficult by some people, maybe it needs to handle a lot of disparate information at once, look for hidden phenomena of fuzzy social dynamics and so on. Even the observer's personality counts as a factor. You may see it in some classes that some people take readily to a subject and some struggle with it. I've seen it in Philosophy, I had a salt-of-earth type friend there and he needed lots of my help with it. He could cram legal documents with brute force, but he struggled with subtleties of looking under the hood of concepts that drive around our mind.

But if I try to be provocative, why do we need a more rigorous methodology? What for? What if this problem is not just a fault of social sciences, but also of the society itself? What if social science just can not work properly in a society that denies it application of basic observations and solutions? How can a scientist work with an instrument that can only be passively watched, but refuses the feedback from the scientist? Politely refuses or ignores, in case of politicians. Any scientist needs feedback, needs to see his theories applied in practice. In that case the only practical social scientist was Ernesto "Che" Guevara Smile And maybe people from Frankfurt school, which are very sympathetic to me.

The reason why social sciences can not be properly applied and thus properly developed is, because we live in a primitive, traditional and rigid environment, bound by made-up borders, laws, ownership claims, sentiments, antipathies and so on. If someone tries to pull its strings, people get hurt, because they are tied with their lives and health to economy, money, laws, religions and so on. We are not truly free, which also means economically secure.
The Venus Project is very mysterious to some people, because it does not have a legal dimension. There is no ownership law, yet that doesn't mean people will take away your roof. It means that if a house is just another device with sensors of wear & tear and these sensors are connected to the city computer and the computer is connected to the industry that produces replacements and the replacements can be delivered and assembled automatically on place, then no ownership law is necessary to keep the housing in shape. Warning signs do not fix holes in a road and they don't prevent people from stealing. In TVP we don't give people rights to not be bitten by a shark, we install a machine sending signals that repel sharks.
Imagine how much culture would disappear if the laws disappear. Good riddance!

Well, I actually think there are many pointless things in sociology or history, such as mapping tribal or cultural borders and trends in regions. I would be ashamed to arrange a conference on such a topic, yet all the grey heads were there. It seems to me like mental masturbation, only it doesn't feel good. If there's any useful knowledge in there, we should apply it. This imperative to apply the observations is in case of sociology a scientific imperative, I suppose. It is not just me, young hothead demanding, it is the methodology itself! If in sociology the observer and observed are one(s), then the methodology must be one with social action as well.
The problem that we can't, means that we need to change the society, so that society becomes able to integrate this science. The proper means of this action must be as simple and harmless as possible. Any traditional social action is bound to evoke a shitstorm of misunderstanding. I see that the duty of sociologists is instead to use the instruments such as technology and environmental design to affect the society. Sociologists must not form any new political party or shit like that, that would not work and they should know it best. They must use truly scientific instruments, even from natural or behavioral science.
Hence I admire The Venus Project, it really cuts the Gordic knot quickly and painlessly. It allows sociologists to do some real work instead of getting tangled in politics, law, culture, history, nationalism, rights of minorities, religion and business.

So what is the sociology needed for, if we can just dump some money on TVP and go ahead? Well, someone has to point the way, explain the public, including academic public and experts what's going on! Someone has to allay their fears and professional objections, apply the suggestions and watch out for any totalitarian tendencies. Someone has to bridge the past and the future, show that these changes are no sudden new invention, they're just application of what we knew all along, if it wasn't for the nightmares and opium dreams of 20th century. Someone has to educate the public, someone who remembers like a historian and understands like a philosopher. Uneducated people are a danger, yet if we can't educate them non-violently, we have no right to educate, because we are the danger.
It is known of me, that I am a mildly autistic individual. I am individualistic by neurology, not by choice. Anything I promote is therefore by necessity maximally individual-friendly. I am a professional stranger, fence-sitter, trouble-maker, difference-seeker. A canary in the mine of the future, if you want. People think that all things socio- and TVP are collectivist. That is nonsense. One is all about paying attention to individuality, the other shows what really matters for an individual. If we define ourselves by what brands we consume, wear, work for and vote for, we are not really individuals. And some things are not worth of being individual about.

