Those who have anti-science views, know the least but think they know the most

Discussion in 'Human Science' started by wegs, Aug 7, 2019.

  1. wegs With brave wings, she flies . . . Valued Senior Member

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    The problem is similar to the Dunning-Kruger effect: The less competent a person is at something, the smarter they think they are.

    “Not only do these people reach erroneous conclusions and make unfortunate choices,” David Dunning and Justin Kruger wrote in their 1999 paper describing the phenomenon, “but their incompetence robs them of the metacognitive ability to realize it.”

    https://nationalpost.com/news/canad...-the-least-but-think-they-know-the-most-study


    Could many woo purveyors be suffering from the Dunning-Kruger effect? It seems that the less people know (about any given subject, in this case_science) the more they think they know. It's curious how people develop an inflated view of what they know, when they know very little, in reality. The article is interesting, because it discusses how many people may believe they know more than they do, simply because they don't grasp the depth and complexity of a particular subject matter.
     
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  3. kx000 Valued Senior Member

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    Because omniscience doesn't require learning.
     
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2019
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  5. wegs With brave wings, she flies . . . Valued Senior Member

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    You deleted your post, or ...?

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

     
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  7. Seattle Valued Senior Member

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    He realized he didn't know what he was talking about. Your thread may be working.
     
  8. wegs With brave wings, she flies . . . Valued Senior Member

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    Deleted my comment, since he posted a reply, and removed ''delete.'' lol
     
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2019
  9. Seattle Valued Senior Member

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    He is omnipotent and therefore doesn't require learning.
     
  10. wegs With brave wings, she flies . . . Valued Senior Member

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    But, humans are not omniscient, kxooo. Can you clarify your point?
     
  11. kx000 Valued Senior Member

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    But, they do believe.
     
  12. wegs With brave wings, she flies . . . Valued Senior Member

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    I think the article is referring to people who pass off their limited understanding of a subject, as expert knowledge. (because they believe that they know more than they actually do)
     
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2019
  13. Seattle Valued Senior Member

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    She said "clarify".
     
  14. exchemist Valued Senior Member

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    In the case of woo, there is another factor at work: belief. The woo advocate finds the woo idea appealing, and resists or rejects information that conflicts with the appealing belief.

    We see this all the time in other fields too, perhaps most obviously in politics.

    So I don’t think these things can be explained just in terms of lack of knowledge. In many cases that lack of knowledge is positively willed.
     
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  15. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    I definitely agree. Especially when it comes to science, the less you know, the more you think you know.

    A lot of people think they have "common sense". So, if they have what they consider to be strong common sense about the world, they don't see why it can't be applied to science.

    What they rarely realize is that common sense is antithetical to scientific analysis. Science is about letting the data - the experiment - tell you what's happening - in spite of what you expect.

    On another forum, there is a guy who has built up this crazy idea that the 11 year solar cycle is caused by the sun's EM bouncing off the galactic core (How can it repeat every 11 years when the core is 50,000 light years away, you ask? Because light from the sun travels 5,000 times faster than light here on Earth, of course.).

    And to defend his ideas, he says things like

    "... That is a very irrational and questionable phenomenon for an extremely rational nature...."

    "... nature is extremely rational and always chooses the most simple way of development..."

    This guy anthropomorphizes nature as being rational, because that's what he supposes nature ought to be like.
     
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2019
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  16. Yazata Valued Senior Member

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    What are "anti-science views"? What makes them "anti-science" exactly?

    I'm a bit put off by a vision of science that emphasizes conformity and the need to hold orthodox non-heretical views. It's a bit... medieval.

    Must true "anti-science views" be actual hostility to science?

    Or are they belief in ideas that contradict accepted scientific beliefs? These can often be the classic cranks, but I wouldn't call cranks 'anti-science' exactly. They often love science but overestimate their own abilities in whatever scientific subject they are opining about. Occasionally it's kind of grandiose, they think that they are the new Einstein or something, without having ever studied physics.

    We see something that might be similar when evolutionary biologists like Dawkins or Coyne pose as authorities on the philosophy of religion or physicists like Krauss or Tegmark turn metaphysician. Or when pretty much any university professor tries to speak authoritatively on subjects like politics, largely unrelated to their own technical areas of expertise, on the basis of their PhD degree in their own subject and their prestigious academic appointment.


    In the case of the classic crank, I think there might be some truth to that. I think that it also applies to the professor who acts like a professorial appointment in one subject makes them authorities on all subjects.

    But other things get called "anti-science" too. We also see professionally-qualified scientists what hold unpopular positions on particular controversial technical issues in their own areas of expertise. Some of them may actually go so far as to question ideas that most of their colleagues consider given and effectively axiomatic. There are astrophysicists who cling to steady-state cosmologies and don't buy the "big bang" for example.

    And on boards like Sciforums and elsewhere, we sometimes see the term "anti-science" being extended to those who believe in God or less controversially, in a universe that might arguably exceed the scope of metaphysical naturalism. (Which might arguably make you "anti-science", Wegs.)

