The scientific method & fish DNA
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14-01-2015, 06:12 AM
RE: The scientific method & fish DNA
(03-10-2014 08:10 AM)Full Circle Wrote:  Long Post Exclamation

Over the last four days I've had the great fortune of looking for cryptic fish species with one of the world's leading marine biologist. This guy's CV is like no other I have ever seen, doctorates, honors and a list of published papers as long as my arm plus CEO of a non-profit ocean research foundation.

What this guy does is collect fish, sequences sections of DNA and compares it to other fish of the "same species" from different places, sometimes they match within 1%, other times they vary as much as 10% thus leading to describing new species. The goal is to barcode every species of fish on earth!

What I want to share is just how incredibly satisfying, wonderful and surprising the entire process of looking, observing, testing, dissecting and describing is. Nothing our scientific efforts find and discover is forever written in stone, new information leads to better understanding and many times to even more questions. The old adage "The larger the island of knowledge, the longer the shoreline of wonder" applies.

So in the last few days I watched this incredibly knowledgeable man question his own hypotheses and thinking, even to the point of saying he would have to edit recent papers he has written based on what we had found in the last few days diving with us. This gives me great satisfaction that finding the truth and being accurate is more important than ego in the scientific community, at the very least for this individual.

This brings me to some of the recent headlines having to to with Stephen Hawking getting bashed by Michelle Bachmann because Hawking changed his view on black holes (I don't know the details since I have great difficulty reading anything said by ignorant people like Bachmann) and how the theists cling to any changes in scientific knowledge as a wedge to say that science is not reliable because it is constantly revising itself! Exactly! That's the point of research, experimentation, observation and exploration; to gain further insight, question everything and strive to understand accurately.

Anyway, the last few days strenghtened and comforted me that the scientific process and method is alive and well, even in this corner of the world and I can rest easier knowing that there are many of us who value facts and accuracy over ego and superstition.

Thanks for reading. FC

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Me.
N.B: I routinely make edits to posts to correct grammar or spelling, or to restate a point more clearly. I only notify edits if they materially change meaning.
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14-01-2015, 07:23 AM
RE: The scientific method & fish DNA
(03-10-2014 08:30 AM)cjlr Wrote:  The goal of science is to be wrong - and by being wrong enough times, we're eventually less wrong overall.

Except of course when it comes to shit they have a strong vested interest in. Think of scientist like Dawkins, or Jerry Coyne, who are far from eager to imagine their perspectives on the harm and dangers of religion being wrong. In fact they are so devoted to their beliefs, that hardly any sort of critical thought, evidence, or reasoning, is likely to alter their beliefs.

Or imagine scientists who work at a drug company, who received FDA approval for a drug, only to have others find some devastating side effects, opening up a pool of law suits. These folks definitely are not eager to be wrong.

In reality science doesn't have any goals, or desires, it's not a being. Scientists do, and they are all over the place, and often suffer from the same predicaments and biases that inflict the rest of humanity.
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14-01-2015, 07:32 AM
RE: The scientific method & fish DNA
(14-01-2015 07:23 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  
(03-10-2014 08:30 AM)cjlr Wrote:  The goal of science is to be wrong - and by being wrong enough times, we're eventually less wrong overall.

Except of course when it comes to shit they have a strong vested interest in. Think of scientist like Dawkins, or Jerry Coyne, who are far from eager to imagine their perspectives on the harm and dangers of religion being wrong. In fact they are so devoted to their beliefs, that hardly any sort of critical thought, evidence, or reasoning, is likely to alter their beliefs.

Or imagine scientists who work at a drug company, who received FDA approval for a drug, only to have others find some devastating side effects, opening up a pool of law suits. These folks definitely are not eager to be wrong.

In reality science doesn't have any goals, or desires, it's not a being. Scientists do, and they are all over the place, and often suffer from the same predicaments and biases that inflict the rest of humanity.

You have clearly not actually read any of their writing on science. Have you read any of their works?

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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14-01-2015, 07:41 AM (This post was last modified: 14-01-2015 08:21 AM by EvolutionKills.)
RE: The scientific method & fish DNA
(14-01-2015 07:23 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  
(03-10-2014 08:30 AM)cjlr Wrote:  The goal of science is to be wrong - and by being wrong enough times, we're eventually less wrong overall.
Except of course when it comes to shit they have a strong vested interest in. Think of scientist like Dawkins, or Jerry Coyne, who are far from eager to imagine their perspectives on the harm and dangers of religion being wrong. In fact they are so devoted to their beliefs, that hardly any sort of critical thought, evidence, or reasoning, is likely to alter their beliefs.

Except for the fact that religions are the direct cause of plenty of danger and harm. For just one example, when the Catholic Church rallies against condom use in Africa for the express purpose of adhering to religious doctrine, their dogma is having a direct negative affects on the lives of millions of people in Africa and the rest of the world by propagating unwanted pregnancies and the spread of the HIV virus. That's not a matter of debate, that's a simple fact. The Catholic dogma is having a massive net negative affect on the world, resulting in the needless suffering of tens of thousands (if not hundreds of thousands or millions) of people the world over.