(I need to sum it up, sociology may become more rigorous by applying itself to the society as any science does with its subject. However the method must be a sociologically valid and sound application of sciences, including natural sciences. The best course of action is not the means that interest groups (and sociologists) today use, such as increase legal rights for this or that group, but embracing a holistic socio-economic system. Understanding of such a holistic system is a major sociological asset, sociologists are best pre-disposed to understand, explain, bug-check and ultimately lend academical authority to such a system in the eyes of mainstream society.)
That's just a note which I'll maybe use in a thesis or something
I have to admit that you have a talent for conveying information in a coherent, yet beautifully written way. I'm sure you'll do fine in your academic career.

As for me, I'm going to quit university as soon as I can get my hands on an apprenticeship in the applied social sciences (quantitative opinion and market research).

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18-12-2013, 07:55 PM (This post was last modified: 18-12-2013 08:27 PM by Luminon.)
RE: Sociology of science (Kuhn's Structure of Scientific Revolutions)
(17-12-2013 02:01 AM)Vosur Wrote:  I'm not in the habit of disagreeing with you for the sake of disagreement; what else am I to do but to concur with the points you make when they are valid? Sleepy

It seems to me that some of our differences in this thread were based on a mutual misunderstanding that has now been corrected.
Good! Now if I only could remember what they were.

(17-12-2013 02:01 AM)Vosur Wrote:  I understand your position now, though I question the reasoning that underlies it. Why, in your view, is it that the US is one of the only countries that attempts to 'fix' their economy this way?

As I'm sure you know, virtually every country on this planet is more or less deep in debt and a great many of them have high unemployment rates as well.
I thought it's obvious. But if it isn't, I'll tell it in detail.
Because it takes to be a global hegemon to try that kind of "fixing". The U.S. won the arms race with Soviet Union. But that race was highly profitable for some sectors near the government. So much that for a long time US supported the Soviets with great shipments of grain - in return for gold and oil, of course. Soviets had no choice, their economy was a mess. And politicians found it very convenient to have a scary enemy on which to blame the huge taxes. An enemy outside is the best excuse for a tyrant above. The basic rule of the government tyranny is to never lower the taxes. If the taxes and regulations stayed at the level of 1949, Americans would be today 4 times as rich.
The government is a great parasite. The people would never agree to pay about 60 % of their income as taxes (plus other daily expenses and bills) to the government if there wasn't a damn good reason for it. The government is constantly trying to invent excuses for military spending, so that it can stay in power and line the pockets of the rich.

The Clinton era was relatively peaceful and this president might have been an unfaithful cheating asshole of a husband, but he did not organize mass murders of civilians on the other side of the world and didn't read my e-mails and that makes him OK as a president. Seriously, it is not normal when a president does that, unless he's a cannibal warlord in Democratic Republic of Congo, financed by a foreign corporation smuggling rare elements for iPhones.

So basically, the military-industrial complex controls the government and the government can steal 60 % of all American money, and can print new ones and can turn them into weapons. These weapons then need to be deployed somewhere and the government is wonderful at making people swallow bullshit like that there are WOMD in Iraq, Al-Quaeda in Afghanistan (no AQ but world's best opium poppy fields, worth taking over for home market) and recently Obama was all for flattening Syria against all evidence, which was by the way staged by the AQ to topple the regime.

In short, only America has the military-industrial complex and mass media supremacy to play a global whack-a-mole with imaginary enemies to fool its home population into giving up 60 % of their wealth. That is the "fixing" which government does, only it is more like beating the horse until it dies and then blaming the poor for being so dam many and for eating so much. They always blame the poor.

(17-12-2013 02:01 AM)Vosur Wrote:  What are we to do about it? After all, it's a global phenomenon and has been an integral part of human societies for a long, long time.
There had never been the internet. And a lot relies on the question when other big countries finally admit that dollar is a worthless toilet paper printed by a private bank in infinite amounts. When that happens, a lot of rich people find themselves unable to finance their police and private army forces. Of course, the other countries know what power they have over the US by agreeing to pretend that dollar is not a toilet paper. And that's what money is, a big pretend game.

Anyway, lots of people are protesting right now, there are hundreds of protests every day worldwide which we never hear about in media. Facebook is still quite a free medium, although it separates people a lot into a bubble of their fellows.

