"Open-mindedness" part 2

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Lord Palmerston
"Open-mindedness" part 2

Continuing here...

Lord Palmerston

[url=http://skeptico.blogs.com/skeptico/2005/10/the_appeal_to_b.html]The Appeal to be Open-Minded[/url]

Quote:
Here’s the thing. An open mind is open to all ideas, but it must be open to the possibility that the idea could be true or false. It is not closed-minded to reject claims that make no sense. If you can’t accept the possibility that an idea might be false, then you are the closed minded one. An open minded person will critically examine all claims but will not accept them if there is no reason to believe they are true or if there is reason to believe they are false. To do so would be fallacious. And credulous.

6079_Smith_W

Good link, thanks.

And seeing the reference to "What the Bleep" I remember seeing it back when it came out. I in fact think there might be something to some (not all) of the concepts put forward in that film, but even I found much of it haphazard and embarrasing.

Kind of like a precursor to "The Secret", except I think the filmmakers had positive, not money-grubbing intentions.

 

Lord Palmerston

What the Bleep was pretty much an infomerical for some New Age cult.  I remember there were quite a few ridiculous examples of "science" in the movie, such as Zen Buddhist monks chanting that resulted in the lowering of the crime rate in DC, as well as a statement that the Native people of the Caribbean being literally unable to see the ships of Columbus approaching until a Shaman told them so!

Fidel

Skpetico wrote:
Also, see this thread on JREF

And here is a [url=http://itricks.com/randishow/wp-content/uploads/Randi092408.mp3]podcast of Randi[/url] talking about the early days when he played the Magic Clown on TV and TRAUMATIZING AND TRICKING CHILDREN with his cheap magic tricks. Apparently he flunked clown school and so decided there was more money in preaching debunkery.

6079_Smith_W

Exactly - I wonder what their source was for that Collumbus story ( in the case of the Cortez invasion, it was not a shaman, but a rogue spaniard who let the locals know not to trust them).

I'll have to make myself watch it again, because some of the parts about intent get at something which I think is true. Visualizing though it may not physically affect the world, does have a psychological and physical effect on us, so as I said, I think there are some possible truths hidden in there.

And as for the water memory stuff, I know there is no evidence basis for it \s practical application. On the other hand, the fact that there is at least one experiment that did show results (Jacques Benveniste's)  despite an often irrational resistance from some in the science community means that I consider that unknown, not proven false.

And coincidentally, Randi had a direct hand in that little escapade.

But yes, infomercial is the right word. It just seemed to sell the whole thing on a very base and self-centered level.

Fidel

[url=http://www.skepticalinvestigations.org/Corporatebias/index.html]Corporate skepticism: Turning doubt into dollars[/url]

skepticalinvestigations.org wrote:
Where corporate skeptics dismiss evidence they don’t like as “junk science,” ideological skeptics favor “pseudoscience” as the term of abuse. Where corporate skeptics oppose natural alternatives to high tech pharmaceutical engineering, ideologues disparage the holistic alternative to mechanistic biology. Just as ideological skepticism is based on the philosophy of reductionism, whereby life and consciousness are boiled down to the mechanics of molecules, corporate skepticism follows from a belief system that reduces all human values to the acquisition of money. In this context, “skepticism” means nothing more than identifying and attacking financially or ideologically incorrect values.

6079_Smith_W

Except that there really is such a thing as junk science and pseudoscience.

I think if you believe in something you can only gain by knowing if there's a scientifically sound basis for it. If that's not there and you still there is enough reason to hold on to it fine. Thing there are some thiongs which don't necessarily hold up to scientific testing, or which have not been tested, but which still may work.

The only mistakle I see is in trying to make these two paradigms mutually exclusive, because they aren't necessarily, and there are people on both sides who try to do that.

It does not need to be that way. I can pump myself full of vitamin C all I want, so long as I recognize when I need to go get that tetanus shot.

Lord Palmerston

6079_Smith_W wrote:
The only mistakle I see is in trying to make these two paradigms mutually exclusive, because they aren't necessarily, and there are people on both sides who try to do that.