    The issue that worries me is how laypeople are supposed to relate to science. There's a body of opinion that demands that whenever an assertion is preceeded by "scientists say", laypeople are therefore obligated to believe it on pain of being denounced as "anti-science". (Reminds me of the doctrines of the medieval church.)

    Then as now, most laypeople weren't technically trained in the subject, whether theology then or science now. But for whatever reason, the assertion doesn't seem entirely plausible or credible to some people and these individuals withhold automatic knee-jerk assent.

    The idea is reminiscent of this board's "weak atheism", the idea that atheism isn't denial of the existence of God (which would presumably require evidence and argument) but merely lack of belief in God (which arguably carries no burden of proof). Laypeople can take a similar approach to various scientific beliefs and make similar arguments about burden of proof. Simply saying "I don't believe it" (withholding assent) without going further and claiming that it's wrong might (arguably) require no additional justification at all, unless an additional premise is inserted that people should believe for some reason. Except that the reasons for particular scientific beliefs are typically very technical, assuming they exist at all, and well beyond the expertise of the layman who is effectively being told to shut up and accept authority.
     
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  17. wegs With brave wings, she flies . . . Valued Senior Member

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    The most popular example that comes to mind is a creationist who vehemently denies evolution. It's not only because of his/her faith beliefs that they deny evolution, but if you have ever had conversations with or read articles/blogs posted by (some) creationists, they don't seem to understand evolution, from a scientific viewpoint. There are creationists however, who seem to understand evolution, but still see it as a competing with their beliefs, so they dismiss it. Dismissing science because it doesn't align with one's spiritual beliefs can come across as anti-science.

    lol

    I don't think that anti-science people necessarily have a hostility towards science, rather they sometimes hitch a ride on pseudo-science's back, and try to present those ideas as being on par with accepted scientific beliefs and theories. There's nothing wrong with presenting new ideas, theories, etc but I think the problem comes in when those ideas are submitted as fact based, or widely accepted scientific beliefs. (Coinciding with the article, this could be due to the fact that some people don't know what they don't know, and think that their ideas are as worthwhile as proven scientific methods and beliefs.)

    Yes, this. (my opinion) Keep in mind, the article is discussing how many people aren't aware of how little they may know about a subject, yet debate subjects as if they are an expert.

    Exactly, I think this falls into the category, as well. My opinion only, but I'd say when people are unwilling to concede when they're presenting silly ideas, or going off the rails during a science discussion, they can come across as anti-science.


    Yep, agree.

    I'm not anti-science, though. I'm not looking to replace scientific ideas with my spiritual beliefs. For those who do that, they should be mindful that they're coming across as intellectually dishonest. (even if that's not their intent)

    Well, we should all start by admitting we don't know what we don't know. If someone is unable to do that, and they truly know very little about a particular subject (not just science), then they are going to look foolish when debating with others who are more well versed on the topic. Some people don't want to learn truths, Yazata. They like their versions of truth, and we can see that presented a lot in the hard science sections of this forum, for example. There is a pseudo-science section of SF and also one for discussing the paranormal, etc...and those sections are for discussing topics that fall outside of the accepted science topics.

    Not sure if I'm misunderstanding these points here, but I don't know if spiritual beliefs, atheism, agnosticism, etc fall into the same category, because personal belief systems are subjective. My view of spirituality will differ from the next person's view, and so on. However, it would be wrong of me to present my spiritual beliefs as objective facts, and if others disagree, I label them as ''wrong.'' Of course, one could read the Torah, or the Bible and come away with various interpretations, yet there are actual Bible scholars who exist and debate that stuff for a living. (each believing that they're ''right.'')


    Edit to add, the italicized text in purple in the OP, is from the article.
     
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2019
  18. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

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    Is it possible that the less you know the more dependent you are on ignorant common sense? Hence the stubbornness when confronted with issues beyond their capacity to comprehend or deal with adequately..
    If a person depends on his ignorant common sense when there appears to be no other way to live will they find it hard to trust anything else?
    (I am not using the word ignorant as a pejorative or denigration. re: simple folk with simple lives for example...)
     
  19. kx000 Valued Senior Member

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    I think, not all, but some Christian's fit the bill.
     
  20. billvon Valued Senior Member

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    Right. Someone who has a genuine contradictory belief, arrived at after a little work, isn't anti-science. But someone who denies science based on a Youtube video they saw, or because of what their pastor says, is fairly anti-science.
    And if they buttress their claims with arguments based on observation and experiment, then I wouldn't call them "anti-science." The exception to this are people like Andrew Wakefield - people who base their argument on how much money they are paid to hold that position.
    I wouldn't say they are obligated. More like the threshold for disbelief is higher.
     
  21. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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  22. wegs With brave wings, she flies . . . Valued Senior Member

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    lol

    /end thread
     
  23. Seattle Valued Senior Member

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    He has the best words too. We have one of those on here do we not?
     

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