Is Science a value system?

Discussion in 'The Cesspool' started by Magical Realist, Jan 15, 2015.

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  1. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

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    "One thing that never gets emphasized enough in science, or in schools, or anywhere else, is that no matter how fancy-schmancy your statistical technique, the output is always a probability level (a P-value), the "significance" of which is left for you to judge – based on nothing more concrete or substantive than a feeling, based on the imponderables of personal or shared experience. Statistics, and therefore science, can only advise on probability – they cannot determine The Truth. And Truth, with a capital T, is forever just beyond one's grasp.

    None of this gets through to the news pages. When pitching a science story to a news editor, a science correspondent soon learns that the answer that gets airtime is either "yes", or "no". Either the Voyager space probe has left the solar system, or it hasn't. To say that it might have done and attach statistical caveats is a guaranteed turn-off. Nobody ever got column inches by saying that Elvis has a 95% probability of having left the building.

    Why do we (it's the royal we this time, do please try to keep up at the back) demand such definitive truths of science, but are happy to have all other spheres of human activity wallow in mess and muddle?

    I think it goes back to the mid-20th century, especially just after the second world war, when scientists – they were called "boffins" – gave us such miracles as radar, penicillin and plastics; jet propulsion, teflon, mass vaccination and transistors; the structure of DNA, lava lamps and the eye-level grill. They cracked the Enigma, and the atom. They were the original rocket scientists, people vouchsafed proverbially inaccessible knowledge. They were wizards, men like gods, who either had more than the regular human complement of leetle grey cells, or access to occult arcana denied to ordinary mortals. They were priests in vestments of white coats, tortoiseshell specs and pocket protectors. We didn't criticise them. We didn't engage with them – we bowed down before them.

    How our faith was betrayed! (This is the great unwashed "we" again.) It wasn't long before we realised that science gave us pollution, radiation, agent orange and birth defects. And when we looked closely, "we" (oh, I give up) found that the scientists were not dispensing truths, but – gasp – arguing among themselves about the most fundamental aspects of science. They weren't priests after all, but frauds, fleecing us at some horrifically expensive bunco booth, while all the time covering up the fact that they couldn't even agree among themselves about the science they were peddling us like so much snake oil. And if they couldn't agree among themselves, why should good honest folks like you and me give them any credence?

    Witness the rise of creationists, alien-abductees and homeopaths; the anti-vaxers and the climate-change deniers; those convinced that Aids was a colonial plot, and those who would never be convinced that living under power lines didn't necessarily give you cancer; ill-informed crystal-gazers of every stripe, who, while at the same time as denouncing science as fraudulent, tried to ape it with scientific-sounding charlatanry of their own.

    If the once-inaccessible scientists had been defrocked, why couldn't just anyone borrow their robes? Announce that camel turds are the latest miracle super-food; put on a white coat and mumble impressive nonsense about zero-point energy, omega fatty acids and the mystery third strand of DNA; and you're in business, ready to exploit fool after fool at a bunco booth of your own making.

    And all this because scientists weren't honest enough, or quick enough, to say that science wasn't about Truth, handed down on tablets of stone from above, and even then, only to the elect; but Doubt, which anyone (even girls) could grasp, provided they had a modicum of wit and concentration. It wasn't about discoveries written in imperishable crystal, but about argument, debate, trial, and – very often – error."=====http://www.theguardian.com/science/occams-corner/2013/sep/19/science-religion-not-be-questioned
     
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  3. Russ_Watters Not a Trump supporter... Valued Senior Member

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  5. paddoboy Valued Senior Member

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    No, I am right, so right.
    Your unsupported nonsense like Plasma theory, giants and UFO's of Alien origin, will never stand up to proper scientific peer review.
    You need to live with that.
     
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  7. paddoboy Valued Senior Member

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    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!


    The truth and any judgments will be passed by our collective peers on this forum, and certainly wont be dictated by any anti science endeavour by you or you new "hanger on" friend dmoe.
     
  8. paddoboy Valued Senior Member

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    And that applies ten fold to your nonsensical philosophical claptrap.

    Well certainly not the claptrap you are fond of spreading and that I have just mentioned. But hey! If that'swhat rocks your boat, go ahead. No ones listening.

    And so we bloody well should!


    More philosophical claptrap. Again, I ask the question, why are you here, if the disciplines of science offends you so much?
    Why do you post such hypocritical hypothetical philosophical bullshit.
    Is this just to hear yourself ramble on?
    Is it vengeance against your recent bannings?
    Or are you some religious evangelistic like God Botherer in disguise, out to attempt to derail, that which the vast majority will not let you derail?
     
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2015
  9. dumbest man on earth Real Eyes Realize Real Lies Valued Senior Member

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    ...so...still uatoabh...!!!

    ...what "anti science endeavour"?

    ...childish ad hominems...!!!

    ...Meh....still uatoabh!!!
     
  10. river

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    This is not in any way a discussion

    This is pad .....
     
  11. paddoboy Valued Senior Member

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    No, its pretty factual. Any individual that claims astronomy/cosmology and space endeavours does not and has not benefited mankind is dumb...real dumb!
     
  12. OnlyMe Valued Senior Member

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    None of the quotes you link to me, are mine. I have had no comment at all on this subject!
     
  13. paddoboy Valued Senior Member

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    Sincere apologies OnlyMe...I have now edited it. Sorry again.
    Off goes my head: On goes a pumpkin!
     
  14. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

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    Reported for insulting again...
     
  15. paddoboy Valued Senior Member

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    What can I say?
    If the cap fits, wear it.
     
  16. Kristoffer Giant Hyrax Valued Senior Member

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    Stating something obvious is insulting?
     
  17. river

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    I have though

    Pad what has gottin into you ?
     
  18. paddoboy Valued Senior Member

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    That's not true. I don't believe you have said anything worthy of science on these forums. Perhaps in the fringes, about ghosts. goblins, giants, Alien origin UFO's and such, but no, no real science from you.
     
  19. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

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    I can read a whole college textbook on astronomy and in no way will that information improve my life. It just doesn't. Machinery used in astronomy doesn't count AS astronomical science. That comes from engineering and electronics, a totally separate field of knowledge.
     
  20. Kristoffer Giant Hyrax Valued Senior Member

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    If learning something new doesn't improve your life in some small way, be it from the satisfaction that you learned whatever, even if not life changing, then I feel sorry for you.
     
  21. river

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    Interesting

    Go on
     
  22. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

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    Just learning something new doesn't improve me. Learning things that are relevant to my life does. And even then that only depends if I apply those things to my life in some way. I can learn all the constellations and their major stars, and still end up being the same person I was before because that information is irrelevant to me. It doesn't improve my life in any way.
     
  23. Kristoffer Giant Hyrax Valued Senior Member

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    I find it nice knowing which way I'm facing without a compass. That's useful in my opinion.

    And considering how much you believe in UFO's etc, don't you find it contradictory dismissing astronomy?
     
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