What do you mean by "both sides"?

6079_Smith_W

@ Lord Palmerston

in its simplest form.... the people who believe that anything which cannot be scientifically proven means nothing, and people who mistrust the scientific method.

A medical example... the notion that one must choose either western medicine or TCM or some other modality, when in reality it is not like team sports. You don't have to choose one over the other for all things.

 

But in thinking since my last post, there are a lot of variations within that (for instance drugs versus natural remedies isn't always even sience against non-science... it's a conflict of practical application).

But sorry for the short response...I want to catch the news.

Fidel

6079_Smith_W wrote:

Except that there really is such a thing as junk science and pseudoscience.

And he gave examples from the corporate world where money sometimes buys scientific opinion. Hirelings of big tobacco companies bought them years of profitability with junk science.

And Carl Sagan, a real skeptic, distanced himself from CSICOP at one point because he realized they were becoming a kind of modern day inquisition. Truly independent scientists tend to buck authoritarians and those more interested in profit than science. Ralph Nader has written quite a bit about how corporate money distorts real science and basic research. So, yes, open mindedness is not always good. Sometimes scientists themselves can be influenced in certain ways to a point where science is corrupted. The issue in this case is professional integrity. Ethics and morality are issues affecting the quality of science and professionalism in general.

And just as there are certain incentives of one kind or another for scientists to report findings that favour this view or that view, I think there exist certain disincentives that work to prevent professionals from writing accurate reports. And I think at least some of us could point to actual examples.

Timebandit Timebandit's picture

Lord Palmerston wrote:

What the Bleep was pretty much an infomerical for some New Age cult.  I remember there were quite a few ridiculous examples of "science" in the movie, such as Zen Buddhist monks chanting that resulted in the lowering of the crime rate in DC, as well as a statement that the Native people of the Caribbean being literally unable to see the ships of Columbus approaching until a Shaman told them so!

"What the Bleep..." was made by followers of this person:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/J._Z._Knight

I have a strong suspicion that it was not made with benign motives. More likely to create profit through recruitment/bookings/sales of books, etc.

6079_Smith_W

@ Timebandit

Neat, thanks. I didn't actually delve into it after watching the movie, and only made the distinction because "The Secret" is much more obviously focused on material gain and wealth - in the sense of building those expectations in the followers. Lining the mastermind's pockets is another matter entirely.

Plus of course I don't think the bleep people ever blamed earthquake victims for drawing disater to themselves with their minds.

Though I wonder, if Knight's secret friend Ramtha knows all about quantum physics, why didn't she save us all the trouble of building the Large Hadron Collider and just let us know what is going on?

 

Timebandit Timebandit's picture

Good question!  I think it has a lot to do with being full of shit - but peddling it just cleverly enough to turn a tidy profit.  Wink

Lord Palmerston

[url=http://slog.thestranger.com/2006/02/david_albert_wh_1]David Albert: "What the BLEEP" Is Wildly and Irresponsibly Wrong[/url]

Quote:
For the purposes of this discussion, I'll define "legitimate scientist" by the following: Being presently employed as a professor in the hard sciences at a research university (Albert, who is a professor of philosophy of physics, almost qualifies; there are a few other legitimate MDs at accredited research universities, but no PhDs and certainly no physicists) OR having published in a peer-reviewed scientific journal in the last five years. As far as I can tell, the film contains few or no "legitimate scientists" besides Albert, though I'm open to challenges. Amit Goswami, Dean Radin, and William Tiller are all employed by the Institute of Noetic Sciences, which, according to its website, "explores phenomena that do not necessarily fit conventional scientific models." (Mmm.) John Hagelin, a former Natural Law candidate for president, is a professor at Maharishi University of Management, where you can presently earn a PhD in one of two programs: "Maharishi Vedic Science" and "Management."

