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Thursday, March 9. 2023
A dogmatic belief in science is contrary to the principle of science itself.
Joseph Cropsey - full quote at Powerline
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To the extent that science can be defined as belief, Feynmann had it right: "Science is the belief in the ignorance of the experts." Hence, perennial skepticism is the only truly scientific standpoint. This standpoint, however, has been swamped over the last three years by the flood of crap the three-letter agencies, big phfarma and the media have been spewing while demanding everyone suck it up.
..."the ignorance of the experts".
The experts have undermined their expertise.
In science, 'fact' can only mean 'confirmed to such a degree that it would be perverse to withhold provisional assent.' I suppose that apples might start to rise tomorrow, but the possibility does not merit equal time in physics classrooms.
— Stephen Jay Gould
Pity the late Mr Gould didn't see fit to apply the same principles to his beliefs in evolution.
"Belief in science" is an oxymoron.
Oh, and, leftists are human garbage who deserve to die.
It's WORSE than that. Many otherwise sensible scientists believe that science is the only way of knowing things. Which leaves folks like historians, philosophers, and mathematicians out in the cold. Not sure how "belief" comports with the scientific method here.
Mike Anderson: Which leaves folks like historians, philosophers, and mathematicians out in the cold.
However, you might except historians. Though there is a lot of storytelling in history, modern histories are grounded in the scientific method. On the other hand, aesthetics and ethics largely remain outside the scientific method, and may deserve a separate mention from philosophy.
Essentially, science is a process of measurement. As measurement would be impossible without mathematics, perhaps this is the field for which one might make an exception, particularly due to the limitations that Goedelian Incompleteness places upon scientific epistemology.
DeGaulle: Essentially, science is a process of measurement.
While measurement is essential in science, that's only the half of it. You can even do science while playing cards.
DeGaulle: the limitations that Goedelian Incompleteness places upon scientific epistemology
Science is a "good enough for now" type of field, often using deduction, fuzzy logic, and continuous mathematics. Remember that science doesn't 'prove' in the mathematical sense, but uses hypothetico-deduction to reach tentative conclusions. Notably, imagination is often an essential ingredient in the formation of hypotheses.
Really? Like who? I have never read anything like that.
What I can imagine some might say is something like "Science is the only method that we have found to test our ideas about how Nature works". Implicit in that formulation are (1) science has limited scope (it does not answer "why" or "should" questions), and (2) our notions about how Nature works will always be, to some extent, tentative.
Of course, there are plenty of mediocrities (often noisy ones) who say silly things about science. But they say silly things about everything.
@Joe: It ain't in the readings. It's in the policies and procedures in places like the university where I teach. Decision makers who should know better (with Ph.D.s no less) play epistemological favorites with everything from core curriculum to course prerequisites.
The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that 'my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge. -- Isaac Azimov
Obviously an extreme interpretation of Socrates: "All I know is that I know nothing." And some folks like it that way!
More than half of everything humans learned in our short history here on earth has been proven wrong. And about half of those things which were proven wrong were at some point again proven to be correct. I expect that trend to continue and in 2000 years most of what we now know as true will be known to be false. Science has a terrible track record and it's pronouncements must be taken with a grain of salt. I believe that JFK once said "I should have known better. The experts are always wrong."
The young specialist in English Lit, having quoted me, went on to lecture me severely on the fact that in every century people have thought they understood the universe at last, and in every century they were proved to be wrong. It follows that the one thing we can say about our modern "knowledge" is that it is wrong. The young man then quoted with approval what Socrates had said on learning that the Delphic oracle had proclaimed him the wisest man in Greece. "If I am the wisest man," said Socrates, "it is because I alone know that I know nothing." the implication was that I was very foolish because I was under the impression I knew a great deal.
My answer to him was, "John, when people thought the earth was flat, they were wrong. When people thought the earth was spherical, they were wrong. But if you think that thinking the earth is spherical is just as wrong as thinking the earth is flat, then your view is wronger than both of them put together."
The basic trouble, you see, is that people think that "right" and "wrong" are absolute; that everything that isn't perfectly and completely right is totally and equally wrong.
— Isaac Asimov, "The Relativity of Wrong"
It is worth understanding that the concept of flat earth, just as the concept of the earth being the center of the solar system, was an artifact of the catholic church upon which they based some of the rules and controls of their followers. Because of this they rigorously and violently opposed science when the facts contradicted them. Not very different from what we have seen the Democrats doing these last 14 or so years and for the same reasons. The Democrats; the left, have all the earmarks of a religious cult.
Ahab: It is worth understanding that the concept of flat earth, just as the concept of the earth being the center of the solar system, was an artifact of the catholic church upon which they based some of the rules and controls of their followers.
Flat Earth cosmology long predates Christianity. The Catholic Church did not adhere to concept of a flat Earth.
In the early days of civilization, the general feeling was that the earth was flat. This was not because people were stupid, or because they were intent on believing silly things. They felt it was flat on the basis of sound evidence.
The Relativity of Wrong
Belief in science is scientism, thus effectively an ideology, and no more or less worthy of respect than any other ism.