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Thread: New book calls science a "Priesthood"

  1. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pincho Paxton View Post
    Some day science will realise how it deluded itself for hundreds of years.
    Yep. Some day in the far future we will realize that airplanes, antibiotics, electricity, radios etc don't actually work and we've been imagining the whole thing.

  2. #62
    Quote Originally Posted by billvon View Post
    Yep. Some day in the far future we will realize that airplanes, antibiotics, electricity, radios etc don't actually work and we've been imagining the whole thing.
    They don't prove science works. They prove that measurements work. For example if Gravity is a push, and not a pull, the airplane still works as a measurement, but the measurement is backwards. A ruler is 1ft long from both ends. If an electron is negative mass, and not mass it still contains the same mass, like a bucket can contain its whole as water.

  3. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pincho Paxton View Post
    They don't prove science works. They prove that measurements work.
    A Saturn 5 rocket has little to do with measurement. It has a lot to do with basic science - metallurgy, thermodyamics, Newton's laws, aerodynamics etc. And you can spin some good yarns about your theories, but unless they are correct that craft won't fly.

    For example if Gravity is a push, and not a pull, the airplane still works as a measurement, but the measurement is backwards.
    But that Apollo mission would never have gotten to the Moon if it was a push instead of a pull. It did - so science was right.

    If an electron is negative mass, and not mass it still contains the same mass, like a bucket can contain its whole as water.
    That's a semantics game. The name itself doesn't matter - it is the ability of science to accurately predict the behavior of an electron that makes science valid. (And makes it possible for you to post on this board.)

  4. #64
    Quote Originally Posted by Aqueous Id View Post
    The OP concisely nails crankdom. The psychological aspect rpenner describes is by far the most curious aspect to me.

    Anti-science seems mainly relegated to particular kinds of hardened religious fundamentalists, or else the conspiracy theorists who seem to imagine Science in the way Protestants viewed Catholicism, that is, as a corrupt institution which abuses sacred principles. The difference is, of course, there is no pope of science, and no Vatican.

    While there must be fringe cranks who fit into some other category, the overwhelming majority of those who are launching the polemic tend to be of these two stripes.

    The psychology of religious based crankdom seems to revolve around denialism. Hardened fundamentalism has a shell whose thickness is proportional to the irritating effect of scientific knowledge on the soft tissues of superstition. If I had to pick a prevailing psychological cause, I think I would say it is fear. A person living in denial already has some clues that his worldview is skewed, but postpones his self-correction for so long that the idea of any sudden catharsis may be too painful to bear. For example, imagine his dilemma having to break the news to the kids he indoctrinated. I suppose if his reasoning ever got that far, shame would creep in to aggravate the fear.

    As for the conspiracy theorists, this is more evidently a paranoid response. There can be all kinds of underlying causes, but one of the first that jumps out is the hybrid that crosses fundamentalism with conspiracy theory.

    Both groups seem to exhibit envious resentment, perhaps feeling cheated out of the knowledge of fundamental principles that generally bind science loving people into consensus over the basics.

    Sometimes this phenomenon becomes unbearable, such as when cranks became active in politics with the agenda to derail funding and impose Byzantine policy. Although in some ways this has crested, the culture and myth that grew out of it is still rampant today and effects every kind of conversation, from economics to foreign policy and immigration. The latter two are invariably smeared with patent xenophobia, which not only harkens back to the premise of fear, but also demonstrates deep-seated loathing of an almost primal nature.

    As bad as it has been, the fever may be breaking. Any inquisitive person can fact check almost anything, so we are evidently on the cusp of a new phase in the evolution of society. I hope so. This period of the "terrible twos" has lasted my entire life. It's high time for a change.
    Nice post, but more importantly, who does your hair?

  5. #65
    Quote Originally Posted by billvon View Post
    A Saturn 5 rocket has little to do with measurement. It has a lot to do with basic science - metallurgy, thermodyamics, Newton's laws, aerodynamics etc. And you can spin some good yarns about your theories, but unless they are correct that craft won't fly.



    But that Apollo mission would never have gotten to the Moon if it was a push instead of a pull. It did - so science was right.



    That's a semantics game. The name itself doesn't matter - it is the ability of science to accurately predict the behavior of an electron that makes science valid. (And makes it possible for you to post on this board.)
    Reversed gravity allows all of the above. You wouldn't know the difference. Newtons laws also work backwards, and in other unlikely ways.

    And you can spin some good yarns about your theories, but unless they are correct that craft won't fly.
    Unfortunately the craft flies as predicted, and that's why science is a mess.