Fidel

[url=http://www.cspinet.org/integrity/]Integrity in Science Database(US)[/url] Monitoring, Exposing, and Opposing Conflicts

Book: [url=Trust">http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/1585421391/qid=1051799338/... Us We're Experts: How Industry Manipulates Science and Gambles with Your Future[/url]

[url=http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2002/feb/07/research.health1]Scientists who take money for papers ghostwritten by big pharma[/url] 

[url=http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2001/05/30/drug-indus... Journal Lancet States FDA Far Too Cozy With Drug Industry[/url] 2001 

[url=http://www.sierraclub.org/sierra/200107/charman.asp]BRAVE NEW NATURE[/url] Spinning Science into GOLD

[url=http://www.theatlantic.com/past/docs/issues/2000/03/press.htm]The Kept University[/url] Disinterested inquiry at risk 2000

Open mindedness has a price tag for sure.

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

6079_Smith_W wrote:

And as for the water memory stuff, I know there is no evidence basis for it \s practical application. On the other hand, the fact that there is at least one experiment that did show results (Jacques Benveniste's)  despite an often irrational resistance from some in the science community means that I consider that unknown, not proven false.

physicist Robert L. Park wrote:

Homeopaths have been administering this sort of no-medicine medicine for two centuries. Most scientists, however, first became aware of their extraordinary claims when Nature published a paper by French epidemiologist/homeopathist Jacques Benveniste and several colleagues, in which he reported that an antibody solution continued to evoke a biological response even if it was diluted to 30X [one part in one thousand octillion] - far beyond the dilution limit (Davenas et al. 1988). Benveniste interpreted this as evidence that the water somehow "remembered" the antibody.

In reaching that conclusion, Benveniste turned conventional scientific logic on its head. A large part of experimental science consists of devising tests to insure that an experimental outcome is not the result of some subtle artifact of the conduct or design of the experiment. "Infinite dilution" is one such procedure used by chemists. The effect of some reagent, for example, is plotted as a function of concentration. If at low concentrations, the plot does not extrapolate through the origin, it is taken as proof that the observed effect is due to something other than the reagent. By Benveniste's logic, it's evidence that the reagent leaves some sort of imprint on the solution that continues to produce the effect.

Attention had been called to Benveniste's article by the editor of Nature, John Maddox, who pointed out in an editorial that Benveniste had to be wrong (Maddox 1988). Because the reviewer could not point to any actual mistake, Nature had agreed to publish the article in the spirit of open scientific exchange. Reviewers, of course, have no way of knowing if the author faithfully reports the results of the measurement, or whether the instruments employed are faulty. Nevertheless, the existence of this one paper published in a respected journal has been widely trumpeted by the homeopathic community as proof that homeopathy has a legitimate scientific basis.

The Maddox editorial encouraged other scientists to repeat the Benveniste experiments. An attempt to replicate the work as precisely as possible was reported by Foreman and colleagues in Nature in 1993 (Foreman et. al. 1993). The authors found that "no aspect of the data is consistent with [Benveniste's] claim." I am aware of no work that replicates Benveniste's findings.

– [url=http://www.csicop.org/si/show/alternative_medicine_and_the_laws_of_physi...

"Irrational resistance"? Hardly.

6079_Smith_W

M.Spector

Yes, I am refering specifically to the Nature incident. and some of the actions on the part of the publication and its investigation team was unprofessional and irrational. 

At several points before it all turned into a circus, the Nature editor broke agreements with Benveniste to publish his work simply because he said he could not believe it.

Keep in mind I said above there is no scientific proof for the practical application of so-called water memory (and Benveniste himself did not believe in homeopathy). But the fact is the reaction to Benveniste's work in that incident was shameful.

If you look at the attempts to replicate his work on this page, there have been some replications with partial success.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jacques_Benveniste

So you will excuse me if I consider the door still open.

6079_Smith_W

To be clear, I try to recognize when there is scientific proof for something and where there is not.

On the other hand, to discount evidence simply because it may fall short of absolute proof can sometimes be just as closed-minded as refusing to recognize the need for proof.

If there appears to be something going on that we cannot see, I think one needs to look at it carefully before discounting it outright. 

Of course the lay argument debunking homeopathy makes it sound like nonsense (and it may indeed be nonsense). How can something have an effect when there are no atoms of the active ingredient present?

