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TZ Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-04-07 09:36 AM
Original message
Scienctific stereotypes and pseudoscience
Lately, there has been a lot of threads concerning what I would dub "pseudoscience" (ESP, extra-terrestial visits/UFO ghosts. etc)
and in every thread the same old tired stereotypes of scientists/rationalists/skeptics keep coming up. I am tired of them. I thought I would address a few of them. I have always been aggravated by generalities especially those based in misconceptions

1) Scientists are closed minded. Not true for the most part. Scientists are by nature skeptical of data that has not been rigorously tested through the scientific method. And its not in their training (or nature) to accept something as the truth merely because someone SAYS its true. Thats why so many of us ask for peer-reviewed data. To us, thats the best way to evaluate a claim or theory. Observational evidence, while it has its place, is not good proof--ask anyone involved in court cases..forensic evidence is considered superior to eyewitness in some ways. For example--the Beltway snipers in 2002...The witnesses were all "sure" that a white box truck was involved. One person had seen it at one seen and so people looked for that and overlooked the real vehicle--a maroon Chevy Caprice. A LOT different. So can you understand why scientists aren't going to take a bunch of blurry photos and questionable eyewitness accounts as being "the truth"?
Have I met dogmatic scientists? Sure, but for the most part most scientists are willing when the data is shoved in their face to accept new paradigms which leads to steeotype number two..
2) Science is a religion/faith based/afraid of anything that challanges their beleifs.No, I would argue that is true of religion which by definition is faith based. Scientists however observe the known world and find that patterns exist (when I say patterns I mean principles of science like photosynthesis, cellular respirataion, law of gravity, etc). When something is presented that goes outside of the bounds of those observed principles scientists are extremely skeptical. A lot of "inventions" or "devices" that are talked about here are usually totally unproven scientifically, yet there are too many people who believe based on the claims of the inventor and their "believers" that they are the next big thing. Maybe after rigorous scientific testing the "devices" might have merit but that needs to be seen. The example I have seen is multiple postings about a device that claims it can eliminate malignant tumors based on vibrations. Fine, lets see the studies that prove that out..in the appropriate physiology..but it does fly in the face of accepted biology. Yet its hailed as "the cure for cancer" and gets raves while I post about something much more promising and based on sound science of using viruses to target and destroy cancer tumors gets ignored by many of the same people who hail the unproven device as "the cure".
3) Scientists who dispute "common wisdom" must have an agenda..ie are shills in the pay of someone, aren't true progressives, are secret agents for the right etc...Sometimes things that are widely held beliefs aren't scientifically accurate. The old chestnut that anything natural must be good and science goes agaisnt nature is the big one in my mind. How many natural things can kill us in truly horrendous ways? Ebola is natural. Rattlesnake venom is natural. Hell predators like sharks are natural. Nature is not pretty. But sometimes the things that people think are "unnatural" aren't even that. Take vaccines..which have been labelled by some as "chemicals". No. They are modified microorganisms. Sometimes they are simply microorganisms that have been heat killed..Vaccines basically expose us to the pathogen we are trying to protect agaisnt in a way that causes minimal sickness..vaccines work WITH the immune system. What is more natural than that? Unless of course you think that no intervention in the saving of lives should ever be done..that we should just let "nature" take its own course? Oh and those who think all herbs are natural..They are just as much "chemicals" as anything in modern meds (vinegar is acetic acid for example). And some of these so called natural cures are EXTEMELY DANGEROUS. Laetrile for example is promoted as a treatment for cancer...When it really is a compound with CYANIDE in it. Digitalis (fox glove) in very small doses can be good for the heart but in larger doses is deadly to humans....
Finally not so much a stereotype as another way that people try to justify pseudoscience is the "statistically significant" findings that are often pushed as proof of something. So feeding a rat compund x causes the cancer risk to double..Sounds bad right? Well when you look at the statistics you see that the risk jumps from .5% to 1%. A big jump statistically perhaps but really insignificant in terms of how much of a risk it is. This type of fear mongering seems to happen all the time here...And we pretty much object to the admin manipulating us through the use of fear (terrorism) so why is okay for us to do the same thing to others?
Also I have had people push studies on me as proof of ESP where the success rates were statistically significant from random...the success percentages were 20-40% for the most part. To which I must say: :wtf: Would anyone go to a doctor that was only right 30-40% percent of the time? I don't think so. Can you imagine the outcry if the FDA approved a drug that was only effective 30-40% of the time.....Critical thinking skills are very important and too many people seem to not only lack them but attack those who are trying to apply them
As someone who cares passionately about science, rationality and of course the future of this country, I thought it was important to share my POV on this. I will get off my soapbox now...
:rant:
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alarimer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-04-07 10:03 AM
Response to Original message
1. Thank you. I've been wanting to do this for some time.
I would also add small lesson on statistics or probability. When people talk about smoking and cancer, for example, they often claim that their grandmother smoked for 90 years and did get lung cancer; therefore smoking must not cause cancer. Well, there is a difference between a sample and a population. Smoking does increase the RISK for certain diseases but it does not mean that everyone who smokes will get cancer. Just as not everyone who eats bacon a lot will die of heart disease.

Statistical significance does not always equal biological significance. I had a stat professor who jokingly referred to a company he wanted to form called "Small P-values are Us", meaning, I guess, that he could get you a statistically significant finding for whatever you wanted. I've often been skeptical of claims in the media that substance X (say, cell phones) causes cancer. Frankly there is just not enough evidence to say so. The studies that have claimed so are deeply flawed. You can't really say what causes any one case of cancer.

I stand by the statement that extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof. I used this in reference to a post criticizing James Randi for the standards he uses in his million-dollar prize contest. Those standards are not onerous and the fact that no one who enters the contest meets the standards shows that paranormal claims do not stand up to the standards of scientific proof.

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ClintonTyree Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-05-07 04:44 AM
Response to Reply #1
83. Took the words right out of my mouth....
I was going to bring up Randi's million dollar challenge but you beat me to it. I'm with Randi. There is nothing supernatural in this world. My money is on Science until it can be proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that paranormal or supernatural phenomenon exist. So far, everyone has fallen short in that challenge.

Great post, turtlensue. :applause: Science needs to be periodically defended from the ubiquitous snake-oil salesmen among us. Oddly enough, it always seems there's some monetary gain associated with these charlatans hawking their paranormal and supernatural wares. :shrug: Go figure!
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JHB Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-05-07 09:27 AM
Response to Reply #83
133. If paranormal/supernatural phenomena were proven to exist...
...my money would still be on science, because those subjects would then become science. The definition of "what is scientific" would expand to include those proven things.

