Sociology of science (Kuhn's Structure of Scientific Revolutions)
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19-12-2013, 02:01 AM
RE: Sociology of science (Kuhn's Structure of Scientific Revolutions)
Well, there's not much left for me to respond to now, is there? Dodgy

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19-12-2013, 04:45 PM
RE: Sociology of science (Kuhn's Structure of Scientific Revolutions)
(18-12-2013 08:39 PM)cjlr Wrote:  Aka, just 'cause you don't like someone doesn't mean you can't do business.

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

"lol conspiracy" isn't an answer.
Let's say that so far my courses in politology, sociology, international policy, history, law, economy and public administration said something different.
I think your positivist and reductionist thinking which makes you an ace in natural sciences might be a handicap in understanding social sciences. These are dirty subjects, studying some extremely irrational behavior. Understanding irrationality rationally is very difficult to do. When you watch atoms or chemicals, they don't look back at you, trying to gauge your reactions for their benefit.
And government is irrationality on steroids and cocaine. It is an ancient institution evolved to attract the most capable psychopaths everywhere. And yet the government has the licence to kill, steal and print money. If you aren't scared yet, then I'd take it as a sign that you don't have enough information. I'm not a right-wing voter, but on this one I have to agree with real right-wing anarcho-capitalists. Government is very dangerous.

(18-12-2013 08:39 PM)cjlr Wrote:  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.
Does that mean that relativistic phenomena were supernatural in medieval ages? That's curious, I have never heard anyone using such a definition.

(18-12-2013 08:39 PM)cjlr Wrote:  Eh. I could explain any of those things (two of which were known 100 years ago) to an educated person of the era.
You could, but then he'd ask for visible, tangible evidence. Educated yes, but in what? Each era has its own education that is consistent with the phenomena it observes with its technical instruments. There are anomalies, but there are always anomalies, anomalies are not and never were anything unusual. Anomalies are not a reason to stop everything we're doing.

What's worse, you would not be able to explain anything. The feat of explaining would be akin to teaching a new language to the person. And who would want to learn a new language from a crackpot? You'd soon hit a social barrier. Perhaps in time you'd gather a ring of followers around you, attracted by your authority. They'd believe you, some perhaps even understand you, but to everyone on the outside they'd look like a group of crackpots or a religious sect. If you had anything real to show, you'd submit it for peer-review long ago, is that right? Do you think that the phlogiston theory was stupid and people who endorsed it were stupid as well? No, it was correct, that is, it was adequate to the needs, amount of knowledge, language and measuring instruments of the era. You say nobody ever saw phlogiston? So it is with atoms, nobody ever saw one. Except through diagrams and devices incomprehensible to anyone who does not know the atomic theory.

(18-12-2013 08:39 PM)cjlr Wrote:  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.
Who says that the subjective and personal is unverifiable? Not me. All is a question of developing sufficiently sensitive technologies, theories to motivate these technologies and personal experiences to motivate these theories. I believe more people today have personal experiences which can not be explained on with present medical knowledge and that motivates them in their scientific work.
I'd say people could understand me, if they had a knack for qualitative research.
But subjective personal experience can be studied as well, hence the reference to neurotheology. But using well-defined scientific words in incoherently ill-conceived new contexts is exactly what scientists do, experts of one science borrow concepts from popular science from experts of a whole different field. Except physicists, they borrow concepts from Greek mythology, including names of the gods. Which would be a tough thing to explain to hypothetical alien visitors, that our scientists aren't engaged in elaborate Kabbalistic re-enactment of Hellenistic astrology, equating the properties of elements to celestial bodies.

(18-12-2013 08:39 PM)cjlr Wrote:  As ever you presuppose there's something there.

What are your falsifiability criteria?
I don't presuppose, I observe. There are strange phenomena going on with my neurology, which are neither pathological, nor medically well-known. That is a fact and from that fact I begin, not from any presupposition. This fact I check against everything I learn. It was not my idea, this is how I was born. So it happened sooner than I was able to presuppose anything. Only later did I learn that these strange phenomena do not belong into the dominant paradigm, I didn't really know that before. Later as I searched, only the MBMW theory was relevant, so this is where I begin. But I don't end there.