(17-12-2013 02:01 AM)Vosur Wrote:  I did a little bit of research and found an interesting article on this very topic. I'm sure you're going to appreciate it as much as I did.
That's a wonderful article! They even mentioned Grounded Theory, which is one of subjects I have to pass this semester. Yes, this is exactly what I would recommend, see further. (yes, I have read it all, listened to it, actually)

(17-12-2013 02:01 AM)Vosur Wrote:  While I understand why you would say that, I do feel aggrieved that you think of me this way. I don't want someone to give me a certain answer when I ask them a question.
Well, it totally seemed like a rhetorical question to me. The frequent nonsense claim is, that woo is supernatural, therefore can't be studied by scientific method. I don't think it's supernatural, so I didn't claim that anything can't be studied by the scientific method. It's a method, it all depends on the type of instruments and theories. The radio waves, radioactivity and quantum computing would totally seem supernatural to people a few hundred years ago.

(17-12-2013 02:01 AM)Vosur Wrote:  I doubt I need to tell you what I think of this.
You don't. But whatever you think, the many worlds, many bodies theory is the Standard Model of woo. If scientists ever want to defeat woo, they have to address the MWMB theory. And having studied the MWMB theory most of my life, I can tell this is a tough nut to crack. It fuses natural and social phenomena to an extreme degree, going down to hylozoism, panpsychism and pantheism. I must say, although the MWMB theory occupies much of the gaps in science, it does not oppose it in any way where it overlaps. I'd rather say it provides very interesting insights on science and is inherently in agreement with M-theory. The MWMB which I study deals with basic forces that include electric, magnetic or gravitational, it deals with generation of fields and plasma dynamics and dark matter occasionally. It describes planetary and star formation. But it does so in an almost completely qualitative language and qualitative, subjective context. The context is, within the hylozoistic panpsychist universe, these forces do have subjective, qualitative effects (for example on human psyche) if they act in dimensions or worlds other than the lowest one which we call objective. However, there is much interaction between the dimensions, so this is also physically relevant. However, most of this traffic is top-down from a more energetic world to the less energetic, not bottoms up, so we live in a world of effects, not causes. Whatever we see are shadows on the wall of the cave, so to speak Platonically, or particles jumping seemingly out of nowhere of the quantum foam. Thus the MWMB theory is mostly a revelation and makes no secret about it.
Of course the theory apologizes for that to rational readers in preface of every book and urges the reader not to take anything of it dogmatically but keep exercising his reason and conscience as he sees fit. The authors are fully aware that only two types of people can believe in this stuff, credulous fools and those who experienced it on their own skin, for all the rest of educated humanity it is for consideration only.

So you see why verifying this theory requires a huge overlap and cooperation of social and natural sciences. Neurotheology is a good beginning, but physicists need to be added into the lot and people like me as well. If science can pull this off, and principially it could, then it can pull off anything. All the puzzle pieces are there, they are just not connected yet. Scientists need to invert the image, stop to see the vase and start to look at the two faces.

The very important reason why they can't do that is the dominant paradigm. And I don't mean just the theories. When this paradigm was getting established, back in the 1900's, each scientist made his own instruments. Professors were known and admired for masterfully blowing their own glass beakers and tubes, grinding their optics, wiring their own circuits... A technical design of an instrument decides what aspects of reality does this instrument measure. As long as people can construct their own devices, they can do so to verify any paradigm-shifting theory they want to. But soon the instruments get standardized and nobody makes them on their own anymore, they're mass produced in factories. Some are so big, that again, nobody makes them on their own. So this may be a huge reason why is science so standardized. I noticed that James DeMeo makes his own measuring instruments, some standard, some non-standard, he sells them all. The non-standard ones probably do not belong into the dominant paradigm at all, nobody understands them but those who know Wilhelm Reich's original research, nobody else knows what are they supposed to measure. The original Reich's design comes from the ye olde tymes when scientists made their instruments, today it's just the modernized version with more compact technologies. Fortunately JDM also had a success with a standard neutron counter which seemed to react as well, so there is an overlap with the current paradigm, but it didn't react in exactly the same way.
That's just a thought I got today, I actually have two or three subjects on science, one is very critical and philosophical, the other is very vivid and historical, with only a social icing on top, mostly a Wikipedia or History channel stuff. The professor is probably a technology enthusiast and I know much of the technical stuff that he knows, so I'm a little bored sometimes, but it's worth it.


