The rise of anti-science

Discussion in 'Science' started by usfan, Apr 4, 2014.

  1. usfan

    usfan Well-Known Member

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    Well, if they are honest scientists, they will say, 'this is beyond the scope of science'. Historical events are not subject to the scientific method. There are other methodologies for examining those, & none of them are repeatable, observable events. Those are one time events in a time line, & are not a scientific matter. Did hitler exist? Queen victoria? We cannot determine that by science, or even eyewitnesses. I don't know anyone who met hitler or victoria, but i believe they are valid historical figures.

    The criteria for one time events is not subject to the scientific method.. just like opinions about the supernatural.. we do not at this time have any way to verify any claims, scientifically.

    Well, your 'nonsensical, half baked supernatural ideas' is also not something that science can conclude. That is your OPINION. In matters of the supernatural, science is agnostic. It is not a dogmatic atheist, declaring, 'there is no god'. Science cannot prove a negative like this.

    The opposite of the religious fanatic is not the fanatical atheist but the gentle cynic who cares not whether there is a god or not. ~Eric Hoffer

    I would also add hitler, victoria, ceasar, lincoln, & any historical figure to your list. 'Scientific' evidence is not the same as historical evidence. That is a different methodology, & you cannot leap between them. Your list of leftist tenets are no more proven scientific facts than their antitheses. You try to show with evidence or arguments, but if the science is incomplete, like with agw, there can be no declaration of truth, as they have done with the anti-science propaganda. When does life begin? That could be addressed scientifically, but FIRST, you have to get your definitions. WHAT is life? That has to be defined, first, then the other question answered within the definition's parameters. Real science has a strict methodology, & there are more unknowns than knowns.. we might have a leaning one way or the other, but to dogmatically declare 'truth' is going way beyond what science can do. Only anti science can do that, & it does.

    I am not demeaning experts. Sure, ask them questions. If they can answer intelligently, with reason & evidence, the rest of us can figure it out. But the anti science trend is to promote 'expertism' over the scientific method. You should know that even among the experts there is a lot of disagreement. A consensus is impossible, in most scientific fields, even if truth was a democratic process. A friend of mine in the archeology field calls them 'arguologists'. Every 'expert' has a thesis, or a claim to fame that he will defend to the death, facts be damned! This is human nature, & is the reason scientists use the method, rather than voting on facts.

    Yes, researching facts & reality is often time consuming. But in matters of personal or collective importance, we had better take the time, rather than 'trust the experts'. If their only argument is one from authority, or bluff, or vague, obscure mumbo jumbo, our cynicism alerts should go off. We can examine the claims, then question whether the data is credible, the methodology sound, & the conclusions compelling.

    If my choices are, 'trust the expert' or 'wait until better information is available', i will choose the latter. I don't mind inconclusiveness.. i prefer that to dogmatic assertions on things OBVIOUSLY dictated with an agenda. The anti-science crowd uses assertion.. truth by mandate, not by discovery. Better for us to remain inconclusive, rather than leap on falsehoods masquerading as truth.

    There is a bit of dual definitions going on with the 'anti science' label. I am using it here in the classic sense.. that any offense of the scientific method is anti science. ..propaganda or opinions, shrouded in scientific terms.. THIS is the anti science i am addressing.

    But there is another.. it is the backlash on the scientific community for any dogmatic pronouncements, often exactly illustrating the first 'anti science' definition. When half baked theories are presented as proven facts, the credibility of the community fall into disrepute. People begin to doubt the experts, & question their 'facts'. The propagandists call this 'anti science' but it is in fact the opposite. People are not afraid of truth, or real science, but are not fooled by agenda driven propaganda, masked in scientific terms.
     
  2. Jonsa

    Jonsa Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    Except that they are nonsensical half baked supernatural ideas that are logically inconsistent and have absolutely no observable basis in reality.

    The atheist saying there is not god, is EXACTLY the same as somebody saying there is not such thing as a werewolf.
    Is science tasked with proving that there are no werewolves? No, it is the believer who must prove his belief.


    This appears to be a misapplication of the word "opposite". Not that he wasn't a great thinker and all.


    to what list?

    Leftist?

    Your partisan attribution is rather telling.

    AGW as a contributing accelerant of climate change is a demonstrated scientific fact, in the same way evolution is. There is not "smoking gun", it is simply the enormous preponderance of evidence both experimentally and observationally (including the historical record). It is the arguments of the anti-science crowd (oddly funded by the major polluters on the planet) that attempts to create FUD over the consensus. that is of course much easier to do than to actually prove that agw is a hoax.

