Saturday, April 29, 2017

Hate Mail - OK, Let's Take The Gloves Off

I will confess that I'm as guilty as anyone in doing it but there is really no such entity as "science".  Science is a social phenomenon which consists of what the world body of scientists - for the purpose of discussion, those people, the overwhelming majority of them men, who publish what is called science in reviewed journals - say is science at any given time.

Science has no independent existence as an entity that does anything, it is an ill-defined, purported consensus of what those scientists say it is at any given time.  And that's a load of nonsense, too.  Because there is no one consensus, there isn't even general accord, there is constant disagreement over everything from small details to entire theories or even schools of science, which rise to prominence and fall, eventually much of what was even taken as a consensus point of view as being even absolute knowledge will be overturned as it was found to be inadequate and not infrequently just wrong.   And that's not only true of the imprecise things like nutrition or molecular genetics, it's true of physics which, may, sometimes come to general consensus about some things given a very strong experimental demonstration, has many areas under contention.  My observation would lead me to the conclusion that it is in those very areas most often driven by materialist-atheist ideology in physics that have both the most contention and a large body of speculation presented as science which, unsurprisingly, gets shoved into that boneyard of discontinued science I mentioned.  Why that stuff is held to be "harder" science than psychology which is probably the thing called science which has contributed the largest number of corpses to that mountain, I don't know.

Before you fly off the handle and whine about my observation that your substitute god, Science, doesn't produce uniform or even durable knowledge, that's allegedly one of its great virtues, that, eventually, almost everything held as "science" will be challenged and its explanatory inadequacies will catch up with it and it will be overturned or succeeded by newer science.  Said virtue includes most of what I've said above and will say below as a part of that supposed quest for ever newer understanding.  One of sciences' biggest problems is that there is a shocking amount of pretty crappy stuff that gets published as science and taught and promoted by scientists as science, some of which even scientists acknowledge is crap - generally in other fields without any professional stake in what they will criticize.  The role that professional interests, sects, cartels, etc. play in it is both obvious and, pretty much, a prohibited area of thought.

What is rejected by "science" is sometimes better science than what is accepted.  Dr. Radin and his colleagues who have produced experimental results showing things such as presentiment of stimulus or a reaction to the experience of another person who they can not see, hear, or be in contact with is certainly far better controlled experiments, far more rigorously controlled against any pollution of the process and far better analyzed than almost anything you'll hear or read reported as psychology, sociology, anthropology, nutrition science, neuroscience, etc.  But it violates the 18th-19th century notion of materialist-atheist ideology and CSI(COP) and such entities as Susan Gerbic's, PZ Myers' and Jerry Coynes' - science help us, even James Randi and Penn Jillette's flying monkey squads might go after anyone who looks at them objectively.   That shows that "science" is hardly driven by method and review, it's as much a humanly mitigated activity as any other and as liable to ideological and other pressures that will constitute what "science says" as politics.

Don't feel too bad,  we talk about "religion" as if it's a thing you can say something definite about too, when that's as dishonest a ubiquitous practice, as well.    That "religion" everyone is always slamming or lauding is an imaginary construct, too.   It does have the virtue that your materailist-atheist ideology doesn't, it doesn't so often pollute science.  Atheism pervades large parts of it.

When it works for the good, science is just great and swell, it often doesn't, such as the well-paid science done on behalf of the oil, gas, coal and other extraction industries, much of other industry, the arms industry, the military.   Anyone who can ignore that enormous part of the professional activities of science are engaged in doing evil for profit is in complete denial as to its character as a phenomenon.  Steve Weinberg and his fans, for example. Even many of the otherwise innocent maintain that illusion out of their own interest.   I've got lots of friends and family members who work in science, though most of them as teachers and not publishing scientists.  I considered going into biology and was encouraged to by my teachers.  My mother had a degree in Biology.  I've got nothing against science that I don't also have against much of politics, journalism, the media, literature, the arts and religion.  I don't treat any of those as a god substitute, either.  Why should I treat science that way?  Demanding that I hold up and genuflect to science, science as an all-knowing god doesn't seem to be very consistent with your materialist-atheist, nothing sacred claims.  Perhaps those aren't what you claim them to be, either.

Update:  If Paul Kurtz was and James Randi is entirely ignorant, that guy is a total moron.  What he says is of no importance and those he says it to are idiots.   I don't care what he says to them because they are a hermetically sealed bottle, a terrarium of folly in the shape of a ship of fools.  I wish I could paint, I'd paint that and call it "Pseudo-Skepticism".   Or "Atheist-materialism", which is the same thing.

Update 2:  Is that what he said?  Doesn't bother me.  I'd rather risk the occasional extravagant gesture and fail than be voluntarily shackled to mediocrity.  Nothing ventured, all the same. That's his method.

1 comment:

  1. In seminary we were taught to destroy our idols, beginning with the religious beliefs we brought with us. I can think of no equivalent science education.