The Science Delusion.
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04-03-2013, 09:49 AM
The Science Delusion.
(28-02-2013 01:19 AM)Sceptical Prophet Wrote:  
(25-02-2013 06:11 PM)I and I Wrote:  Science is a cultural tool and it is manipulated by humans for good or for bad.
Please explain to me how "When you drop an object it will accelerate at 9.8m/s^2" is a cultural tool.

The most obvious answer is the use of that knowledge to create weapons, these weapons are to be used for imperialistic ventures. Science today is the tool of today's ruling ideology.
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04-03-2013, 09:52 AM
The Science Delusion.
(28-02-2013 01:29 AM)Sceptical Prophet Wrote:  
(27-02-2013 10:14 AM)Ghost Wrote:  Hey, Asp.

It's not for you and I to sit here and figure everything out because, frankly, I don't think that either of us are qualified to speak definitively on things like the constant speed of light or the gravitational force or neurology. But neither is it for you and I to dismiss everything he's saying out of hand.

When ideological positions become hegemonic (jargon terms, I know, but bear with me), then they become "the common sense view". The common sense view is often colloquially seen as "the no shit Sherlock" view. It's seen as the truth that is so obvious that only a great moron would think otherwise. "It's just common sense". But this is not actually the meaning of the common sense view. The common sense view is the sense that is common; meaning, the great majority ASSUMES that it is true. It's what many humanists refer to as received wisdom. When ideological views enter the domain of the common sense view, then further discourse is blocked. "It's just common sense," is a synonym for, "Don't question it further." Why return to the discourse when it's obvious that the way we see things is sacrosanct? Hegemony naturalises ideology. This is a very normal issue of ideology.

This man's main point (and it turns out that he is a Theist, but that should not automatically disqualify him from making any comments on science) is actually quite simple. He is saying that these ten things are simply assumed to be true. We move forward with those assumptions. But the evidence supporting those notions is not as perfect or as slam dunk as we think. We shouldn't merely trust these ideas because we're used to them. This doesn't mean that these ideas are valueless, but that if we return to the point of discourse, if we don't just assume that these things are true, then we can move laterally as well as forward and open up new lines of inquiry. Maybe they won't lead to anything, maybe they will. But the point of concern is that if we simply stick to what we assume to be true, then alternate lines of inquiry are blocked and that is a negative thing.

I mean think about it. What if the constants are not constant? That would be a huge discovery. So why not investigate? Investigating it doesn't mean that it's somehow suddenly true, it means we're looking into it. That seems reasonable. But if the reason we don't investigate something like that is because the gatekeepers tell us to not bother, not because they have irrefutable evidence that it's wrong, but because they don't want us to, well, that's an issue.

At the end of the day, do metrologists get different values for gravity and light speed? I have no fucking idea. I hadn't even heard of the field of metrology before yesterday. Perhaps this guy is talking out of his ass and no such controversy exists. Regardless of that specific argument, his call to be vigilant against the intrusion of ideology in scientific inquiry is entirely reasonable.

For example, people once thought that Newton's ideas were just common sense. But Einstein took a right turn at Albuquerque and changed the game. But what if the influence of the Newtonian world view was so powerful that Einstein's inquiry was blocked? How would that have benefited us? Even if Einstein had been 100% wrong, at least we'd know.

I fully understand that there is a shitty climate today where people are trying to undermine science to advance their own agendas; creationists for example. But if we block our own questioning of science just so that we don't give them any openings to attack it, then we're not actually doing ourselves any favours. Like the trap in hockey. It was a great way to stop people from scoring on you, but it was so choking that it nearly destroyed the game. Sometimes we have to open the game up be free wheeling. Sure, maybe that means they'll score, but like The Great One once said, you miss 100% of the shots you don't take. Any inquiry should be par for the course in science because we don't have to fear the results. Because no one makes the results. The evidence simply speaks.

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt
I may have missed the point but I get the feeling you're claiming science is ignoring research into universal constants based on the assumption that they are correct, based on the reasoning that most scientists believe it is correct, therefore it is.

I'd like to happily inform you that you're wrong. I'm a part of the science community (by good fortune of being the child of the two leading nuclear physicists in my country) and it may be for this reason that I'm privy to information that you are not. Regardless, your assumption of their assumption is wrong.