    As to defining when life begins, I define it as beginning when a fetus can survive outside the womb. I do not have a problem with a pro-lifer claiming that life begins at conception, as long as that pro-lifer will also acknowledge that the source of the vast majority of abortions is in fact their creator. Seems natural abortions, often called miscarriages have apparnetly snuffed out tens if not hundreds of millions of lives. Are these women murderers? Is god the creator a murderer... oh right of course it is.

    Of course there are more unknowns than knowns. Curiousity is the driving force behind science. Wanting to know why,when, what, how, is part and parcel of sentience.

    OTOH, If there were no more unknowns, then we would be true gods.
     
  3. wyly

    wyly Well-Known Member

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    there is no better evidence of someone being anti-science than when they attach a political label to it.. "if you don't agree with my scientific view you're a commie!"...I must've dozed off when that was discussed in my first science class"...
     
  4. Jonsa

    Jonsa Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    Oh, so your attribution to my "leftist" agenda renders you anti-science? Guess you did doze off.
     
  5. wyly

    wyly Well-Known Member

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    or maybe there were alternate science agendas !....and I signed up for the incorrect leftist science studies not knowing there was an alternate and obviously correct right wing science, damn ! how was I to know?
     
  6. bobov

    bobov New Member

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    You're responsible for me now. The next time your door-bell rings, you'll find me in a big basket, sucking a pacifier.

    I had a pneumonia that had steadily worsened for a month. I was unable to sleep for more than a few minutes at a time, and had "fatigue induced psychosis." I called Moi. He instantly diagnosed me based on my voice and said I should go to the ER. I went by taxi. I was in hospital 2 weeks and received a tracheotomy, then 3 months in a rehab center. It was a near miss. I might have asphyxiated without Moi's intervention. Thank you dear Moi for saving me.
     
  7. Herkdriver

    Herkdriver New Member

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    Science seems to be ignoring the 2nd law of thermodynamics which relates to the entropy of a system over time. Systems tend towards disorder. Within a century as natural and energy resources dwindle, the level of social entropy will only increase. Empiricism has failed to provide sustainable socio-economic models, because it bases it's abstract upon a logical and orderly World when in fact it is fluid and tends towards the direction of disorder, increasing entropy, not order. 1 in 7 on the Globe live in abject poverty and are functionally illiterate; they will not go quietly into the night pacified by reason and logic. The need to transcend the misery of existence will always spawn a desire for mythos. The failure of rationalism is it's supreme confidence in the capacity of the human intellect to solve all human problems.

    I am not "anti-science" per se, I just do not place faith in it's ability to decrease the myriad of entropic influences when human beings attempt to organize into what we regard as civilizations.

    They all collapse eventually.

    Empiricism is not our Savior.




    .
     
  8. Jonsa

    Jonsa Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    well its obvious, but correct is the last thing I'd call it. Of course it is the best specious science money can buy so I am not at all suprised that some can be duped. Especially those that doze off in science class.
     
  9. Lil Mike

    Lil Mike Well-Known Member

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    This thread has been so overtaken by witchdoctors that the OP was was not only right, but anti science, hucksterism, and fantasy is ruling the roost.
     
  10. usfan

    usfan Well-Known Member

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    Science is not tasked with disproving anything. it can show the implausibility of natural events, or 'some' extrapolated concepts, but proving a negative is beyond its scope. So if you ask 'science' about werewolves, gods, angels, demons, or any mythological, metaphysical, or spiritual being or event, all it can say is, 'i don't know'. Now YOU, with the information gleaned from your life's research, might CONCLUDE this negative, but this is your informed OPINION.. it is not a scientific matter. This might seem like a fine point, but it is crucial in grasping the scientific method & its decline in modern american culture.