(17-12-2013 02:01 AM)Vosur Wrote:  If someone were to make that claim, I would tell them that they're wrong because these things have no method by which they could conduct research.
Well, I don't know about creationism, but astrology does have a method. It relies on having a lot of precise biographical data. People take a planetary body, consider its initial position in that person's horoscope and then look at that person's significant life moments (such as getting horribly executed) and look for any significant formations in the transit overlay of the horoscope. Well, I don't say it is a good method, especially when I don't subscribe to medieval astrology, but it is a method Smile
Just for the exercise, can you tell me what's wrong with this method?

(17-12-2013 02:01 AM)Vosur Wrote:  But that's not what the definition does; equating truth with empiricism, that is.
If not truth, then what, science? Maybe I was getting ahead of myself, but the thing that the court needed was what to give the legal protection, if to science, then what is science and why does it deserve protection. It deserves the protection, because it true. Religion can be taught in mythology classes. But if the NAS described science as empirical, then it at least missed the mathematics, which is a science sui generis, a rational science. As I understand the courts, that might cancel the whole ruling, because it's just not a good ruling.

(17-12-2013 02:01 AM)Vosur Wrote:  I have to admit that you have a talent for conveying information in a coherent, yet beautifully written way. I'm sure you'll do fine in your academic career.

As for me, I'm going to quit university as soon as I can get my hands on an apprenticeship in the applied social sciences (quantitative opinion and market research).
Thanks! When I write beautifully, I feel beautifully. It is an act of getting high and inspiration of exactly the same kind as the ecstasy of religious saints, Picasso's act of painting or Beethoven's composition, not in intensity and talent of course, but of the same kind, even neurologically I believe.
However it does have a big constraint on what I do, because there are some things which just don't trigger this response. I get a lot of energy on things that interest me, but none on things which don't. That makes some trouble when getting the professors to approve the topic of my thesis. I accidentally studied Law & Economy before and it was a huge pain to develop and get approval for a sociological topic for my Bachelor's. I had to get it at another cathedra, I had to get my cathedra's professor's written approval (he was very old & scary reputation) and it took thesis concepts before to get at a suitable topic, rejecting these was quite a painful disillusionment process.

My dream job is to have a smaller but sure income by teaching a couple classes a week at a university (best a subject of my own design) and then doing occasional gigs for more money (or free) around the country, especially for politics or media. Educating the public is my dream. The things I can think of, other people need to be able to think of them as well.

Now, I totally understand your desire to get out and do something real. This is how I feel in the context of my entire life. The university where I'm now may be great, but I resent the people who make a big deal of stuff that nobody is going to use. It is a great joy to be in place where you belong, doing a job which you know you can do well and know you get paid for it. I kid you not, back several years ago I was floundering about and really wanted a job and to make myself useful. I am extremely exotically pre-disposed, but you may fit right into the market research. It must be beautiful to be in sync with the world, down there in the flow knowing that you can swim and make a place for yourself. My best chance is to marry a rich woman Big Grin
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18-12-2013, 08:39 PM
RE: Sociology of science (Kuhn's Structure of Scientific Revolutions)
(18-12-2013 07:55 PM)Luminon Wrote:  I thought it's obvious. But if it isn't, I'll tell it in detail.
Because it takes to be a global hegemon to try that kind of "fixing". The U.S. won the arms race with Soviet Union. But that race was highly profitable for some sectors near the government. So much that for a long time US supported the Soviets with great shipments of grain - in return for gold and oil, of course. Soviets had no choice, their economy was a mess.

Aka, just 'cause you don't like someone doesn't mean you can't do business.

(18-12-2013 07:55 PM)Luminon Wrote:  And politicians found it very convenient to have a scary enemy on which to blame the huge taxes. An enemy outside is the best excuse for a tyrant above. The basic rule of the government tyranny is to never lower the taxes. If the taxes and regulations stayed at the level of 1949, Americans would be today 4 times as rich.
The government is a great parasite. The people would never agree to pay about 60 % of their income as taxes (plus other daily expenses and bills) to the government if there wasn't a damn good reason for it. The government is constantly trying to invent excuses for military spending, so that it can stay in power and line the pockets of the rich.