(14-01-2015 07:23 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  Or imagine scientists who work at a drug company, who received FDA approval for a drug, only to have others find some devastating side effects, opening up a pool of law suits. These folks definitely are not eager to be wrong.

Can individuals be bought off? Sure. Do companies have a vested interest in making money? You bet. Do other scientists have other vested interests that have them double checking the work of their colleagues? Damn right. Does our advancement in knowledge benefit from this setup, where everyone is out to prove everyone else wrong, and the best ideas are only the ones that hold up the best under the most scrutiny? You bet your ass.

Do religions come even remotely close to doing this? Hell fucking no. Which is why they spend their time making evidence conform to their existing beliefs rather than the other way around; and only do they change under the highest of pressure and never out of a desire for truth, but rather to perpetuate itself and survive as an idea.


(14-01-2015 07:23 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  In reality science doesn't have any goals, or desires, it's not a being.

Correct. Science is a method.



(14-01-2015 07:23 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  Scientists do, and they are all over the place, and often suffer from the same predicaments and biases that inflict the rest of humanity.

Right. Now the reason the scientific method works so well is that it forces you to work against your biases, you always work to prove yourself wrong rather than prove yourself correct. This is always done with the knowledge that if you don't do everything you can to prove yourself wrong, others will; better to falsify yourself than have your academic peers tear you apart. That's why ideas like fallibility are so important, and why controlled double-blind studies are the gold standard for research.

Once again, religions don't have anything close to this for determining what is and is not true; which is why the world's holy book are filled with factual errors compounded upon one another. Most of the world'd holy books are so inaccurate about the things they claim to have knowledge of, they're not even wrong.

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14-01-2015, 07:42 AM
RE: The scientific method & fish DNA
(14-01-2015 07:23 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  
(03-10-2014 08:30 AM)cjlr Wrote:  The goal of science is to be wrong - and by being wrong enough times, we're eventually less wrong overall.

Except of course when it comes to shit they have a strong vested interest in.

The village called. They want their idiot back.

Good post, FC; although we don't share the same definition of "long post." Big Grin

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14-01-2015, 08:44 AM
RE: The scientific method & fish DNA
(14-01-2015 07:23 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  
(03-10-2014 08:30 AM)cjlr Wrote:  The goal of science is to be wrong - and by being wrong enough times, we're eventually less wrong overall.

Except of course when it comes to shit they have a strong vested interest in. Think of scientist like Dawkins, or Jerry Coyne, who are far from eager to imagine their perspectives on the harm and dangers of religion being wrong. In fact they are so devoted to their beliefs, that hardly any sort of critical thought, evidence, or reasoning, is likely to alter their beliefs.

Or imagine scientists who work at a drug company, who received FDA approval for a drug, only to have others find some devastating side effects, opening up a pool of law suits. These folks definitely are not eager to be wrong.

In reality science doesn't have any goals, or desires, it's not a being. Scientists do, and they are all over the place, and often suffer from the same predicaments and biases that inflict the rest of humanity.

You anti-science morons are the one bunch that really pisses me off to no end. Is your mind and its emotional dependence on fantasy so warped that you need to constantly bash the methods of science and scientists. This is what makes our lives better and helps us understand the universe and world we are so lucky to occupy.

Now go away and sacrifice a goat next time you or one of your family members become ill or need a vaccine - PUTZ!. If everyone thought like you I would gladly play solitare in the garage with the car running for a few hours.

“Truth does not demand belief. Scientists do not join hands every Sunday, singing, yes, gravity is real! I will have faith! I will be strong! I believe in my heart that what goes up, up, up, must come down, down, down. Amen! If they did, we would think they were pretty insecure about it.”
— Dan Barker —
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14-01-2015, 09:13 AM
RE: The scientific method & fish DNA
(03-10-2014 08:10 AM)Full Circle Wrote:  ...
The goal is to barcode every species of fish on earth!
...

No offence intended and that was a truly inspiring post and everything, FC, but...

I think they're looking in the wrong place.

Angel

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14-01-2015, 09:53 AM
RE: The scientific method & fish DNA
(14-01-2015 07:23 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  
(03-10-2014 08:30 AM)cjlr Wrote:  The goal of science is to be wrong - and by being wrong enough times, we're eventually less wrong overall.

Except of course when it comes to shit they have a strong vested interest in.

See, right off the bat this is problematic.

A specific scientist is not equivalent to the scientific method.

It troubles me that you either don't understand the difference or are dishonest enough merely to pretend you don't for the sake of some asinine non-point.