  6. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pincho Paxton View Post
    Reversed gravity allows all of the above.
    No, it doesn't. Gravity is given by the equation F=G((M1*M2)/r2) where M are the masses, r is the distance between them and G is the gravitational constant.

    If, as you claim, gravity was "pushing" from somewhere instead of pulling between two bodies that equation would not be valid - and the Apollo missions would never have gotten to the Moon.

  7. #67
    Quote Originally Posted by billvon View Post
    No, it doesn't. Gravity is given by the equation F=G((M1*M2)/r2) where M are the masses, r is the distance between them and G is the gravitational constant.

    If, as you claim, gravity was "pushing" from somewhere instead of pulling between two bodies that equation would not be valid - and the Apollo missions would never have gotten to the Moon.
    It works if you change Mass to Negative mass, and then reverse the formula. You turn Earth into a sponge, and Gravity into a liquid.

  8. #68
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pincho Paxton View Post
    It works if you change Mass to Negative mass, and then reverse the formula.
    If you mean that -F=-G((M1*M2)/r2) then yes - you can multiply both sides by any number you like and the equation is just as valid. That is a mathematical trick, akin to a 10 year old claiming he's not really 10 because he's negative minus 10.

  9. #69
    Soft Sciences can be more like Religion, but mainly because for the most part they don't deal with testing empirical evidence.

    For instance a Psychiatrist will use a mixture of third-person information by the way of "peer reviewed" medical journals and observations as a "practitioner", however their observations aren't necessarily as coordinate as a Hard Science, their observations might rely upon themselves, colleagues and patients being witnesses (as it should be known "witness statements" are often deemed as being very poor sources of evidence since witnesses can be biased, uninformative or just incoherent.)

    A dose of a particular drug in mentioned in a journal might have some simplified mathematics expressing how to increase or decrease it's volume in regards to a patients mass, however since there is no "pre-initialisation" in the sense of examining a patient with an industry standard check-list to identify discrepancies, often the observed reaction of the dose is misinterpreted and recorded wrongly in such journals.

    In this profession there is a fine line between Quacks and Doctors due to this reason, at least in regards to the "Old School" variety (Younger up and coming practitioners at least have the capacity to try and identify failures in the older systems).

  10. #70
    Quote Originally Posted by billvon View Post
    If you mean that -F=-G((M1*M2)/r2) then yes - you can multiply both sides by any number you like and the equation is just as valid. That is a mathematical trick, akin to a 10 year old claiming he's not really 10 because he's negative minus 10.
    Yep, it's the trick that science uses. But my way, you get Dark Matter just naturally.

  11. #71
    Quote Originally Posted by rpenner View Post
    [URL=http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg 1228440.200

    and-the-ohmygod-particle.html]

    1 If science were a priesthood, there would be organized worship rather than the disorganized affections of groupies and the unasked-for flattery of imitations of those that ape science's form without benefit.


    2 If science were a priesthood, there would be an initiation into its mysteries rather than open access journals and public libraries of books.


    3 Science has to be a precise, useful and communicable description of nature. That the most precise and most useful descriptions are necessarily communicated in mathematics is not a bug, but a feature.





    --

    Michael Shermer in Wall Street Journal
    John Horgan for Scientific American blogs
    Peter Woit
    1 Organized worship, ah yeah to the point of anal retardation .
    Most people are locked out from not even being able to comprehend the language . Specialized Language of each discipline.
    Think of it this way . Every thing you do every move you make is a ritual .
    Routine ! Are you a routine kind of person ?
    2 It is called a diploma. Surprise you got one don't you . P.H.D. what ? What you got ?
    3 Sounds like a mission statement of a Priesthood to Me

    Quack! Quack! Yeah Priest Hood I will go with that , Just not a God Fearing Priesthood.
    You guys got Fraternities from the Good old Days ?
    Missoula is big on getting the old cronies back together for fund raisers and such .
    Y. Science is just another sphere of influence in a divided world . You got to dig deeper boy ! You your self cling to Christian values . I know you do . All against the primal urges of true humanity. The hidden agenda of the individual soul shared in common with all the other animals .

    It is O.K. I got nothing against Priesthoods and when they allow women to be part of the circle of influence I am all on board . I like coed the best .

    Any body can read the bible . Martin Luther did that for us . So Open Library . No hold water there either except the Cathlics . They got a book I want " De Magna Domo Sapientia . I might of got the last word wrong . The Great House wisdom. That is what means . They got it locked up and well it is in Latin and I am not all that brushed up on my Latin . I guess I should work on that one . Put it on my laundry list of rituals.