You could also ask a question like "How can something be in two or more places at the same time?"

Sounds absurd, but evidently algae manage to do just that as part of their energy-transfer system:

http://www.the-scientist.com/blog/display/57131/

So these lay arguments that seem to simplify scientific principles and point out impossibilities do not always tell the whole story.

Fidel

I think someone should ask Bob L. Park why he chooses not to volunteer to live in a home situated near [url=http://www.bmj.com/content/330/7503/0.1.full]high voltage power lines?[/url] He could volunteer himself and anyone else he can convince to buy cheap property near power lines to be guinea pigs. You'd think quacks like him might jump at the chance to do real science.

Lord Palmerston

[url=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jvy0mh0el4s]A critical analysis of What the Bleep[/url]

Lord Palmerston

6079_Smith_W wrote:
If you look at the attempts to replicate his work on this page, there have been some replications with partial success.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jacques_Benveniste

So you will excuse me if I consider the door still open.

Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.

wage zombie

I have a question, maybe this is the place to answer it, since homeopathy has come up.

Is there a scientific explanation for the placebo effect?

6079_Smith_W

Lord Palmerston wrote:

Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.

I agree. Although I would settle for solid evidence.

I still consider it unproven, though not disproven.

jrootham

I would expect the hypothesis is that the nervous system (including complex brain functions) have effects on the body.  Some of which are non obvious.

Haven't seen a paper though.

 

Fidel

Do you concur, dr Smith_W? Lord?

6079_Smith_W

jrootham wrote:

I would expect the hypothesis is that the nervous system (including complex brain functions) have effects on the body.  Some of which are non obvious.

Haven't seen a paper though.

 

That depends on what you are talking about. I was refering to Benveniste's histamine experiments which took place in the lab.

As for homeopathy, I am aware there are no scientific trials which support it.

(edit)

ooops sorry. I saw you were answering wage zombie. I think Pavlov's experiments first showed something like the placebo effect.

Though not all apparent results of homeopathy come down to placebo.

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

wage zombie wrote:

I have a question, maybe this is the place to answer it, since homeopathy has come up.

Is there a scientific explanation for the placebo effect?

The placebo effect is very misunderstood by the general public. Dr. Steven Novella, an assistant professor of neurology at Yale School of Medicine, [url=http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/?p=4304]writes[/url]:

Quote:
As the data increasingly shows that acupuncture (and other implausible treatments) provides no benefit beyond placebo, we hear the special pleading that placebos work also.

But is that true? It turns out there is a literature on the placebo effect itself, and the evidence suggests that placebos generally do not work.

That may seem counter-intuitive, since the gold standard of clinical trials is placebo-controlled, because placebo effects can be quite large. However, most such trials do not contain a no-treatment arm (comparing a placebo intervention to nothing at all). What this means, as I have written about before, is that placebo effects, as measured in clinical trials, include a host of factors - everything other than a physiological response to an active treatment.

These placebo effects include the bias of the researchers, the desire of the subjects to please the researchers and to get well, non-specific effects of receiving medical intervention and attention, and other artifacts of the research process. When we remove all of these biases and artifacts, is there a real effect left behind - what most people think of when they think of "the" placebo effect: a mind-over-matter but real improvement?

Proponents of so-called CAM would like you to believe that "the" placebo effect is all a real biological effect resulting from the body's self-healing ability. But it turns out, this is simply not true.

Hróbjartsson  and Gøtzsche have been studying the placebo effect for years, reviewing the literature, especially for trials that contain a no-treatment arm. Their most recent review is very illuminating. They conclude:

We did not find that placebo interventions have important clinical effects in general. However, in certain settings placebo interventions can influence patient-reported outcomes, especially pain and nausea, though it is difficult to distinguish patient-reported effects of placebo from biased reporting. The effect on pain varied, even among trials with low risk of bias, from negligible to clinically important. Variations in the effect of placebo were partly explained by variations in how trials were conducted and how patients were informed.

Let's break this down a bit. First, they found that when you look at any objective or clinically important outcome - the kinds of things that would indicate a real biological effect - there is no discernible placebo effect. There is no mind-over-matter self healing that can be attributed to the placebo effect.