Here's what a quick Google brings up: http://www.scientificamerican.com/articl...nts-jan-12

I only skimmed that post to make sure it was relevant, because it wasn't what I was looking for. There was an Australian scientist who provided evidence that the value of scientific constants depends on where you are in the universe. He spent a good deal of time at some of the larger observatories around the world to verify this. Last I heard, he was still building up his theory (yes, a real scientific theory is not that easy to create - it requires years of gathering evidence) and is being peer reviewed.

Perhaps more relevant to the nature of this forum, how's this as a thought? If we "simply stick to what we think is true" why would atheists even exist right now? It was the social paradigm to be a religious man only a century ago. We've gone through hundreds of civilisations and religions to reach this present day and age, and our understanding of science has only grown. An example of challenging existing scientific facts? All of Aristotle's works were challenged, even though they were preached as the truth (by the way, the Church heavily supported Aristotle). Many were punished for challenging these "facts" but change still triumphed. Newton's law of gravitation was replaced by Einstein's SR for large scale calculations. The Big Bang Theory has been changing ever since it was first proposed, as more information is added (and outdated information removed) to make it more accurate.

I resent the claim that scientists will believe something simply because it is "common sense" because that goes against the scientist's true nature - to question and seek answers for everything.

So.....a theory is made, then it gets peer reviewed. Tell the people here why a theory needs to be peer reviewed in the first place. I thought science was based more on facts not consensus of opinion.
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04-03-2013, 10:21 AM
RE: The Science Delusion.
Hey, Scepro.

Quote:Please explain to me how "When you drop an object it will accelerate at 9.8m/s^2" is a cultural tool.

I don't want to get into it here, but if you go to the philosophy forum and read through the "Social Constructivism vs Positivism" thread, you'll see a lot of my arguments.

The nutshell is that every concept in that sentence is a social construction and not the rule or the phenomenon itself. The human mind uses these constructions as a middle man between our brains and the world around us. They allow us to understand and interact with the world around us, but they are not 1:1 equivalencies but rather abstracted cognitive constructions. For example, the following picture is not actually a Christmas tree, but rather a representation of one:
[Image: images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQ1WZgp_Nk4PZrDhrjkr1s...VbHMqN3pUe]

I think that most people would agree that anyone that thinks that the above picture IS a Christmas tree needs to have their head examined. The constructivist view extends that notion to ALL representations which, to them, includes every single thought in the human mind. Our thoughts are not Christmas trees, they are pictures.

So that equation may be exceptionally useful for what it does, but it is a cultural tool because every single concept in your head is a cultural tool. This notion in no way shape or form devalues the usefulness of that equation, it is merely an observation about the nature of it.

I know that this idea is counter-intuitive to a lot of people, but I'm just trying to supply you with the argument that answers your question.

Quote:I may have missed the point but I get the feeling you're claiming
science is ignoring research into universal constants based on the
assumption that they are correct, based on the reasoning that most
scientists believe it is correct, therefore it is.

Not me. The speaker is. My main concern here is that I feel people have misinterpreted his message and have, as a result, missed the point.

But yes, the idea is that in some cases, scientists are not working from proven theories, but from assumptions. Doesn't mean they pulled those assumptions out of thin air, but that if those assumptions are confused for fact, it inhibits inquiry into areas that run counter to them. The speaker was challenging us to cut through the ideological restrictions that inhibit inquiry. He attempted to deconstruct the ideology by pointing out 10 ideas that he believes are assumptions rather than proven fact.

Not surprisingly, his attempt to deconstruct the ideology has been met with aggression. The prevailing theories of ideology predict exactly that sort of response, so it's nothing surprising.

One of my favourite examples is that of a Toronto family that, in an attempt to deconstruct the ideology of gender, have decided to raise their child without a gender. You'll see in this report that some of the responses are quite aggressive. These are examples of the ideology attempting to re-assert itself in the face of an attempt at deconstruction.





Quote:I'd like to happily inform you that you're wrong...

I only skimmed that post to make sure it was relevant, because it wasn't
what I was looking for. There was an Australian scientist who provided
evidence that the value of scientific constants depends on where you are
in the universe. He spent a good deal of time at some of the larger
observatories around the world to verify this. Last I heard, he was
still building up his theory (yes, a real scientific theory is not that
easy to create - it requires years of gathering evidence) and is being
peer reviewed.