...Which is another point that belies the "close minded skeptic" stereotype: for every intractible fuddy-duddy "scientist" there'd be a thousand young turk scientists who'd be chomping at the bit to explore those whole new fields of knowledge.
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JDPriestly Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-05-07 09:50 AM
Response to Reply #133
138. This is a good point.
I have had experiences that cannot be explained. It does not mean that I did not have the experiences. It just means that we don't have the understanding to explain them. When I have an experience myself that is not yet understood, I believe what I personally experienced. But I do not expect other people to believe what I personally experienced. In other words, I do not expect other people to take my word for the personal experience. That does not mean that I did not have it. It just means that I cannot prove to other people whether or not I had it.
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Basileus Basileon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-04-07 10:14 AM
Response to Original message
2. K&R
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Beelzebud Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-04-07 10:16 AM
Response to Original message
3. K&R. The "war on science" doesn't just come from the right-wing or christian fundys.
I see too much mystical thinking in every progressive site I visit. It's disturbing how many Americans seem willing to give up rational thought, for elixers, cure-alls, and just straight up bullshit.
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mrreowwr_kittty Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-04-07 10:23 AM
Response to Original message
4. Happy to K and R. nt
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dropkickpa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-04-07 10:43 AM
Response to Original message
5. K & R
Gullibility is one of the great failings of "progressive" minds today. Being so desparate for something to back up paranoia that ANYTHING is acceptable is the sign of a closed mind. It's been made up long ago and only those things, no matter how silly, that agree with that locked-in mindset are acceptable, no matter what overwhelming evidence there is to the contrary. Sounds very unprogressive, to me.
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LeftishBrit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-04-07 10:59 AM
Response to Original message
6. k&r!
Great post!

Other misconceptions include (a) that scientists think they know EVERYTHING - if they did, their work would be redundant as everything would be known already; (b) that if scientists don't know everything/ doctors can't cure everything, it means that their work is worthless - i.e. it's all or nothing; (c) scientists are a nice little cozy close-knit group who band together against the rest of the world, and have ONE view which they won't allow to be challenged - in fact, it's generally to the advantage of scientists to challenge the views of other scientists, and there is ruthless competition both between individuals and between theories.
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TheWraith Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-04-07 11:12 AM
Response to Original message
7. Kicked and recommended.
The enthusiasm for pseudoscience and the inability to make the distinction irritates me, too.
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independentpiney Donating Member (966 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-04-07 11:17 AM
Response to Original message
8. k&r n/t
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mike_c Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-04-07 11:20 AM
Response to Original message
9. recommended....
Excellent post!
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Annces Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-04-07 11:21 AM
Response to Original message
10. Science has its place
However it is extremely limited and can be limiting.
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slowry Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-04-07 11:35 AM
Response to Reply #10
14. How is it limited? Limiting?
Edited on Sun Nov-04-07 11:38 AM by slowry
Are you going to say "science can only allow us to learn about things we are able to perceive"? Oh, how limited! It can only allow us to learn about anything and everything that could possibly affect us.

Limiting?



"Science" is just using your eyes, ears, hands, nose, tongue, and brain (both dry logical thoughts, and disconnected random imagination have their place), to learn about anything that is real, and imagine what might be.
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Blashyrkh Donating Member (816 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-04-07 06:04 PM
Response to Reply #14
34. There's a difference between "science" and the "the scientific community".
To a point, I believe both religionists and scientists have vested interests in their fields and the truth of existence and the nature of reality is weirder than both put together.
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slowry Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-04-07 07:41 PM
Response to Reply #34
41. Finish this sentence, please...
"Scientists* have a vested interest in hiding, obscuring, ignoring, or kidding themselves about the truth of existence and the nature of reality because..."

* I didn't realize "scientists" were such a hivemind. Kudos to the creationists and aura wipers for bringing this to light!
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sojourner Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-04-07 10:48 PM
Response to Reply #41
68. ...like all of us they have a need for "certainty"
and they make their living by striving for success (acknowledgement by their peers) within the present scientific paradigm -- perhaps it would be worthwhile to revisit Kuhn vs Popper in this regard?
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Blashyrkh Donating Member (816 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-05-07 05:16 PM
Response to Reply #41
157. I use scientists like people use politicians.
Not all scientists are flakes. Not all politicians are dishonest pieces of shit.

Or are you going to deny that SOME scientists who are interested in maintaining a status quo? Zahi Hawass is a prime example. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zahi_Hawass . He has a reputation for saying whatever needs to be said in order to maintain the facade of "accepted" Egyptian history.

Anyways, to answer the question, simply because if humanity knew the truth about existence and the nature of reality, our "jobs", our "families", our "possessions", our "lives" would be meaningless. I believe the human mind is capable of much more than we consider now. I believe ESP, telekinesis and other mental powers can be learnt as they are inherent abilities in humans, just as breathing or locomotion is. Humans would never settle for 9-5 jobs, would never settle for living the existence we do, if we could reach for anything better.
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slowry Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-05-07 06:05 PM
Response to Reply #157
158. Weird, I find there's a fucking staggering amount to reach for, without fantasies such as ESP. n/t
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Blashyrkh Donating Member (816 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-05-07 06:25 PM
Response to Reply #158
159. Like what? A bigger house? God? Fuck God. We *ARE* gods.
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slowry Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-05-07 06:39 PM
Response to Reply #159
160. wtf? Easy there, Fight Club. Gods of what? One grain of sand?
If you can't find anything interesting to pursue in science, art, etc., you're a truly sad individual. One wouldn't need ESP to know there's nothing but oatmeal between your ears.
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Blashyrkh Donating Member (816 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-05-07 07:55 PM
Response to Reply #160
166. No, no, no, you misunderstand.
I believe fully in exploring human existence through art, music, science and other creative ventures. I have a keen interest in both astronomy and cosmology.

I have a problem when science is held in equal reverance to religion by its respective followers. You're telling me, quite confidently that ESP does not exist? Why? Because "science" says so? That's as stupid as claiming someone existed 2000 years ago because "religion" says so.

I believe in the existence of ESP because I believe the human mind, at its highest potential, is capable of anything it conceives. That's why we are gods.
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slowry Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-05-07 08:38 PM
Response to Reply #166
169. 'Because "science" says so?'
No, because there's no real evidence of it.

"Science" doesn't say "there is no such thing as ESP". Scientific consensus would be that there's no evidence for it, just as there's no evidence for planets being moved by angels flapping their wings. I really don't see what's so difficult to understand here. There is no conspiracy, conscious or unconscious, to hide the existence of ESP; there's just no reason for anyone to believe it's real, unless they're trying to sell something, or fill some void in their lives.
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Blashyrkh Donating Member (816 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-05-07 10:11 PM
Response to Reply #169
170. Interesting that members of the parapsychology community disagree with you.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Extra-sensory_perception#S...


Scientific investigation of ESP

The scientific field which investigates psi phenomena such as ESP is called parapsychology. The scientific consensus in the field of parapsychology is that certain types of psychic phenomena such as psychokinesis, telepathy, and precognition are well established scientifically.<18><5><19>

18 - http://www.psy.gu.se/EJP/EJP1984Bauer.pdf Criticism and Controversy in Parapsychology - An Overview By Eberhard Bauer, Department of Psychology, University of Freiburg, in the European Journal of Parapsychology, 1984, 5, 141-166, Retrieved February 9, 2007

5 - a b c d The Conscious Universe: The Scientific Truth of Psychic Phenomena by Dean I. Radin Harper Edge, ISBN 0-06-251502-0

19 - http://www.parapsych.org/faq_file3.html#20 What is the state-of-the-evidence for psi? Retrieved January 31, 2007


I also included the specific references for you to read up on.

From the link in 19.


What is the state-of-the-evidence for psi?
To be precise, when we say that "X exists," we mean that the presently available, cumulative statistical database for experiments studying X, provides strong, scientifically credible evidence for repeatable, anomalous, X-like effects.