What the authors found is also most compatible with the hypothesis that placebo effects, as measured in clinical trials, are mostly due to bias. Specifically, significant placebo effects were found only for subjectively reported symptoms. Further, the size of this effect varied widely among trials.

[my emphasis]

wage zombie

M. Spector wrote:

The placebo effect is very misunderstood by the general public. Dr. Steven Novella, an assistant professor of neurology at Yale School of Medicine, [url=http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/?p=4304]writes[/url]:

Thanks!  That sounds reasonable.

6079_Smith_W

I presume the doctor is offering his opinion on the placebo effect in the context of alternative medicine, since placebos have been shown to affect perception of pain, heart rate, muscle tension and induce other psychological and physical changes.

If he is talking about "mind over matter healing" - absorbing a tumor, repairing damaged tissue or removing a chronic illness - I don't think anyone is pretending that placebos can be used in that way. But the fact is that a lot of doctors use them.

I understand that placebo is a controversial and complicated phenomenon, but I wouldn't take one doctor's opinion quoting one study as the final word on it. There are several criticisms of the meta-study cited. One is that placebos don't work well in clinical trials because the subject does not know whether or not the placebo is being used, therefore there is no effect.

Furthermore his dismissal of acupuncture as an "implausible therapy" shows a bit of bias. Certainly there is no proven grounds for the system of meridians and acupuncture points, but as a neurologist he should be aware of the studies that show there is a general analgesic effect from acupunture, and even more pronounced effects when electricity is used with it.

I am quite aware that some of these therapies have limited or partial evidence. Even so, to have people dismiss evidence is just as much a bias as those who refuse to recognize scientific proof.

Just to clear the air, although I respect the scientific method I do not always trust the doctors and scientists who say they uphold it. Just because a drug can be proven to work does not guarantee that it is used effectively or wisely, and while the western system of medicine is very important, the tendency to fall back on treating symptoms rather than causes is a grave flaw that in many cases trumps all the science it is based on.

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

6079_Smith_W wrote:

But the fact is that a lot of doctors use them.

Any doctor who gives a patient a placebo to treat a medical condition is committing malpractice. That's why "a lot of" doctors do not use placebos, outside of controlled clinical studies.

6079_Smith_W wrote:

I understand that placebo is a controversial and complicated phenomenon, but I wouldn't take one doctor's opinion quoting one study as the final word on it.

Nor would you even bother to read his article, as you obviously haven't. But by all means, don't let science and logic get in the way of what you imagine to be true.

6079_Smith_W

@ M.Spector

Actually I did read the links you provided. 

My question about context was because you seemed to be answering wage zombie's general question about placebo whereas Novella's article seems to be concerning claims about their practical application in CAM. Hence the stuff about actual healing, which I had never assumed was a part of placebo effect.

And I am not sure what you think I imagine to be true. From what I read in the synopsis I think it is an interesting study and I take it seriously, but it has itself been questioned, and I don't assume that it is the final word on the subject

And I think my comment about Dr. Novella's outright dismissal of acupuncture as "implausible" is fair. As I said, I know there is no scientific basis for the meridian system, and that studies have shown that acupunture needles tend to have an effect whether they are placed on specific points or not. Nevertheless they have been shown to relieve pain.

If we want to talk about belief I am less concerned about a lay person like myself allegedly ignoring evidence than I am about trained professionals  who should know better, and whom patients trust doing the same thing.

With respect to malpractice, before we go after doctors who prescribe something for a patient whose common cold is going to run its course, I think there are more pressing abuses. All the rock solid facts and studies many doctors tout are on a foundation of sand if they don't use them correctly. I can think of four such examples involving my family in the last year which left me shaking my head because I couldn't believe they could be committed by anyone, let alone a trained professional.

Proponents of drug-based therapy can dismiss those who opt for less invasive techniques all they want, but I would suggest that some who practice western medicine are responsible for the mistrust that drives some to those alternatives. And believe it or not, sometimes poultices, and good food actually DO work just as well, if not better.