In my paradigm, I have my own falsifiability criteria, derived from my observations, MWMB theory, the principle of non-contradiction to science and so on. But you don't care about these.
So first comes the qualitative, inductive stage of building a theory, or rather translating the MWMB theory into the language of contemporary science. The most important thing is of course that new experiments be designed and conducted by people familiar with MWMB theory but within the dominant paradigm. A stepping stone to that is to giving more attention to research that seems to be on the fringe of the two paradigms. However this research is notoriously infamous and might sabotage the effort because of social reasons. But shortly said, we need to test modern technologies developed from the works of people like Semyon Kirlian and Wilhelm Reich. Both of these seem to deal with static electric charge as the thing that carries interaction between the known visible forces and the invisible components of human body, that my paradigm deals with.

Any other research which seems less than rigorous must be studied qualitatively and statistically by social sciences, it holds much useful information also. This research can be more directly and easily compared to the MWMB theory itself. For example, now I read a book by Andrew Newberg, M.D. and Mark Robert Waldman - How God changes your brain: Breakthrough discoveries from a leading neuroscientist

This book is amazing and a must read for people like me, you, or religious believers. It throws much light upon the things that I do with my neurology and what is being done to me, in return. I will praise it likely for a long time to come, because it has implications even for the Atheist group public policy (how to behave to believers to tame them). But a minor point aside, it deals with neurology and endocrine system and the MWMB theory also deals with neurology and endocrine system (especially Alice Bailey: Soul and its mechanism). The two approaches can be easily compared, juxtaposed and synthesized. A researcher educated in the first can make discoveries in the second and vice versa. Of course setting on such a research is a journey through personal neurology also, it can only be reliably done by someone who is actively engaged in molding and integrating his neurology, such as me. That is, because qualitative research relies on understanding and you can not understand transcendental experiences by mundane words.

(18-12-2013 08:39 PM)cjlr Wrote:  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.
Well, I don't know where your information comes from, I just say what my professor said yesterday, that's how science was done back then. "Bleeding edge science" has by definition no factories on standardized scientific instruments, it makes them custom-designed for experiments. And all the standard science today was a bleeding edge research around the 1900's. If old instruments could not measure things such as X-rays, people had to make new ones.

One of Kuhn's point is, that failure to explain the present data does not automatically mean the paradigm shift.
1) The unexplained data might be explained if we explore the current paradigm further.
2) If there is no alternate equally good explanation, see point 1.
3) If there is an equally good alternate explanation, it'd better connect well with the rest of the current paradigm, because we can't have a new explanation beg the questions anew on all the already answered questions. And every new paradigm has of course its weak spots, though they may lie elsewhere, even on opposite sides. What is obvious in one paradigm is insignificant or undefinable in another and vice versa.
4) If there are two equally good paradigms, then there is really no scientific way to decide between them. They might as well be two alternate sciences. The only way to decide is to argue loudly which one has more adherents or which gets us to the Moon and which doesn't.
Social dimension in science is traditionally very underestimated. Science is a human endeavor as everything else, it is not an essence of pure knowledge descending to us from the world of perfect forms, it is a very messy social process, as the last resort descending to politics and squabbling.
And yes, the study Vosur posted is wonderful in explaining how the terminology gets messed up between fields, natural and social...

(18-12-2013 08:39 PM)cjlr Wrote:  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.
C'mon! That is a valid objection. Measuring instruments are constructed to prove or disprove given assumptions about reality. Someone with different assumptions will construct different instruments, design different experiments and interpret the results differently. You asking for answers is very deceptive, it presumes that we share one language, one paradigm, you are the one who presupposes here. The dominant paradigm today is not synonymous with all the nature of the universe, or it would already discover it all and there would be nothing more to discover. People who underestimate the social dimension of the world often see the science as a steady accumulation of knowledge, which is a biased, retrospective view. Even publishing one or two people as authors of a scientific discovery is a big fallacy and historical deception. Every paradigm is a self-consistent system of understanding reality on a whole new level, incomparable to the previous level.
Thus an educated person of the era, of a different paradigm would not understand you.

Most times when people told me things that you tell me, the case was that I understood the subject from so many points of view, that they did not recognize their own subject, hence assumed I know nothing about it. Perhaps I need to learn about physics, but my problem is not really with physics. It is with the social background that underlies physics and everything else. You seem to be very... innocent of the study of social sciences or qualitative understanding at all. That is dangerous, because you can't check for it. You can only check for social bias within the paradigm, not in the way you think about what is or isn't a testable or even a reasonable hypothesis. This you accept as a given.

(18-12-2013 08:39 PM)cjlr Wrote:  It fails all known tests of objectivity, reliability, utility, and falsifiability.

Like all pseudoscience.
Ok, just for the record, what do you think of social sciences?
And what is skepticism, according to you? What is the difference between skepticism and cynicism?
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