With this in mind, ESP exists, precognition exists, telepathy exists, and PK exists. ESP is statistically robust, meaning it can be reliably demonstrated through repeated trials, but it tends to be weak when simple geometric symbols are used as targets. Photographic or video targets often produce effects many times larger, and there is some evidence that ESP on natural locations (as opposed to photos of them), and in natural contexts, may be stronger yet.


Or are we all crackpots? Or are you someone who has just accepted what they've been told and never questioned or even thought about it?
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slowry Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-05-07 10:41 PM
Response to Reply #170
171. Oh me, oh my n/t
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skepticscott Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-06-07 05:15 AM
Response to Reply #170
176. That's a shocker!
So the people who have spent their careers trying to show that psi phenomenon are real think that psi phenomenon are real? Well, I guess that settles it then! I guess we should have believed the tobacco companies when they told us that all the scientific evidence proved that cigarettes were perfectly safe and the oil companies when they told us that global warming was a myth.
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Blashyrkh Donating Member (816 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-06-07 05:29 AM
Response to Reply #176
177. Do you consider all paranormal phernomena forgeries, or just psi?
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skepticscott Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-06-07 05:53 AM
Response to Reply #177
180. Did I use the word forgeries?
What is it with the paranormal woo-wooers on this thread? Their favorite rhetorical tactic seems to be to attribute things to others that they never, in fact, said. But the answer is no, I don't consider all psi research to be fraudulent and all claims of paranormal phenomenon to be doctored up, though some certainly are. I simply consider the claims to be flawed and lacking in support. The concept you fail to grasp is that truly sufficient evidence should be able convince those who are disinclined to accept something as true, not just confirm the beliefs of those who were already halfway there in the first place.

And while you're posting links, how about a few discussing the merits of various theories about the mechanism for ESP, PK, or other psi phenomenon? How do psi researches propose that our brains receive and transmit thought energy over distances? Since they've already "proven" that these phenomenon are real, they should be well down this road of research too, after more than a century of investigation.
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Blashyrkh Donating Member (816 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-06-07 12:20 PM
Response to Reply #180
193. Not directly, but you can't expect to compared psi researchers to...
...two groups of "scientists" who are known to lie repeatedly for their own benefit without the implication being pretty clear. If you don't want people to think that you consider psi researchers frauds, don't compare them to other frauds. You're being disingenous if you're gonna claim you weren't trying to smear by association.

over the past 5+ years I've come to view the established scientific community in the same light as a the established religious community; designed to deceive and manipulate.
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skepticscott Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-06-07 10:05 PM
Response to Reply #193
202. The point
in case you missed it, is that simple declarations by those with a strongly vested interest in seeing a certain worldview maintained, are pretty much worthless without independent verification. And despite what you seem to think, deliberate and conscious fraud is not the only way it works. People in those situations are subject to all kinds of biases, whether they realize it or not, and when you combine that with the failure of other scientists to replicate their results, it renders them essentially valueless. What's more, if psi researchers weren't aware that their field was shaky science from the word go, where is the research (or even informed speculation) on mechanism? If they were really serious about all this, that's a topic they'd be all over, just like serious scientists in every other field. They're as phony and disingenuous as ID "researchers" who claim that all they have to do is show that there was a designer, and who never show even the slightest interest in exploring theories about who or what it might have been. How you coming with those links, btw?
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PVnRT Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-07-07 07:40 AM
Response to Reply #170
204. BWAHAHAHAHAHAHA
Great meta-humor.






Oh, wait. You were serious. That makes it even funnier.
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Dorian Gray Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-07-07 08:01 AM
Response to Reply #170
205. Parapsychology
though a fun study, is not a currently accepted branch of scientific study.

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flashl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-06-07 07:48 AM
Response to Reply #166
184. I believe that you are on to something
An example may be the long held Western belief that there are 5 human senses. Outside of Western understanding about the number of human senses the count can be > 70.

What is the Western answer? Additional human senses are A DISORDER, synesthesia.

Simply labeling the expansion of human senses a disorder denies the possibility that in fact we possess more than five senses.

Chinese, American doctors meet at MIT for medical exchange

Scientific medicine is justified by the scientific method. Much of what we use in Western hospitals today is not proved by the scientific method. Medicine is still an art; we try different things and what seems to work, we use.

I would say that neither Chinese nor American medicine is scientific. Both do what they can to relieve suffering and in some cases there is scientific validation," he said. "Science is a very slow process and sick people can't wait."

Scientific is a goal and an aspiration," said Shore. "We're trying in both countries to add the science."
Read More ...
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cyborg_jim Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-09-07 01:46 PM
Response to Reply #157
212. It already is meaningless
Anyways, to answer the question, simply because if humanity knew the truth about existence and the nature of reality, our "jobs", our "families", our "possessions", our "lives" would be meaningless.


They already are. They have meaning only because we give them meaning. You're wasting your time looking at atoms to see if they give a shit.

I believe ESP, telekinesis and other mental powers can be learnt as they are inherent abilities in humans, just as breathing or locomotion is.


And I believe I could turn back time if I could fly around the world backwards.

Belief and $5 will buy you a pretzel.

Humans would never settle for 9-5 jobs, would never settle for living the existence we do, if we could reach for anything better.


Ah. So your belief in ESP, TK and other 'mental powers' is based on some notion that suddenly everything would be better and different and that we wouldn't end up in a world where having ESP and TK would pretty much put us in a world much like it is now but with ESP and TK.
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Zornhau Donating Member (413 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-04-07 11:48 AM
Response to Reply #10
15. I take it you're ready to go back to the dark ages then...
btw, you can thank science for allowing you to post that on your computer that's hooked to the internet... :eyes:
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sojourner Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-04-07 10:56 PM
Response to Reply #15
69. One need not idolize science in order to appreciate its accomplishments.
It has indeed proven to be a most effective tool in discovery of useful information. But will I let science decide how I should make every decision in my life? I am afraid not, as there are things in life that science has proven itself useless in either demonstrating or disproving.

The problem for me arises when scientists (not all, please note) decide that THEY have the TRUTH...and that ONLY they have the ONLY truth, even if they have not bothered to look to see if there might be other truths.
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TZ Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-05-07 04:33 AM
Response to Reply #69
81. cite your source please
I have never heard ANY scientist say that.
I have however heard that from the people who say I am right, and if you ignore me you MUST be closed minded..I find the pseudoscientific advocates to be the most dogmatic of them all (and yes I have met some dogmatic thinking scientists)
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ClintonTyree Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-05-07 05:02 AM
Response to Reply #69
86. Has anyone proved that there are "other truths"?
Please enlighten me if these "other truths" indeed exist. Could you give me an example of an "other truth" discovered without the help of Science? I'm always open to other avenues of exploration, but as yet I haven't seen concrete evidence that any other exists. Help me out here.
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Xipe Totec Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-05-07 08:43 AM
Response to Reply #86
110. Well, there's Georg Cantor...
Edited on Mon Nov-05-07 08:45 AM by Xipe Totec
Cantor's diagonal argument, also called the diagonalisation argument, the diagonal slash argument or the diagonal method, was published in 1891 by Georg Cantor as a proof that there are infinite sets which cannot be put into one-to-one correspondence with the infinite set of natural numbers.