Taxes which decreased continuously over the fourty years between 1950 and 1990 regardless of the American relationship with the Soviets.

(18-12-2013 07:55 PM)Luminon Wrote:  The Clinton era was relatively peaceful and this president might have been an unfaithful cheating asshole of a husband, but he did not organize mass murders of civilians on the other side of the world and didn't read my e-mails and that makes him OK as a president. Seriously, it is not normal when a president does that, unless he's a cannibal warlord in Democratic Republic of Congo, financed by a foreign corporation smuggling rare elements for iPhones.

"lol conspiracy" isn't an answer.

(18-12-2013 07:55 PM)Luminon Wrote:  So basically, the military-industrial complex controls the government and the government can steal 60 % of all American money, and can print new ones and can turn them into weapons. These weapons then need to be deployed somewhere and the government is wonderful at making people swallow bullshit like that there are WOMD in Iraq...

Don't go full I and I on this one, Luminon, you're better than that.

(18-12-2013 07:55 PM)Luminon Wrote:  ... Al-Quaeda in Afghanistan (no AQ but world's best opium poppy fields, worth taking over for home market)

And also the part where the Taliban were a real group who did real bad things and were in charge of a real country, and that US opiates are sourced domestically and from more reliable countries, and the occupation forces actively tried to suppress opium growing...

(so even if you're going to go full conspiracist loony the angle to take isn't "for home consumption" it's "to eliminate competition" but that pig ain't gonna fly regardless)

(18-12-2013 07:55 PM)Luminon Wrote:  and recently Obama was all for flattening Syria against all evidence, which was by the way staged by the AQ to topple the regime.

This must be some new meaning of the word 'evidence' I was previously unaware of.

(18-12-2013 07:55 PM)Luminon Wrote:  In short, only America has the military-industrial complex and mass media supremacy to play a global whack-a-mole with imaginary enemies to fool its home population into giving up 60 % of their wealth. That is the "fixing" which government does, only it is more like beating the horse until it dies and then blaming the poor for being so dam many and for eating so much. They always blame the poor.

Only America?

Pfft. The Iranians still blame the UK for everything under the sun.

(18-12-2013 07:55 PM)Luminon Wrote:  There had never been the internet. And a lot relies on the question when other big countries finally admit that dollar is a worthless toilet paper printed by a private bank in infinite amounts. When that happens, a lot of rich people find themselves unable to finance their police and private army forces. Of course, the other countries know what power they have over the US by agreeing to pretend that dollar is not a toilet paper. And that's what money is, a big pretend game.

All money is pretend.

That's the point of it.

(18-12-2013 07:55 PM)Luminon Wrote:  Anyway, lots of people are protesting right now, there are hundreds of protests every day worldwide which we never hear about in media. Facebook is still quite a free medium, although it separates people a lot into a bubble of their fellows.

"lol conspiracy" isn't an answer.

(18-12-2013 07:55 PM)Luminon Wrote:  Well, it totally seemed like a rhetorical question to me. The frequent nonsense claim is, that woo is supernatural, therefore can't be studied by scientific method.

Which is a matter of definitions, and therefore true. If a phenomenon is amenable to scientific study then it cannot be supernatural, as a matter of course.

(18-12-2013 07:55 PM)Luminon Wrote:  I don't think it's supernatural, so I didn't claim that anything can't be studied by the scientific method. It's a method, it all depends on the type of instruments and theories. The radio waves, radioactivity and quantum computing would totally seem supernatural to people a few hundred years ago.

Eh. I could explain any of those things (two of which were known 100 years ago) to an educated person of the era.