    Well, your 'list' seemed to be typical left wing talking points, right out of msnbc. I was not making a slur, just using 'leftist' as a descriptive term. The same things are heard daily from rachel maddow, bill maher, & jon stewart, so i made the connection. No offense meant, just my observation. But i would like to point out that you immediately dive in with unscientific assertions, that precisely illustrate what the OP is saying. Most of your 'list' are opinions.. with NO conclusive scientific consensus, much less proven by the scientific method. Reasonable people should want to protect life.. if Life is to be considered a fundamental right. Inhuman matter is not life, so does not meet the criteria. So when does 'life' begin? That is something we could arrive at scientifically, if we wanted. We would need to define 'life' for an individual.. is it heartbeat? brain waves? viability? These are definitions that, once defined, can have a scientific conclusion. AGW also, is NOT a scientific fact, in spite of the hordes of propagandists who broadcast it as such. The science is very sketchy, with NO consensus, little data, & dubious methods of conclusions. Unless you are a hardened ideologue, a cursory examination of the issue is clear.. there is not a conclusive scientific theory with supporting evidence. It is based on assumptions, extrapolated data, & speculation. It SEEMS to be agenda driven, not science.

    good points.
    I think the duality of the term 'anti science' might cause confusion.
     
  11. Jonsa

    Jonsa Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    I agree.
    There is no scientific basis to believe in werewolves, the supernatural, demons or gods.


    I didn't say conclusive. INfact I said there is no smoking gun just the preponderance of evidence that supports such conclusions.
    As for scientific consensus, I'll accept 90+% as scientific consensus, or any other kind of consensus.


    You are correct, my opinion is that a human begins life upon attaining viability outside of the womb.
    It is not my opinion but fact that natural abortions (called miscarriages) have killed hundreds of millions of fetuses. so to the religoius pro life crowd, it seems god murdering babies is okay. Is it me or does that it get a free pass on all of its own "sins"?


    yes it is not fact, it is an evolving theory that is so far supported by the preponderance of evidence. The core science isn't at all sketchy.

    I can easily understand why some might think agw is agenda driven, but that isn't about the science at all. Given that we are talking about the future of the planet and our civilization, the "agendas of the various powers that be" often trump the science, but the core science is unaffected by anyone's agenda.
     
  12. Nullity

    Nullity Active Member

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    The next time you get an infection, you'd better not take antibiotics. I mean, you didn't do the research and create the drugs yourself, which means you'd have to "trust the experts".

    You're being ridiculous. The sum of human knowledge is quite vast. For many reasons, one cannot reproduce all experimentation and discovery for themselves, a large one being that there simply isn't enough time within the human lifespan. You are forced to "trust the experts" countless times every day. Otherwise, progress would have stopped somewhere around cave paintings.

    When an idea is in its infancy, of course you are correct that empiricism comes into play to test/retest/verify/refine/et al. These concepts are important, as they are what make science work. But there comes a point where a thing has been quite thoroughly explained, that to not "trust the experts" would be irrational and illogical.

    Sure, you could go through the process of discovering your own way to kill off bacteria, but by that time, you would have died from your infection. You might want to just trust the experts.
     
  13. Nullity

    Nullity Active Member

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    "Disproving" and "proving a negative" are not the same thing. Also, the concept of disproving a hypothesis is one of the most important and basic tenants of the scientific method.
     
  14. wyly

    wyly Well-Known Member

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    which is why many hate the peer review process...present your hypothesis and be mentally prepared to have it and your ego shredded...and if it should manage to survive repeated attempts to find fault or destroy it the broad consensus will be to elevate it to Theory-accepted to be true
    ...at least until that day until someone can overturn it...
     
  15. usfan

    usfan Well-Known Member

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    In the context of the discussion, we were talking about the supernatural.. & it being outside the realm of science. It can no more prove there is a god or supernatural beings than it can disprove it. That was the point. If you make a hypothesis about something supernatural, science has little to do with any conclusions you may draw.

    ..yawn.. you seem to miss the point. But that's ok. you can ask an expert to explain it to you. :roflol: I see no point in repeating myself just to rebut your strawman. The caricature you attack is not of my building.. it is yours, so have at it. :smile:

    You pull one sentence out of context & attack it with a barrage of straw piercing arrows? Good shooting! But if you want to rebut my points, you'll have to read the post more carefully, & respond to what i actually said.

    Actually, you kind of illustrate my point. Reading comprehension & following logical progressions are not taught in school, but memorized dogma & religious devotion. So you don't follow what is actually being said, but instead put up a quick strawman to attack, & then glory in your debating skills. :roll:
     
  16. usfan

    usfan Well-Known Member

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    Here is my quote in context.. it was in conversation with a young person who is interested in science. I was commending him/her. I am not attacking vaccines, or belittling ANY human knowledge. This whole thread is a celebration of science & the scientific method, & a lament about the loss & disdain given to it. My 'appeal to authority' is valid. Too many people suspend their minds & 'trust the experts', when many things are not that complex & a basic understanding can be had. If you cannot grasp the subtle nuances of this, you might as well stick with dogmatic declarations.. that is all you need.