    Go Priest Hoods . I am routing for the scientific model . I like you
    Last edited by Me-Ki-Gal; 02-02-12 at 02:13 PM.

  12. #72
    flat Earth skeptic Aqueous Id's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trooper View Post
    Nice post, but more importantly, who does your hair?
    Actually I'm bald with a rattlesnake bone where I used to have a nose ring. But thanks for asking. Hey: your comment on Queensland weirdness and physicists not understanding pockets nappies () was memorably funny. It was still amusing to read it a second time when this thread resurfaced. If you're not already doing standup as a second gig, you can use me for a reference.

  13. #73
    flat Earth skeptic Aqueous Id's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pincho Paxton View Post
    Yeah, the use of power words as a response shows why the religious belief is hard to attack. But doesn't work on me. You may be annoyed by your delusions defences sparking off in your brain, but they can spark for all I care. Some day science will realise how it deluded itself for hundreds of years.
    Oh, looks like I struck a nerve there. So what gets under your skin the most, anti-religiosity, or anti-conspiracy theory?

  14. #74
    Quote Originally Posted by Aqueous Id View Post
    Oh, looks like I struck a nerve there. So what gets under your skin the most, anti-religiosity, or anti-conspiracy theory?
    The thing that gets under my skin the most is science being sure that it can use the word crank, and woo woo, thinking that it is safe under 100's of years of Newton. Where in fact Newton screwed science up, and nobody ever noticed. Then Einstein came along, and included a new way to interpret Newton, and because Newton got things backwards, Einstein also got things backwards.

  15. #75
    Quote Originally Posted by Pincho Paxton View Post
    The thing that gets under my skin the most is science being sure that it can use the word crank, and woo woo, thinking that it is safe under 100's of years of Newton. Where in fact Newton screwed science up, and nobody ever noticed.
    That is a bold statement .
    Is it because he thought him self the Christ instead of Jesus ? Did that have any barring on your proclamation ?

  16. #76
    Quote Originally Posted by Pincho Paxton View Post
    The thing that gets under my skin the most is science being sure that it can use the word crank, and woo woo, thinking that it is safe under 100's of years of Newton. Where in fact Newton screwed science up, and nobody ever noticed. Then Einstein came along, and included a new way to interpret Newton, and because Newton got things backwards, Einstein also got things backwards.
    No one noticed for 100's of years; except for YOU. The only human who’s intellect surpasses the combined work of Newton and Einstein. Hallelujah, praise science! May we all prostrate before you and grovel at your feet asking only that you bestow a bubble of knowledge on us.

    Bwahahahaha

  17. #77
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pincho Paxton View Post
    Yep, it's the trick that science uses.
    Uh, no, it's the trick YOU just used.

    If it's a choice between science and your sort of silly tricks it's an easy decision to make.

  18. #78
    Quote Originally Posted by billvon View Post
    Uh, no, it's the trick YOU just used.

    If it's a choice between science and your sort of silly tricks it's an easy decision to make.
    It's easy to decide on science which doesn't work... OK.

  19. #79
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pincho Paxton View Post
    It's easy to decide on science which doesn't work... OK.
    Exactly. Science that can be demonstrated in a lab via repeatable experiments? Works. "Science" that some guy on an Internet forum thinks up? Probably doesn't work.

  20. #80
    Curmudgeon of Lucidity Grumpy's Avatar
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    Pincho Paxton

    The thing that gets under my skin the most is science being sure that it can use the word crank, and woo woo, thinking that it is safe under 100's of years of Newton. Where in fact Newton screwed science up, and nobody ever noticed. Then Einstein came along, and included a new way to interpret Newton, and because Newton got things backwards, Einstein also got things backwards.
    Newton was right enough for his time, the effects of Relativity being beyond the ability to measure with instruments of the time(though the precession of the orbit of Mercury was known). Einstein's work was in no way based on Newton. Newton had no idea what was the "attractive force" of gravity, Einstein showed there was no attractive force, it was a curvature of spacetime caused by the presence of mass that causes gravity. The two views have nothing in common but the result. And, so far, Einstein is correct, every attempt to falsify proving fruitless, every prediction being confirmed. While that may not always be so, you certainly haven't shown Einstein to be wrong simply because the...stuff you spout doesn't conform to the reality Einstein showed to be true. While not as bad as some I have read here, your pronoucements certainly fit within the class called woo and being unable to recognize and correct that certainly approaches the definition of crank.

    Grumpy

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