I'm not at all surprised that SOME scientists are looking into it. But for every one looking into it, how many are trying to discredit them? How many dismiss even the notion that they might have a point and go about their day as they always have?

That's the issue he's pointing out. "No one" is obviously too strong. He's talking about a prevailing ideology and the need to deconstruct it. That a few have is promising, but it hardly constitutes a revolution.

Quote:Perhaps more relevant to the nature of this forum, how's this as a
thought? If we "simply stick to what we think is true" why would
atheists even exist right now? It was the social paradigm to be a
religious man only a century ago. We've gone through hundreds of
civilisations and religions to reach this present day and age, and our
understanding of science has only grown. An example of challenging
existing scientific facts? All of Aristotle's works were challenged,
even though they were preached as the truth (by the way, the Church
heavily supported Aristotle). Many were punished for challenging these
"facts" but change still triumphed. Newton's law of gravitation was
replaced by Einstein's SR for large scale calculations. The Big Bang
Theory has been changing ever since it was first proposed, as more
information is added (and outdated information removed) to make it more
accurate.

Yeah, I think you're misinterpreting the point being made. Neither the speaker nor myself are suggesting that ideology is impenetrable, he's suggesting and I'm agreeing, that it's important to penetrate it, deconstruct it and not fall victim to its allure.

The 10 dogmas the speaker listed are contemporary issues in science.

Quote:I resent the claim that scientists will believe something simply because
it is "common sense" because that goes against the scientist's true
nature - to question and seek answers for everything.

I can't be concerned with your resentment. Not because I don't have any regard or concern for you, but if I stop inquiring because I've hurt your feelings, well, that's just emotional hijacking.

The claim isn't really that scientists will believe ideological positions. The fact is that ALL HUMANS are always affected by and agents of ideology. There are no humans anywhere exempt from that. Not one. Not ever. So if scientists want to suggest that they're somehow exempt, then they're going to have to provide some pretty impressive proof of their superpower.

Scientists can fall victim to the pitfalls of ideology and still be questioners and seekers.

None of this is to undermines science or suggest that science is BS or that it should all be thrown out. If I tell my mechanic that my tires are out of alignment, he doesn't throw my car in the crusher. He says, "Well, outside of that, the car works great. Let's just address this alignment issue and get you back on the road."

Hey, Asp.

Quote:For yourself, I can't be sure. You claimed that man wasn't a theist when
he actually was. So I don't know if you look into the things you claim
at all.

You lost me in your opening sentence. Since when do people lose points for correcting themselves? That's weak sauce. I'm only responding to your post now because I wanted to respond to Scepro and if I didn't, people would accuse me of dodging you.

Quote:There is nothing wrong with questioning things, but presenting them in
the way this man did in the video is just spreading misinformation.

I don't know if this man's alternatives are correct and frankly I don't give a fuck. That's for scientific experiment to discover. But I believe two things:
1 - That the dogmas he points to are, as he suggests, ideological
2 - We should constantly be re-evaluating what we know and what we think we know

Quote:It's spreading the much needed doubt in science the young earth creationists need.

I live in Montreal. YECs are an absolute NON-ISSUE for me. If you're having a fist fight with them then you have my sympathy. I don't even think about them. And I addressed this directly. Defending science at all costs is too costly to science.

Quote:There is nothing wrong with questioning things, if the constants change, they have not been observed to change as of yet.

I'm curious. How do you know that?

As for your counterarguments to what the speaker has said, like I said before, I have no interest in figuring out what is correct here in this thread because NONE OF US has the requisite access to the information that would actually be required to do so and none of us are specialist enough to answer all of those questions. So again, that's not the issue for me. The issue is, I think that what he said is important. If you want to defend the position, then more power to you. I just wonder how much of your defense is steeped in fact and how much is steeped in assumption.

Quote:If you want to inquire, how about you do some research into if they do
observe changes instead of blindly following this mans heed and
questioning things you have yet to even understand.

How about you read what I actually write and don't project your insecurities onto me?

Hey, Carlo.

Word Cool

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt
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11-03-2013, 10:10 AM
RE: The Science Delusion.
I guess what I got from that video bemore is that norms should be tested and dogmas should be questioned. I do not disagree with the sentiment. Isn't that how science has come as far as it has? Although I'm not mystified by Sheldrakes questions, I am glad that someone is asking questions like these and seeking answers in a scientific way. I guess what I'm trying to say is that even though I'm not swayed by meta-physical ideas I'm also not offended by it as long as it's not tied into some sort of brand of mysticism.