In layman's terms, not every function is computable.

Since predicates are functions whose values represent true or false, not every truth is computable.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cantor\'s_diagonal_argumen...





Then there's Alan Turing's halting problem:

In computability theory the halting problem is a decision problem which can be stated as follows:

Given a description of a program and a finite input, decide whether the program finishes running or will run forever, given that input. Alan Turing proved in 1936 that a general algorithm to solve the halting problem for all possible program-input pairs cannot exist. We say that the halting problem is undecidable over Turing machines.

In layman's terms, not every truth is decidable.

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




And finally, Kurt Gdel

In mathematical logic, Gdel's incompleteness theorems, proved by Kurt Gdel in 1931, are two theorems stating inherent limitations of all but the most trivial formal systems for arithmetic of mathematical interest.

The theorems are also of considerable importance to the philosophy of mathematics. They are widely regarded as showing that Hilbert's program to find a complete and consistent set of axioms for all of mathematics is impossible, thus giving a negative answer to Hilbert's second problem.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/G%C3%B6del\'s_incompletene...


Let me state that I am a firm believer in science; It is the best tool we have for ascertaining the truth of anything that is probable. Unfortunately, not everything is probable.

Mathematics is the language of science. As such, science can only describe those truths that are expressible mathematically. I do not advocate an alternative to science, or a replacement for it. Al I am saying here is that science, like all human endeavors, has its limits.


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sojourner Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-05-07 09:24 AM
Response to Reply #110
130. well said. better than I could have done. thanks
I feel the same way about science. I just don't like the arrogance I am reading on this thread.
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ClintonTyree Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-06-07 04:06 AM
Response to Reply #110
174. Well, you proved my point.
I asked if there were any "truths" that have been proved without the help of Science. You gave three examples that were all proved (or not) using Science. As Bob Boudelang used to say, "arrest my case". ;)
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bananas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-10-07 09:42 AM
Response to Reply #174
214. No, mathematics is not science.
Case dismissed.
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cyborg_jim Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-09-07 01:52 PM
Response to Reply #110
213. Or...
Mathematics is so powerful there is no end to the descriptions it can provide. Being unlimited trying to ask it where the limits are gives you a contradiction.

You want infinite truths finitely? Some infinite truths are infinite - finite explanations are impossible: by definition. You have to have the whole thing as is.

Worse than that the whole notion of 'truth' becomes pretty meaningless. It is, after all, in a purely mathematical system nothing more than a symbol: a jot. No more significance to it than that.
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sojourner Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-05-07 08:47 AM
Response to Reply #86
111. i was referring to such "truths" as the inherent value of a life,
science doesn't seem to have discovered much about it, yet unless one accepts it as a truth, one may treat lives other than their own as unimportant. Science has long held that infants can't/don't feel pain. For that reason they withheld palliative treatment for babies suffering from terminal illnesses. Only recently have I read that this is changing. At one time I went along with that -- on the say=so of the enlightened and better educated scientists. After having my own children I realized that there are some things that scientists don't know how to measure. Knowing that makes me a skeptical observer of the scientific process. I'm being heard a one who dismisses science. This is not the case. I love the challenge of scientific research - it's downright fun to design and carefully execute a research project. But I am critical of the arrogant stance taken by too many scientists who have convinced themselves that they know all there is to know and that if they can't measure it it doesn't exist.

I'd rather prefer a more modest admission that falsifying a hypothesis in the lab does not amount to proving anythng. Why not? Because simple logic says you cannot prove the negative. Anything dispoved is simply the falsification of a particular hypothesis under particular circumstances.

But you go right ahead and say to yourself that you know all there is to know. Dismiss that which yoiu cannot prove. Just don't try to force that down everyone else's throat. Or like the doctors who "knew" so much about infants you may find yourself dismissing some really important but as yet unproven truths - for example that infants can and do feel pain. Ask any mother.
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ClintonTyree Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-06-07 03:45 AM
Response to Reply #111
173. Where did I ever state....
that I "know all there is to know". Being a Scientist I'm frightfully aware of how ignorant I am and unraveling life's secrets is a lifetime project. The more I learn the more I'm convinced that my ignorance outstrips my knowledge by an order of magnitude. And I NEVER "dismiss that that which I cannot prove". THOSE are the mysteries that keep me going, that make me WANT to delve further into the physical world. However, not being able to prove them DOES NOT mean that they are supernatural of paranormal. That assumption is as ridiculous as what you accuse me of.

It seems that the religious are the people who seem to "know all there is to know". It's amazingly easy when you never question anything and use the blanket of "faith" to explain the inexplicable.

My money is on Science solving the world's problems. Where's yours?
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sojourner Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-05-07 09:26 AM
Response to Reply #69
132. cant right now ..going to work. will try later.
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ElboRuum Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-05-07 09:46 AM
Response to Reply #69
137. You are delusional about what scientists think...
I have never known a scientist who ever made a claim to the "truth" as if truth were a unitary thing capable of being owned. Part of being a scientist is knowing that you DON'T know too much of anything. Science is less about truth than it is about the SEARCH.

Think about this logically, if scientists decided "that THEY have the TRUTH...and that ONLY they have the ONLY truth", then what pray tell are they doing still looking for it? Hmm? I would think that this would indicate to someone that, at the very minimum, what truths they are aware of must be leading to questions, which in turn lead to still more truths, and then to more questions... et cetera.

It comes down to this... what a scientist will argue against, and what you may be presuming to be a "closed-mindedness" is the attempt to describe things with no scientific basis in scientific terms.

Some examples...

ESP, while a concept which is interesting and provocative, has never been shown, under the scrutiny of scientific method, to be anything but a claim, yet some people still believe it exists, and moreover still others claim to possess it. Sure, clairvoyance, telekinesis, telepathy, remote viewing, and all of these other subtopics of ESP are certainly interesting, and there is plenty of lore in our modern culture, as well as historically, to captivate the imagination in its regard. But there hasn't been one single provable case of ESP. Not one.

UFOs, well these exist. In a way. You see, UFO stands for unidentified flying object. So their existence is really relative of the individual's particular ability to identify the objects in question. Was it a flying saucer, though? Certainly, getting the irrefutable photographic evidence of extraterrestrial life would be of EXTRAORDINARY INTEREST to your average astronomer, since this is just the kind of thing they've been hoping to see. But not once have we been able to get that proof. I can only guess that technology itself is muddying the waters, since anyone can do a half-professional job of photographic fakery with a copy of Photoshop.