(18-12-2013 07:55 PM)Luminon Wrote:  You don't. But whatever you think, the many worlds, many bodies theory is the Standard Model of woo. If scientists ever want to defeat woo, they have to address the MWMB theory. And having studied the MWMB theory most of my life, I can tell this is a tough nut to crack. It fuses natural and social phenomena to an extreme degree, going down to hylozoism, panpsychism and pantheism. I must say, although the MWMB theory occupies much of the gaps in science, it does not oppose it in any way where it overlaps. I'd rather say it provides very interesting insights on science and is inherently in agreement with M-theory. The MWMB which I study deals with basic forces that include electric, magnetic or gravitational, it deals with generation of fields and plasma dynamics and dark matter occasionally. It describes planetary and star formation. But it does so in an almost completely qualitative language and qualitative, subjective context. The context is, within the hylozoistic panpsychist universe, these forces do have subjective, qualitative effects (for example on human psyche) if they act in dimensions or worlds other than the lowest one which we call objective. However, there is much interaction between the dimensions, so this is also physically relevant. However, most of this traffic is top-down from a more energetic world to the less energetic, not bottoms up, so we live in a world of effects, not causes. Whatever we see are shadows on the wall of the cave, so to speak Platonically, or particles jumping seemingly out of nowhere of the quantum foam. Thus the MWMB theory is mostly a revelation and makes no secret about it.
Of course the theory apologizes for that to rational readers in preface of every book and urges the reader not to take anything of it dogmatically but keep exercising his reason and conscience as he sees fit. The authors are fully aware that only two types of people can believe in this stuff, credulous fools and those who experienced it on their own skin, for all the rest of educated humanity it is for consideration only.

tl;dr - woo.

You can't use well-defined scientific words in incoherently ill-conceived new contexts and expect anyone to know what you're talking about.

If you're literally saying it rests on unverifiable and subjective personal experience you're saying it's woo.

(18-12-2013 07:55 PM)Luminon Wrote:  So you see why verifying this theory requires a huge overlap and cooperation of social and natural sciences. Neurotheology is a good beginning, but physicists need to be added into the lot and people like me as well. If science can pull this off, and principially it could, then it can pull off anything. All the puzzle pieces are there, they are just not connected yet. Scientists need to invert the image, stop to see the vase and start to look at the two faces.

As ever you presuppose there's something there.

What are your falsifiability criteria?

(18-12-2013 07:55 PM)Luminon Wrote:  The very important reason why they can't do that is the dominant paradigm. And I don't mean just the theories. When this paradigm was getting established, back in the 1900's, each scientist made his own instruments. Professors were known and admired for masterfully blowing their own glass beakers and tubes, grinding their optics, wiring their own circuits... A technical design of an instrument decides what aspects of reality does this instrument measure. As long as people can construct their own devices, they can do so to verify any paradigm-shifting theory they want to. But soon the instruments get standardized and nobody makes them on their own anymore, they're mass produced in factories. Some are so big, that again, nobody makes them on their own. So this may be a huge reason why is science so standardized.

Quite fallacious. The people "making their own instruments" were tiny numbers of extraordinarily rich people. And once possessed of a device anyone competent may calibrate it and explore the limits of its capability.

To buy into the overstated and oversold 'paradidm' model of scientific progress... A shift is necessarily commensurate with a failure in current explanations for presently attainable data.

(18-12-2013 07:55 PM)Luminon Wrote:  I noticed that James DeMeo makes his own measuring instruments, some standard, some non-standard, he sells them all. The non-standard ones probably do not belong into the dominant paradigm at all, nobody understands them but those who know Wilhelm Reich's original research, nobody else knows what are they supposed to measure. The original Reich's design comes from the ye olde tymes when scientists made their instruments, today it's just the modernized version with more compact technologies. Fortunately JDM also had a success with a standard neutron counter which seemed to react as well, so there is an overlap with the current paradigm, but it didn't react in exactly the same way.
That's just a thought I got today, I actually have two or three subjects on science, one is very critical and philosophical, the other is very vivid and historical, with only a social icing on top, mostly a Wikipedia or History channel stuff. The professor is probably a technology enthusiast and I know much of the technical stuff that he knows, so I'm a little bored sometimes, but it's worth it.

When you get null results you can't just say "but paradigms". That amounts to "lol conspiracy". Which is not an answer.

I will say once more that if you wish to talk about physics you need to learn a lot more about physics first.

(18-12-2013 07:55 PM)Luminon Wrote:  Well, I don't know about creationism, but astrology does have a method. It relies on having a lot of precise biographical data. People take a planetary body, consider its initial position in that person's horoscope and then look at that person's significant life moments (such as getting horribly executed) and look for any significant formations in the transit overlay of the horoscope. Well, I don't say it is a good method, especially when I don't subscribe to medieval astrology, but it is a method Smile
Just for the exercise, can you tell me what's wrong with this method?

It fails all known tests of objectivity, reliability, utility, and falsifiability.

Like all pseudoscience.

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