Who was it that said "Never stop asking why"?
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11-03-2013, 10:29 AM
RE: The Science Delusion.
(04-03-2013 09:52 AM)I and I Wrote:  So.....a theory is made, then it gets peer reviewed. Tell the people here why a theory needs to be peer reviewed in the first place. I thought science was based more on facts not consensus of opinion.
It is peer reviewed because the one writing the paper could have a confirmation bias or could have made mistakes. The math that the theory involves could have mistakes. Others test it to make sure it matches reality in every applicable case.

The theory either matches reality or it doesn't. If you have a confirmation bias you might take it easy on the theory in regards to trying to prove it wrong. If you come up with something that might match reality, you try to prove it wrong.

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11-03-2013, 06:37 PM
The Science Delusion.
(11-03-2013 10:29 AM)Aspchizo Wrote:  
(04-03-2013 09:52 AM)I and I Wrote:  So.....a theory is made, then it gets peer reviewed. Tell the people here why a theory needs to be peer reviewed in the first place. I thought science was based more on facts not consensus of opinion.
It is peer reviewed because the one writing the paper could have a confirmation bias or could have made mistakes. The math that the theory involves could have mistakes. Others test it to make sure it matches reality in every applicable case.

The theory either matches reality or it doesn't. If you have a confirmation bias you might take it easy on the theory in regards to trying to prove it wrong. If you come up with something that might match reality, you try to prove it wrong.

Do you think it is possible for a group of scientists to be bias? Peer reviewed could also mean that one got people that agreed with him to review the paper. This goes on often when science is used as an ideological tool. Whether it's the FDA or any other science. Creationists can get peer reviewed for fucks sake.
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11-03-2013, 06:45 PM
RE: The Science Delusion.
(11-03-2013 06:37 PM)I and I Wrote:  
(11-03-2013 10:29 AM)Aspchizo Wrote:  It is peer reviewed because the one writing the paper could have a confirmation bias or could have made mistakes. The math that the theory involves could have mistakes. Others test it to make sure it matches reality in every applicable case.

The theory either matches reality or it doesn't. If you have a confirmation bias you might take it easy on the theory in regards to trying to prove it wrong. If you come up with something that might match reality, you try to prove it wrong.

Do you think it is possible for a group of scientists to be bias? Peer reviewed could also mean that one got people that agreed with him to review the paper. This goes on often when science is used as an ideological tool. Whether it's the FDA or any other science. Creationists can get peer reviewed for fucks sake.
You don't appear to understand peer review. If there were collusion, it couldn't last. Once published, it's fair game.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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11-03-2013, 09:05 PM
RE: The Science Delusion.
The explaining of phenomena within the "explanatory collective" may lead to pragmatic and false claims of degrees of certainty.
Researchers may ask 'why fix it if its working' when further and and deeper analysis may lead to more purposeful theories and results. There is also the cost factor.
I see the accusations as to Sheldrake pushing theology, rather than attempting to re generate science as ill founded.
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13-03-2013, 05:29 PM
The Science Delusion.
(11-03-2013 06:45 PM)Chas Wrote:  
(11-03-2013 06:37 PM)I and I Wrote:  Do you think it is possible for a group of scientists to be bias? Peer reviewed could also mean that one got people that agreed with him to review the paper. This goes on often when science is used as an ideological tool. Whether it's the FDA or any other science. Creationists can get peer reviewed for fucks sake.
You don't appear to understand peer review. If there were collusion, it couldn't last. Once published, it's fair game.

You don't appear to understand or answer direct questions, a clear sign of a bullshitter.

Do you think it is possible for a group of scientists to be bias?
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13-03-2013, 06:41 PM
RE: The Science Delusion.
(13-03-2013 05:29 PM)I and I Wrote:  
(11-03-2013 06:45 PM)Chas Wrote:  You don't appear to understand peer review. If there were collusion, it couldn't last. Once published, it's fair game.

You don't appear to understand or answer direct questions, a clear sign of a bullshitter.

Do you think it is possible for a group of scientists to be bias?
You frame biased questions.

When did you stop beating your wife?

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