But people still buy the miracle cures and the snake oil, don't they?
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TZ Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-04-07 12:21 PM
Response to Reply #10
17. "science has its place" sounds ALOT like
I like so and so group as long as they stay in their "proper place", IMHO.
Where is its place..at the back of the bus? (so to speak?)
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Basileus Basileon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-04-07 12:28 PM
Response to Reply #10
18. This is incorrect.
Science extends to cover the entirety of the universe and everything within it. The scientific method is the only useful means of gaining factual knowledge.
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Odin2005 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-04-07 07:17 PM
Response to Reply #10
38. BS. When people say such comments it because they don't want "subject X" to be...
...put under the scientific lens lest their wishful thinking be disproved. Philosopher Daniel Dennett has compared "Science has it's place" and similar rhetoric to Dumbo's friends stopping a crow that was about to tell Dumbo he actually wasn't flying. Dennett uses this example in his book Darwin's Dangerous Idea in which he criticizes attempts to "protect" the social sciences from Evolutionary Biology.
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cgrindley Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-05-07 09:08 AM
Response to Reply #10
119. That's just plain dumb
that post just held a dumb parade in dumb town and the mayor even showed up and proclaimed a special day in honor of all the dumb.
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sufrommich Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-05-07 09:19 AM
Response to Reply #119
128. lol! nt
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NMMNG Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-04-07 11:25 AM
Response to Original message
11. K&R
Most excellent rant.
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slowry Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-04-07 11:28 AM
Response to Original message
12. Bit of a WALLOFTEXT, but great post, thanks :)!
It's funny: some people think it's close-minded to be unconvinced that aliens are visiting us. In fact, it's close-minded to decide there are aliens visiting us, because it certainly hasn't been proved -- you have to leave the possibility open that you could be wrong, especially with only blurry photographs and eye-witness accounts as "evidence".
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FloridaJudy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-04-07 11:33 AM
Response to Original message
13. About that 30-40% effectiveness...
The FDA has approved medications that are far less effective than that! One prescription remedy for toe-nail fungus has a 2% cure rate. Yup that's right: 2%. I didn't lose a decimal point. Despite that, it's widely advertised to consumers: check out the ads in any glossy magazine, and then read the fine print. An expensive drug with an abysmal cure rate for a non-life-threatening condition? The FDA probably approved it because it's innocuous. Systemic anti-fungals are cheap and work really well, but they can have serious side effects. You wouldn't lose anything but a cartload of money by trying the stuff that only works one time out of twenty first, as opposed to - say - losing your liver or kidneys. If it were up to me, I'd just resign myself to wearing colorful socks to hide the problem.

Many other drugs have low effectiveness but stay on the market because the conditions they treat are so horrendous. One popular drug has a 40% effectiveness against certain forms of hepatitis C: certainly worth a try if your only alternative is a liver transplant several years down the road. Many other forms of chemotherapy only have a 20% cure rate for certain lethal cancers. Again, that's definitely worth a trial if the alternative is death. The odds are much better than the lottery, and the pay-off is bigger.

It all comes down to a cost/benefit decision, where not all of the costs are financial. It's worth trying something with less than 100% effectiveness at times. And "alternative" methods do seem to work for some people, albeit only anecdotally. If I had a malignant disease, I wouldn't forgo chemotherapy in favor of coffee enemas and a macrobiotic diet, but I might try them as well. Don't knock the placebo effect. It's why scientists do controlled double-blind studies.

So if someone thinks that waving crystals over her pancreas will help her manage her diabetes, I wouldn't discourage her, just as long as she takes her insulin and watches her diet as well. What's unconscionable is when people prey on the fears of others to promote unproven remedies. Many of the "alternative" medical treatments promoted do just that, but it's not limited to the New Age woo-woo types.

Just check out the ads for toe-nail fungus.

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TZ Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-04-07 12:30 PM
Response to Reply #13
19. I should have said MOST drugs
The company I work for does not put product on the market that is not highly effective. Most comapanies won't because then the costs of research/production would be not worth it. THere are certainly some things (like Hep C) where treatments are limited so anything on the market is welcome.
As for toenail fungus...usually not a life threatening condition, so efficacy is not a big deal there.
The placebo effect happens but it still does not throw off serious infections or heal damaged organs. I think the placebo effect is a bit overrated, IMHO.
But people are WAAAY too credulous about homeopathic and alternative methods, IMO.
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windoe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-04-07 02:33 PM
Response to Reply #13
29. use AND instead of OR
Edited on Sun Nov-04-07 02:37 PM by windoe
My father was a scientist and mathematician, mother was very religious, so somehow I combined these two worlds together into one worldview. I have the highest respect and awe for the exact sciences, yet as an individual have had experiences that unmistakeably confirm a pattern of reality that extends beyond my 5 senses.
This discussion has to do with freedom of belief.
DU to me is a forum discussing the political social world, and the question that often comes up is: How does such a diverse group of people as the United States, consisting of fundamentalists, scientists, athiests, progressives, and new agers all find common ground? THIS to me is the question that a democracy works towards. I believe that the laws of the land should deal with the physical world, and what has an impact on the physical world.
This means that in the physical world we obey the laws of the land, which includes freedom to believe whatever we wish, and to not encourage violence and oppression for people that are of another belief system. Period.
Should laws criminalize someone choosing alternative medicine? This is a process we are still working out, since alternative medicine is new (to the west). I believe that an integrative approach is the way to go. We may come to a set of laws that honor the individual choice of the adult person, if that choice does not create a health hazard for another individual--for example.
If we have an intention to include and combine all knowlege together, we can learn a lot. We can honor someone's spiritual beliefs in the course of healing, IF this is a spiritual person, working with the spiritual body will benefit them, while people who do not have these beliefs may not respond to this treatment and may find it annoying or disturbing. This is Wholistic medicine, treating the whole individual.
Unfortunately when it comes to alternative medicine, wading through all the charlatains and snake oil salesmen is the ultimate challenge.
The question of freedom of belief has health issue implications and this has to be worked out.
Personally I find a worldview that is INCLUSIVE in a diverse world works better than the old dogmas that ridicule, dehumanize and EXCLUDE.
(meant as a general response)
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truedelphi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-04-07 07:15 PM
Response to Reply #13
37. Thank you for adding that into the discussion. I am with you
Edited on Sun Nov-04-07 07:16 PM by truedelphi
All the way.

The waving crystals and pancreas and need to take the insulin was well thought out and well stated.

People can heal themselves all the time. I would not mind a "cure for cancer" that was 100% of the time merely a placebo - if the placebo really cured the cancer.

I just lost a friend (Feb 9th) who was told three years ago she had six months to live. She didn't want to beleive it, and even two weeks before she was to die, she was unconvinced that her cancer was that bad.

She did of course do the recommended surgeries, chemo and radiation interventions etc. She also attemopted to eat more organically, cut back on meat, sugar and coffee, and took a Dec 2006 trip to have fun in Carmel CA.

Perhaps without her great belief in the possibility of being saved, she would have died at the six month mark.
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TZ Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-04-07 07:52 PM
Response to Reply #37
42. and I had a cousin who was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer
and told that she had 6 months to live. She died THREE months after diagnosis. And NO she didn't have a death wish. She wanted to live as much as anybody. Cancer is an odd disease. If scientists understood it better, there could be much better treatments. Do you really think most docs don't realize that cancer treatments are often almost as bad as the disease? Sorry, placebo effect and the postive (or wishful thinking) thinking can only carry one so far.....
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slowry Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-04-07 08:21 PM
Response to Reply #42
48. It's like when those 1-5 people walk out of a burning building, where 100s died,
and say "God was watching out for me". If I'd lost anyone, I'd want to deck them...
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Evoman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-04-07 08:27 PM
Response to Reply #48
51. Lol. If it were me, they would probably join the 100.
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truedelphi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-04-07 10:46 PM
Response to Reply #42
67. So how am I under attack here??
Sorry your cousin died. But your post suggests that I was saying if someone dies, they had a death wish.