The attitude that anyone who might want to use a therapy that is not taught in medical school is just ignoring science is  incorrect and without foundation.

But if that is where you draw the line for yourself, it is fine by me; I don't really consider this a debate.

 

 

 

 

Brian White

I had severe tendonitus a few years ago for 6 or 8 monghs and I had to go down to about 2 days a week work (not even successive days).  Someone bought me a couple of acupuncture sessions.  They did not cure it but they relieved it greatly and made it disappear for a few days at a time.  I did not expect it and  I thought acupuncture was (roll the eyes) mumbo jumbo.   Tendonitus seems to not be completely understood. Nadal had to give up tennis for a while with it and Man U has a Canadian player who suffers from it. So if 2 of the top sports people in the world cannot fix it fairly easily, it is saying something.

Antiinflamatorys were not helping. Since the acupuncture (it is pretty pricy) I was told about serrapectase and I take a pill every day.  That was recommended by a friend of a friend.  A hairdresser who had it in her shoulders and was going to quit. She took the stuff and remains in her job.

To be honest, I am concerned bucause I have no explanation of why it should work.  I think it acts in the stomach. If I feel tendonitus coming on after a hard days work, I take 2 pills that night and I have had no issues.  The only time I stopped taking it was last year when I was in hospital with pneumonia.   I had tendonitus after that for something like 2 months. (I was not exactly overexerting myself in hospital for 5 days! or in the 3 months after coming out of it.)

So from my perspective, it seems to prevent it from starting.

But it could just be imagination.

 

Lord Palmerston
6079_Smith_W

@ LP

Thanks. Now I remember why I felt so embarrassed watching that movie.

"A wonderful story that I believe is true". Great source, and great that in the next scene they present it not as allegory (which I'm sure it was. assuming she didn't just make it up), but literal truth.

 

I know that some people who do not know how to read the sky will not see serious weather when it is on its way. But that is very different from an object being invisible simply because you do not know what it is.

It's pretty damned racist too, because it implies that those people needed to be told what to think, and clearly it doesn't extend to other cultures who have seen things they didn't understand, like any unidentified flying object.

 

Mike Stirner

What do you mean by scientific? Are you talking about what came out of aristotalian ideology and continued through descartes, cause if you are then its time to get off the sauce.

Try looking up Terrence Mckenna some time

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fHVnuqn2HtI

Brian White

I thought it the LP movie link was racist too and it gave me an ickie feeling. I do not believe it.

Lord Palmerston

Mike Stirner wrote:

What do you mean by scientific? Are you talking about what came out of aristotalian ideology and continued through descartes, cause if you are then its time to get off the sauce.

Try looking up Terrence Mckenna some time

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fHVnuqn2HtI

McKenna is a great example of the ludicrousness of pseudoscientific calls for "open-mindedness".  

From the video:

"I would prefer a world of intellectual pluralism where astrology and astronomy and information theory worked in their own area but no one claimed pre-eminence

This claim of preeminence rests on a false assumption.  No idea can be dismissed that is internally consistent.  Science is not more than internally self-consistent and astrology is not less than internally self-consistent.  So why should these things be placed at two different levels in terms of being arbitrors of the truth?"

 

6079_Smith_W

What I find most surprising in that video is that near the end McKenna describes the realm of science as boring (or words to that effect). Nothing could be further from the truth.

Now if he is refering to the attitude that nothing exists outside of what has been proven I am inclined to agree, and so might any person who realizes that there are more mysteries than proofs in the scientific realm. I still wouldn't consider it boring, though, and I think he does a disservice by making the accusation.

But - and this, for me gets to the crux of the "open mind" accusation - the fact that there are things which are unknown is not license to throw out the rules that we know govern the universe, nor the rational conclusion that even things which are mysteries, or appear to be magical, will have a mechanism behind them if they are in fact true.

I like some of McKenna's ideas, but sorry. The realm of astrology (like any other so-called divination tool) is in the mind, not in the stars. I think some of those tools can have their place, but not in a science book.

Snert Snert's picture

Hey, let's be "open minded" to the possibility that Trickle-down economics really works, when given a chance!