    "He who joyfully marches to music in rank and file has already earned my contempt. He has been given a large brain by mistake, since for him the spinal cord would fully suffice." ~Albert Einstein
     
  17. Shiva_TD

    Shiva_TD Progressive Libertarian Past Donor

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    An interesting sentence in the closing statement.

    The United States was founded upon what later was termed "classic liberalism" and while it had many flaws in implementation it provided common ground for the political divesity. Most of American politicians agreed on the basic principles of "classic liberalism" and merely approached it from different directions.

    Ironically with the rise of technology and science we also moved from an agrarian society to an industrial society and it began to polarize the politics with Republicans favoring the industrialists (employers) and the Democrats favoring the workers (employees) where neither should have been afforded favoritism. With industrialization we also lost the "ability to live off the land" which was a foundation for the understanding of "natural rights of mankind" that was the foundation of classic liberalism and was a basic argument in John Locke's writtings that the founders of American leaned heavily upon.

    With the polarization of the "owners v workers" in an industrial society there was a loss of the understanding of the "natural rights of mankind" and a deterating of the common political ideology of classic liberalism starting in the 1930's during the Great Depression. Instead of "conservatives" and "liberals" American politics became divided between the "social-conservatives" and the "progressive liberals" that moved away, first slowly but gaining momentum over time, from the common denominator of "classic liberalism" that was the foundation for America.

    With the common denominator of "classic liberalism" being lost the politicians also lost the ability to "compromise" based upon the political ideology of "classic liberalism" that is now all but forgotten and is why our Congress can't agree on anything of substance anymore. Democrats and Republicans can't agree on matters of national importance because they've lost the common ground where they could agree.

    ..... and America suffers because of it.
     
  18. reallybigjohnson

    reallybigjohnson Banned

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    People on the right tend to dismiss AGW. While I don't subscribe to the doom and gloom histrionics of AGW alarmists there is no reason to believe that man doesn't have some impact albeit the degree of which is up for debate. I do find it astonishing that people just dismiss the concept out of hand entirely.

    People on the left ignore science on issues of energy production. They keep demanding that we shut down all coal plants and run everything on wind and solar with is IMPOSSIBLE. Only recently have some environmental groups finally acknowledged that they were completely wrong on nuclear power and that if you want to provide carbon free power you will need nuclear. Unfortunately there are still morons running around saying idiotic things like we should run everything in renewables without factoring in cost and the immense amount of mining damage and pollution that would occur from a project that size if it was even feasible to begin with.

    The king of "anti scientism" definitely goes to Muslims who went from early innovators and pioneers of math, medicine and science to now being the goat (*)(*)(*)(*)ers and camel masturbators of the world.
     
  19. Hoosier8

    Hoosier8 Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    The CAGW meme is anti-science since it black balls scientists and science that do not toe the line.
     
  20. Tram Law

    Tram Law Banned

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    Belief is not the same as proof. All they were doing was expressing an opinion.

    The big problem with paranormal and UFO stuff is that there is an awful lot of hoaxes and other crap to wade through to get through to the gems. And science has explored a lot of these events. Mostly though, science will not touch these kinds of subjects because of all the crap involved.

    But science is not without its own problems. The one biggest weakness of skeptics is that if they can't see it, then it must not exist. And I'm sorry, but I find that poor reasoning myself.

    There are two sides to every coin. And actually, if you count the edge, that makes three.
     
  21. Hoosier8

    Hoosier8 Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    Actually, the strength of skeptics is that they understand science is not consensus and all about continuing the science and reviewing all of it, not just that approved by only a few. Consensus is very anti-science.
     
  22. Shiva_TD

    Shiva_TD Progressive Libertarian Past Donor

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    There is a difference between political activism where propaganda based upon half-truths is used and the more general anti-scientific stance by many in society. Predominately I see the rejection of science coming from the "far-right" and there is an apparent reason for that.

    Science is a process (not a result) of the application of the Scientific Method.

    Fundamentalist/Evangelical Christians typically adopt "conservative" political ideology and from a very early age the children are taught creationism based upon a rejection of the scientific method that addressed the evolution of the species. Basically they're being taught that the scientific method is false as as they grow up it is easy for them to reject the scientific method as it applies to anything that contradicts their opinion. If the person is taught that the scientific method is a failure then they won't believe in the conclusions resulting from the application of the scientific method.