No where in my post do I say that people who die of cancer have a death wish. Nor do I believe if you don't cure yourself of cancer, it must be that you wanted to die. In fact, the person I choose as my example actually went and died!!


I do think emotions bring about certain hormonal states, and sometimes, if certain conditions exist, the emotions and the belief state can generate healing. Sometimes partial healing and sometimes total healing. Not all the time.

Mother Teresa was told to rest or to forget living for very long. She ignored her doctors and continued doing her work and lived for a good fifteen years after being told her prognosis was grim. Her problem was a bad heart - and the thing about a bad ticker is some people simply plateau for years and years with a bad heart. They are told they will be ded tomorrow because the doctor thinks the heart will be worse tomorrow, but for some individuals, that tomorrow is a long way away.

Pancreatic cancer is one of the most difficult diseases to fight against. And the people I have known with it are fine for a while and then just suddenly go to bed and stay there and die in a matter of weeks. But at the time of the initial diagnosis, they cannot believe they have this killer disease. They are still in their garden. They are still going to voting activist causes. Until one day, they are just shutting down.
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mr blur Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-04-07 12:18 PM
Response to Original message
16. Well said! It's astonishing and infuriating that
to so many people "mystical" and "progressive" seem to belong together, as if it were somehow laudable to be willing to accept that crystals can cure cancer and homeopathy is anything but a joke.

In the pre-election fever your country is going through now it seems unbelievable to me that some people can claim that a candidate is "open minded" because he believes in UFOs. On the other hand, I would say that a pride in an unwillingness to accept Evolution or a claim that a supernatural entity controls our lives are also factors which should render someone unfit for the position of President.


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Odin2005 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-04-07 07:22 PM
Response to Reply #16
39. The New Age Wacko = Progressive meme is a result of the New Age BS from the 60s and 70s.
Starting around 40 years ago it started becoming popular among some groups to bash science.
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Codeine Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-04-07 08:04 PM
Response to Reply #16
44. You want a pain in the ass?
I'm vegan and liberal/progressive. I've got two sets of people trying to feed me heaping handfuls of the woo-woo and trying to convince me that I'm not really committed to my beliefs because I refuse to embrace their silliness. :banghead:
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cgrindley Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-05-07 09:09 AM
Response to Reply #16
120. I think it's a problem with the boomer generation
who were basically encouraged to question the man at every opportunity without ever wondering if the man could be right once in a while.
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Odin2005 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-05-07 02:47 PM
Response to Reply #120
152. I don't think it's necessarily the Boomers themselves, but the "Establishment is always wrong"...
...mentality itself that became popular among the Boomers.
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sojourner Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-04-07 12:38 PM
Response to Original message
20. That's a nice list of defenses for scientists..........
however even though I have a career that includes having worked as scientist - trained in rigorous research using the experimental method - I HAVE encountered inexplicable phenomena, as have many individuals here on DU (some of whom might also have worked in scientific pursuits for all you know).

One day I offered to show a curious phenomenon to my fellow scientist - a good personal friend - and his reaction? Scientific curiosity? A desire to personally observe something that would help him to possibly refute or at least help explain the phenomenon? NO!! He literally backed away, demurring and saying "No, no....that's all right". You may recall how Galileo's peers first reacted when he showed them his telescope? (Shermer be damned...it isn't until you LOOK that you can state whether something is valid or not.)

So, after reading a good many scientific studies involving so-called "pseudo science" and reading the "debunking" of said research by self-acclaimed "skeptics" I have come to the conclusion that much of the scientific community suffers from a religious belief.

Your example of research re: ESP is a poor example of how an informed person would use the information. The question isn't whether one should "see a doctor who is only right 30-40% of the time" ------- I believe that investigation into what accounts for the findings is called for, rather than simple rejection of the observation. Science should serve to seek explanations for phenomena, not just write them off.







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alarimer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-04-07 01:12 PM
Response to Reply #20
21. That's bullshit
There is NOTHING that cannot be explained rationally, without resorting to woo-woo nonsense. It might be inexplicable to YOU but not to the scientific method. I am heartily sick of the science is a religion nonsense too. It simply isn't true. Science is a method of arriving at the truth, that's all. Done correctly, it will eliminate all the nonsense.

As I mentioned upthread, James Randi has a million-dollar prize that has so far gone unclaimed because claimants are unwilling or unable to meet the rigorous standards of scientific proof. They are most likely either delusional or complete frauds (see Sylvia Brown and Kevin Trudeau).
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FloridaJudy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-04-07 03:53 PM
Response to Reply #21
31. I tend to be skeptical myself
But some people carry it too far. Several years ago, a major medical center did a controlled, double-blind study of acupuncture (and that was no easy trick!), which showed that for certain types of pain acupuncture was very effective. The reaction of several professional skeptics was that they still didn't believe it because "there was no reasonable explanation for how it worked". Duuude! Until fifty years ago, we didn't know how aspirin worked, but no one doubted it was an effective drug. You've got an elegant study done by a reputable institution, and published in a peer-reviewed journal, and you say you don't believe it because it violates your preconceptions? Who's thinking like a creationist now? I thought it was fascinating, and should be investigated further: that's the reaction I would expect of a real scientist. As someone once put it the sound of scientific progress is not "Eureka!", but "Hmmm. That's odd...."

And a lot of stuff done by mainstream medicine is based on tradition alone: "we've always done it that way, and you're not going to change it". Case in point: pre-surgical shaving. Numerous studies have shown that shaving the area concerned prior to surgery increases the risk of postoperative infections. Minute razor cuts and burns provide an entry for bacteria you really don't want near a surgical incision. Leaving the hair alone is less of a risk. If the patient is unusually hirsute, gentle clipping of the area is a better choice. But many surgeons still insist on a "full prep", and goddess help the nurse who dares disagree (been there/done that). Likewise, keeping a patient NPO (nothing by mouth - not even water) both before and after surgery just adds to the patients' discomfort and does nothing to hasten the recovery time or lessen the risks of surgery. But guess what? Yup, it's still a common practice in many hospitals. No one's advocating a major bowel resection after a full plate of lasagna, but letting a patient sip water before and after a hysterectomy strikes me as humane, having had it done the old way myself.

I think evidence-based medicine is one of the most exciting developments around, but it does require an open mind. And contempt prior to investigation (and even after) is not a helpful attitude.
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TZ Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-04-07 04:37 PM
Response to Reply #31
32. Doctors have good reason for skepticism..
Crap like this is all too common..
http://www.comcast.net/news/national/index.jsp?cat=DOME...


FYI- almost all the health/science type people I know do accept that accupuncture has some therapeutic value. Its when people start claiming its a cure all that the scientists I know get very skeptical
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sojourner Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-04-07 10:32 PM
Response to Reply #32
64. Again, I see the resort to a straw man argument. I will not argue for a particular event
presenting EVIDENCE for the explanation of a particular phenomenon. I will, however, add it to the list of observations from which to begin deriving possible explanations (hypotheses)without regard for whether such explanations are or are not "acceptable". I will NOT be bound by artificial limits imposed by incurious minds.
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sojourner Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-04-07 10:36 PM
Response to Reply #32
65. Aren't you just taking the slippery slope? Just because I would argue that
accupuncture (and other non-traditional "healing" methodologies including Reiki) have therapeutic value as shown by scientific study, what on God's earth makes you think I'd say that any one methodology, including pharmacology, is a cure-all?
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SidDithers Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-05-07 08:14 AM
Response to Reply #65
107. Can you please provide the scientific study...
which shows the therapeutic value of Reiki?