Let's not rule out the possibility that Obama was born in Kenya.  Have we PROVED that he wasn't?

Don't rush to assume that climate change was caused by humans! 

Maybe there really were WMD in Iraq and we just didn't find them.  You can't prove a negative, right? 

It's so funny to me that all of the above would get no traction whatsoever on a progressive site.  But the idea that my microwave is killing me, that vaccines are poisonous, that the WTC was demolished by a lazer beam, that fluoride is sapping my precious bodily fluids... all these we should be "open minded about", if only to keep from being accused of being some kind of COINTEL spy or something.

You know how totally stupid, how juvenile, how delusional the "Birthers" look?  Ya.  Just sayin'.

6079_Smith_W

I don't think it is a good idea to mention that subject again.

Snert Snert's picture

I'm kind of questioning the need to mention any of them.

6079_Smith_W

Yes, I see that. But I am just hoping that others don't see it as a thrown gauntlet.

 

Snert Snert's picture

Seems to me that any thread on superstition, reason, science, etc., is going to result in a lineup of people wanting some kind of special exclusion for their personal pet Kookery.  If the left doesn't mind hosting their own little loopy Tea Party then so be it.

jrootham

Part of the issue is that the left is not as authoritarian as the right.  We see the loopy Tea Party equivalence but are reluctant to shut it down because we have a real commitment to free speech.

 

6079_Smith_W

jrootham wrote:

Part of the issue is that the left is not as authoritarian as the right.  We see the loopy Tea Party equivalence but are reluctant to shut it down because we have a real commitment to free speech.

Not to distract the thread, but I wouldn't say that is true. I think people from the left are more inclined to censor and condemn people for speaking than those on the right.

It is a moot point, really, because those on the right just shut their ears and refuse to listen to you. But I think they don't tend to haul out the argument that you don't have a right to say something quite as often.

Semantic point really, because it hardly matters if the idea stops at your mouth or at their ears, but I think it plays into their idea of freedom and individualism that they are not treading on your rights even while they completely ignore you.

 

Mike Stirner

Lord why don't you substantiate on what science is, is it the 2000 year old assumptions that came out of Greece when artistotles ideas of balkanized notional phenomena started to become popular, cause that can easily be shown to be a house of cards and for me its probably a matter of years at this point when everyone will realize it.

 

6079, the problem with your who notion of rules and rigour is that you are forgetting that all of them ultimately go back to metophors broken as always as wittgenstien and others have pointed out, this is an inescapable reality, it doesn't mean that rules should not be used, for anything to be internally consistant rules are needed, the point as witgenstien said is to not just change rules when nescesary but create new ones, for things are only true enough not as such.

6079_Smith_W

@ Mike

Sorry man, you'll have to dumb that down for me. I really did not get all of it.

And to be clear, I am not saying I think there is nothing beyond physlcal laws as we know them. Nor that anything in the grey zone of stuff that is unproven should be considered absolutely wrong.

But the fact is that even einstein didn't make newton obsolete, and there is a fair bit of snake oil being peddled that breaks some pretty basic laws. It is not a matter of not being up on the latest new and recently-discovered paradigms.

jrootham

On left/right free speech:  Two data points: Free Dominion, Babble.

Care to make a conclusion?

 

Fidel

Quote:
Men might as well project a voyage to the Moon as attempt to employ steam navigation against the stormy North Atlantic Ocean.

— Dr. Dionysus Lardner, Professor of Natural Philosophy and Astronomy, University College, London, 1838

 

In spite of the opinions of certain narrow-minded people who would shut up the human race upon this globe, we shall one day travel to the Moon, the planets, and the stars with the same facility, rapidity and certainty as we now make the ocean voyage from Liverpool to New York.

— Jules Verne, From the Earth to the Moon, 1865

Fidel

6079_Smith_W wrote:
And coincidentally, Randi had a direct hand in that little escapade.

Yep. And I think James Randi should open his mind to the legitimacy of global warming science. Someone should put that guy and his outfit on quack watch, inquisition watch, or something.

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