(14-01-2015 07:23 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  Think of scientist like Dawkins, or Jerry Coyne, who are far from eager to imagine their perspectives on the harm and dangers of religion being wrong. In fact they are so devoted to their beliefs, that hardly any sort of critical thought, evidence, or reasoning, is likely to alter their beliefs.

Why do I suspect - despite all the petulant disagreement you might have with them - that you are entirely unable to address their work on a competent scientific level?

(14-01-2015 07:23 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  Or imagine scientists who work at a drug company, who received FDA approval for a drug, only to have others find some devastating side effects, opening up a pool of law suits. These folks definitely are not eager to be wrong.

Excellent composition fallacy, my friend. Most excellent indeed.

I also like the part where you insinuate that every possible subsequent discovery must have been deliberately suppressed or ignored by the originators. Because "lol conspiracy" is always such a compelling explanation, amirite?

As it actually happens, the effect of an aggregate collective process is to dilute to insignificance individual viewpoints.

(14-01-2015 07:23 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  In reality science doesn't have any goals, or desires, it's not a being.

Science is a human construct and endeavour. As a methodology it has a purpose. So there's that.

(14-01-2015 07:23 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  Scientists do, and they are all over the place, and often suffer from the same predicaments and biases that inflict the rest of humanity.

Oh, snap! I have literally never thought of that before! How could I have been so blind?!?!?!? I must prostrate myself to be buried under the crushing magnificence of your incomparable grasp of the devastatingly obvious!

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14-01-2015, 12:13 PM
RE: The scientific method & fish DNA
(14-01-2015 09:53 AM)cjlr Wrote:  
(14-01-2015 07:23 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  Except of course when it comes to shit they have a strong vested interest in.

See, right off the bat this is problematic.

A specific scientist is not equivalent to the scientific method.

It troubles me that you either don't understand the difference or are dishonest enough merely to pretend you don't for the sake of some asinine non-point.

(14-01-2015 07:23 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  Think of scientist like Dawkins, or Jerry Coyne, who are far from eager to imagine their perspectives on the harm and dangers of religion being wrong. In fact they are so devoted to their beliefs, that hardly any sort of critical thought, evidence, or reasoning, is likely to alter their beliefs.

Why do I suspect - despite all the petulant disagreement you might have with them - that you are entirely unable to address their work on a competent scientific level?

(14-01-2015 07:23 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  Or imagine scientists who work at a drug company, who received FDA approval for a drug, only to have others find some devastating side effects, opening up a pool of law suits. These folks definitely are not eager to be wrong.

Excellent composition fallacy, my friend. Most excellent indeed.

I also like the part where you insinuate that every possible subsequent discovery must have been deliberately suppressed or ignored by the originators. Because "lol conspiracy" is always such a compelling explanation, amirite?

As it actually happens, the effect of an aggregate collective process is to dilute to insignificance individual viewpoints.

(14-01-2015 07:23 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  In reality science doesn't have any goals, or desires, it's not a being.

Science is a human construct and endeavour. As a methodology it has a purpose. So there's that.

(14-01-2015 07:23 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  Scientists do, and they are all over the place, and often suffer from the same predicaments and biases that inflict the rest of humanity.

Oh, snap! I have literally never thought of that before! How could I have been so blind?!?!?!? I must prostrate myself to be buried under the crushing magnificence of your incomparable grasp of the devastatingly obvious!

Thanks for posting this, keeps me from having my head explode.

Update: DNA results just came back from the species we collected and while no new species were found we did confirm that previously suspected geographic boundaries are blurred and not as clear cut.

“I am quite sure now that often, very often, in matters concerning religion and politics a man’s reasoning powers are not above the monkey’s.”~Mark Twain
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14-01-2015, 05:54 PM
RE: The scientific method & fish DNA
(14-01-2015 07:23 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  Except of course when it comes to shit they have a strong vested interest in. Think of scientist like Dawkins, or Jerry Coyne, who are far from eager to imagine their perspectives on the harm and dangers of religion being wrong. In fact they are so devoted to their beliefs, that hardly any sort of critical thought, evidence, or reasoning, is likely to alter their beliefs.

What a load of presumptuous crap. They are both respected in their fields. IF, you have a shred of evidence to present again their SCIENCE, present it now, or STFU. troll.

Any scientist who could even begin to demonstrate that Coyne's views are wrong would get a Nobel. Scientists hate each others guts, and would do ANYTHING to prove the competition wrong.

(14-01-2015 12:19 PM)mmhm1234 Wrote:  In reality science doesn't have any goals, or desires, it's not a being. Scientists do, and they are all over the place, and often suffer from the same predicaments and biases that inflict the rest of humanity.

Which is precisely why they work to prove each other wrong, fool. Individually they may, but the METHODOLOGY prevents individuals from screwing up, eventually. But thanks for yet another idiotic patronizing sermon.

Insufferable know-it-all.Einstein God has a plan for us. Please stop screwing it up with your prayers.
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