Thanks.

Sid
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sojourner Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-05-07 09:17 AM
Response to Reply #107
127. I am going to work. I'll post studies when I get back this eve. Sorry for delay.
But I have them.
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SidDithers Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-06-07 09:10 AM
Response to Reply #127
189. kick for a reminder...nt
Sid
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sojourner Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-04-07 10:27 PM
Response to Reply #31
63. Thank You -- that sums it up nicely!
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sojourner Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-04-07 10:25 PM
Response to Reply #21
61. How about Dr. Gary Schwartz from University of Arizona?
Fraud or delusional?
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TZ Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-05-07 04:24 AM
Response to Reply #61
77. Plenty of not so bright PhD's
I have met many myself at of all places NIH.
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liberation Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-05-07 05:06 AM
Response to Reply #61
87. Using an exception to confirm a norm?
It seems that they do not require psychologist to take basic introductory classes in logic and proof.
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sojourner Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-05-07 09:28 AM
Response to Reply #87
134. THat was an uncalled for remark. I have TAUGHT logic.
Maybe you could come down from your self-appointed pedestal for long enough to have a real discussion.
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TZ Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-04-07 01:21 PM
Response to Reply #20
23. ah yes very convincing (not)
the old you are wrong and the old I know because of this...anecdoctal evidence and claims of experience in the field with little actual proof of this background is EXACTLY my point on how pseudoscience works. Intellectual laziness is sooo easy isn't it?
I haven't met anyone in 20+ years of science that would behave that way.
Would you like to tell me what your training is in? And there has been plenty of investigation into ESP, most of which have shown little proof of it. Funny how only the few FLAWED studies (and research design is pretty complex most people have NO clue how complex.
Ignoring the 20 studies that show negative proof versus the one that shows *something* is very common
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sojourner Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-04-07 10:18 PM
Response to Reply #23
59. As one who has earned recognition from none other that the American Psychological
Foundation for my research, and have made a living as a research consultant, I think I have a clue as to the complexities of good research design. Better than many you have encountered.

I only used ESP because it was used by poster to whom I responded. There are other, better topics to which you and yours would respond identically because you have been told that it is anathema to consider anything that has been declared "pseudoscience".

It's okay because I've dealt with fundamentalist Christians also. The similarities are striking to anyone with an open mind.
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TZ Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-05-07 04:31 AM
Response to Reply #59
80. Once again insults are SOOOOO credible....
You may quote me on this (and other not so bright people have)...When one has no logic in their weaponry one must resort to insults:
closed-minded, thats a straw man, pharma shill, etc....
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liberation Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-05-07 04:49 AM
Response to Reply #59
84. I would be hard pressed to consider Psychology a science...
As a Ph.D in electrical engineering with eons of experience in research both in academia and industry, I have never encountered a research "consultant." So I have no idea what your qualifications are.

Anyhow, if you think that pulling rank does somehow add validity to your point, I think that you will find two things: a) you may be easily outranked by other people in this forum, and b) you may be projecting some of your very own prejudices onto the people you are accusing of lacking an open mind.

ESP is a not even a pseudo science, that is a nice trojan horse trying to use "pseudo" as if the second part of the word "science" was warranted. There is no such thing as "pseudoscience." Something is a science or it is not, there is no grey area in between.

The test is very simple really; Can the facts be fully studied, measured, and explained via theories? Furthermore, can those explanations and theories lead to reproducible experimentation and robust models? If the answer to both questions is yes, then it is a science. If any of those tests don't pass, then it is not a science.

Simple as that, none of this nonsense of "pseudo science" crap. ESP can not be measured, it can not be explained, and most importantly it can not be reproduced. That is why a lot of the areas of study of psychology can't be considered a science, BTW.
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LeftishBrit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-05-07 07:06 AM
Response to Reply #84
97. Psychology is certainly a science (or at any rate can be studied by the scientific method)
And ESP is not only a topic amenable to scientific study; it's *received* lots of scientific study. The only problem - if you call it a problem - is that none of the scientific studies have given conclusive support to the hypothesis that ESP exists, at least as normally defined; and most give no support at all to the hypothesis.

Anyone interested in the topic might want to look at J. Alcock, J. Burns and A. Freeman (eds.) Psi Wars: Getting to Grips with the Paranormal. Charlottesville, VA: Imprint Academic, 2003.
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tigereye Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-06-07 11:11 AM
Response to Reply #84
192. lots of pyschological studies seem to have good design
and quite enough rigor...

having read quite a few....
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mr blur Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-04-07 01:44 PM
Response to Reply #20
26. Substiture "Woo" for "Creationist" here:


and I think that just about sums up your POV.

And this "religious belief in science" crap is getting very old. Trust and faith are two very different things.
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sojourner Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-04-07 09:14 PM
Response to Reply #26
55. again....I trust science. I don't trust scientists who decide facts before allowing for observation.
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TZ Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-04-07 09:37 PM
Response to Reply #55
56. Really. Please give me an example of this..
Its been my observation that most non-scientists like to decide they know the answers BEFORE any kind of data or explanation can be explored.
As in this example:
http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/news/la-et-ufo22au...
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liberation Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-05-07 04:26 AM
Response to Reply #56
78. He can't....
Most non scientist wouldn't know science and how it works if it bite them in the arse.

Some people think that Einstein et al woke up one day and they had all figured it all out. They tend to ignore why there are few scientist: BECAUSE IT IS DAMN HARD. The scientific process takes a shitload of time and effort, and in some respects scientist are masochist because for the most part it is an exercise in frustration. It does not matter what you believe or what your intuition tells you, you will find that a lot of times, most times in fact, you are wrong and it is by learning from those mistakes that you can get to the correct answer. And that is a loooong and torturous road let me tell you.

A good scientist is not a cheerleader of his theories, but the devil's advocate of the opposing facts to his theories.
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sojourner Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-04-07 10:41 PM
Response to Reply #55
66. Look at most of the posts on this self-congratulatory thread.
Everyone of the posters has encountered some curiousity in his/her life, I'm willing to bet, that made them question themselves. But they dismiss their observations, and those of many others, in favor of the sheer idiocy of the application of faulty logic --

Example in point:

Some A are B. (Some UFOs are later found to be weather balloons)
All B are C. (All weather balloons are man-made)
All A are C. (All UFOs are man-made)

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TZ Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-05-07 04:23 AM
Response to Reply #66
76. No one is arguing this point that there are some unexplanable things
How EVER most UFO sighters say this "You can't explain this, there fore it MUST be aliens!"
Scientists do get interested in the unexplainable, but however they don't go for the easy "if I can't explain it now it must be aliens or paranormal bullshit either".
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skepticscott Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-05-07 05:41 AM
Response to Reply #66
89. You miss the point
As I stated in my previous post, even though past debunking doesn't necessarily bear on the truth of present and future claims it can certainly gives a reasonable person good cause to doubt whether a phenomenon is worth spending their time investigating. Just because people have admitted faking number photographs, footprints and films of things like Bigfoot and the Loch Ness Monster doesn't PROVE that those creatures don't actually exist, but a critical thinker is justified in arguing that the likelihood is too low to justify camping out with a video camera waiting for them to appear. Just because there is no credible physical evidence (after tens of thousand of reports) that alien spacecraft have visited earth and kidnapped millions of earthlings doesn't mean the next light in the sky won't be a true extraterrestrial, but I'd frankly rather spend my time elsewhere until something more tangible comes along.