    This trait of not believing in the scientific method because the conclusions using the scientific method reached often contradict a religious opinion/belief is far more common to the "right" than it is to the "left" when we address it from a political ideology perspective.

    There is virtually no difference between the rejection of science by "fundamentalist" Mislims and "fundamentalist" Christians. Both reject science for the same basic reason which is because scientific conclusions can contradict religious belief/opinion.

    As far as advancements in science we need remember that these are accomplished by the "few" and not by the masses and Muslims today are contributing just as much to scientific advancement as anyone else. When we look at the top scientists today they cross all demographic divisions based upon race, religion, ethnic heritage, social status, economic background, or any other invidious criteria. Good scientists defy any demographic segregationism and such criteria should never be referred to as it is inaccurate.

    Of course if we want to generate more top scientists then education is the most important single factor. With proper education most people can overcome the handicap of early patental religious brainwashing that is the primary reason for the rejection of the scientific method and denial of scientific conclusions based upon it. .
     
  23. Shiva_TD

    Shiva_TD Progressive Libertarian Past Donor

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    The beauty of science is the scientific method where conflicting propositions (theories established by the scientific method) can co-exist. A fundamental proposition of the scientific method is that something that can nether be proven nor disproven can be assumed to be true. That is why science requries a proposal for testing of theories. "Prove" that was you propose it true. Some "proofs" only exist in the future because we don't have the technology and may never have the technology to "prove" the theory such as "how do you prove mulitple universes" where they do not over-lap. There are proposals for how this could be tested but the technology required doesn't even come close to what exists.

    That's why science doesn't reject the "poof theory" of "creationism" per se. Science rejects "creationism" and "intelligent design" because neither is based upon the "scientific method" and neither provide an explanation of evolution of the species that we observe in nature. Remember that the Theory of Evolution provide an explanation of the "mechanics of evolution" (i.e. how does it happen) and is not a proposition that evolution occurred because evolution is documented in the fossil record. Scientists recognized that evolution had occurred before Darwin. Darwin simply tried to explain why evolution occurred.

    If "creationists" or advocates of "intelligent design" want to create a theory they're going to have to make a proposal where the "existance of god" can be proven. We may not have the technology to "prove god" but we need a proposition for what would be required to "prove god" exists.
     
  24. Tram Law

    Tram Law Banned

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    Except that there is quite a bit of consensus in science in regards to certain things.

    For example, string theory is a consensus. So is evolution, and global warming.

    Also sometimes speculation becomes accepted as fact when that speculation is actually an unproven hypothesis. It becomes accepted because the speculation is the best speculation that fits any given subject so it becomes accepted as fact.

    An example of this:

    The universe is just too big for humans alone so there must be life out there.

    I'm sorry, this is nothing more than sheer speculation. To date there has no been any form of life found on any other planets, so the there is only one conclusion that can be drawn from the fact.

    That conclusion is we must be alone.

    Now, the things that makes science a better system than religion is the fact that when better information that can be observed and verified comes along, then one must change their conclusions.

    Such as if we find life, even microbial life, on another planet, then other life exists out there. When we come across sentient life, only then can we truly say that we are not alone.

    While speculation can be fun and lead to interesting things, it is merely speculation and not any kind of fact, and we must be careful to be objective and not let our desires influence our decisions.
     
  25. reallybigjohnson

    reallybigjohnson Banned

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    Muslims are not contributing the same based on population proportions......in fact they are far from it. The most successful group so far are Jewish scientists who make up tiny fraction so of the population compared to other groups and yet have a vastly disproportionate numbers of scientists including far more Nobel winners and other academia awards.

    The difference between Christians and Muslims is very clear. Yes they both reject evolution to varying degrees but Christians aren't running around lopping people's hands off TODAY (just in case someone brings up "but, but, but.......600 years ago Christians had the Crusades") for violating some stupid Sharia law.

    The part about rejecting the scientific method is just nonsense. My grade school education was was in a Evangelical school and we learned the same method that I relearned in public high school and relearned yet again in college. The only difference is that they pushed creationism but they also taught evolution side by side as well. We even watched debates between various professors about the subject so while they did push creationism it wasn't in a complete vacuum and our teachers didn't go all nuts on us if we thought evolution had a better argument.

    To me there is literally no difference in the level of ignorance between someone who outright rejects any impact humanity might have on the planet and someone who rejects nuclear power and says that the world can run on wind, solar and geothermal. They are both uneducated and ignorant on their respective subjects.
     

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