Would it be important if we actually did find evidence of alien visitation? Sure. It would also be important if we found a cure for diabetes, or developed a working fusion power plant, or any of a thousand other worthwhile things. Dismissiveness is not due to lack of curiosity, but to lack of time and lack of evidence that there's something there worth investigating.
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REP Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-05-07 05:41 AM
Response to Reply #66
90. You did not form your syllogism properly
I don't think one can be made properly with those givens.
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sojourner Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-05-07 08:49 AM
Response to Reply #90
112. My syllogism was faulty. Absolutely. That's the point.
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Odin2005 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-05-07 07:52 AM
Response to Reply #66
100. IIRC a lot of UFOs seen in the late 80s turned out to be B2 Stealth Bombers back...
...when they were still top secret.

IMO UFOs are:

1. satellites
2. birds
3. ball lightning or other weird atmospheric electric phenomena
4. top secret aircraft.
5. the planet Venus.
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sojourner Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-05-07 09:05 AM
Response to Reply #100
116. I don't care what UFO's are or are not., only that people have seen them and that
scientists should rightly try to figure out what they are. That they have tried is exemplified in your list. That's the right way ot approach things. To dismiss something immediately, however is not how science should operate, IMO, because science cannot prove a negative. You can show that most unidentified flying objects eventually are identified as something other than extraterrestrial craft. I can accept such a statement. However. to label people who say they've seen something inexplicable as "nut jobs" or crazies is downright disrespectful and shows both an arrogance more like clergy than scientists and a contempt for the uneducated that reminds me of the church's onetime view.
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ElboRuum Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-05-07 01:52 PM
Response to Reply #66
149. Well, how's this for faulty logic.
Let's say that A is a reasonable scientific explanation for a phenomenon. Let's say that B is the other unscientifically founded explanation for a phenomenon.

If A must exist, by definition, in view of fact and testable theory, and B does not have this requirement (say, it's only requirements for validity are anecdotal)

We test A, as per requirements.
If A either fails to be the correct explanation, or too little evidence exists to prove A as either correct or incorrect,
Then B must be the correct explanation.

Faulty logic, would you not agree?

The point is, B resists proof, A begs it. A scientist does not accept that B must be the truth simply in the absence of an A. If A fails proof, a scientist will formulate a C, perhaps a D, and not be content to accept B simply because A failed. B, existing in a vacuum, devoid of scrutiny, and more importantly resisting all attempts at scrutiny, cannot be reasonably classified as science. A scientist would reasonably argue this classification as a result.
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skepticscott Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-04-07 09:55 PM
Response to Reply #20
58. Why do you assume
when other scientists are uninterested or dismissive when you tout a claim that you personally consider "curious" or "inexplicable" that they are being closed-minded or exhibiting some sort of religious adherence to the status quo? So many people assume that their claims of extraordinary phenomenon are something new and wonderful, when in all likelihood, we've heard the same sort of thing ten, twenty, a hundred times already and shown it to be groundless. Even if past debunking doesn't PROVE that a new claim must be bogus, we're tired of wasting our time and granting attention to claims with flimsy evidence and a very low probability of yielding anything fruitful. If we had unlimited time, money and resources, sure. But science is time-consuming and difficult work, and scientists have many, many worthy things to spend their time and money investigating. We're tired of answering the same tired and discredited arguments about creationism for the umpteenth time, we've got better things to do than wade through reams of data purporting (yet again) to show an ESP event of marginal statistical significance to find the inevitible flaw, and we don't have time to test every "free energy" perpetual motion machine that comes through the door. When you've got the alien bodies in the freezer and their spacecraft in a hangar, then call us, but don't accuse us of being closed-minded because we don't consider it worth our while to investigate every unexplained light in the sky.
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sojourner Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-04-07 10:23 PM
Response to Reply #58
60. You like ESP as your straw man. I am not defending it per se. I AM, however arguing with some
knowledge and experience about the closed minded attitude of many scientists with regard to their choice of what is "worthwhile" to consider --- which by the way I know to be closely related to availability of resources (money) and to that which might possibly be accepted for publication by a reputable journal.

Publication of research in "peer reviewed journals" is another joke. Tell me it isn't about politics. I dare you.
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liberation Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-05-07 02:20 AM
Response to Reply #60
71. Most peer reviewed publications are at least single or double "blind" ...
Sure some ideas take longer to get accepted, but eventually they do. A lot of mediocre ideas are easily filtered out.

If you publish in a serious journal or conference, politics is part of the game, but it won't get you paper accepted. It is part of the process of salesmanship obviously...
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nealmhughes Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-06-07 08:38 AM
Response to Reply #71
186. Here, here (or is it hear, hear?). I teach and write on scholarly communication.
There are actually standards used in the process! Shock! Name does not trump content by any means, but it can get you throught the first step getting peer reviewed. But since the peers do not know whom they are reviewing, nor do the authors know who the peers are, there is a good -- actually an overwhelming chance -- that the parties can't even read between the lines and figure out who is who.

The flow is as follows: seminar paper/working paper, conference paper, first edited draft for peer review, approval or disapproval by the peers, then publication after changes if needed and a new review, then replies/collaries to the original, ad infin.

Of course, sometimes there will be no conference paper, and no one will go beyond the initial paper's publication (purely out of boredom/BS factor but not so deep a BS factor to warrant their time for reply, etc.

There is a reason that scholarly communication is called that. Ackoff calls it an "open, complex system" with positive and negative feedback.
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TZ Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-05-07 04:29 AM
Response to Reply #60
79. It isn't because
I was on the losing end of nasty politics at NIH and yet somehow, I found my way (with my boss who was under attack as well) into a paper co authored by the "enemy"
That journal--Procedings in the National Academy of Sciences.
Come back to me when YOU have data published in a prestigous journal
FYI:
http://www.pnas.org/cgi/content/abstract/103/48/18243?m...
I think I have a BIT more experience with this than you do
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skepticscott Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-05-07 05:58 AM
Response to Reply #60
92. ESP is not a straw man
Not considering how much time, money and ink that might have been better spent have been wasted on it. In fact, it's a prime example of scientific investigators beating their heads against a wall for over a century and STILL struggling to replicate events of even marginal statistical significance within experimental designs that aren't deeply flawed and STILL unable to propose even remotely plausible and testable mechanisms for how such phenomena might occur even if there were real. It's certainly possible to investigate such alleged events and abilities scientifically, but one of the hallmarks of a true science, as opposed to a pseudoscience, is that it advances in knowledge and understanding over time, mainly because it is studying things that actually exist. The study of ESP and other "psi"
phenomenon has failed this criterion miserably, and it's entirely justifiable to shunt that area of research into the category of pseudoscience.
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sojourner Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-05-07 08:57 AM
Response to Reply #92
114. I am referring to that very fact. Every scientist on this thread is holding up
ESP in their argument. I am not defending or alleging anything about ESP in my posts. I am trying to say that science is a tool. It is a method, so far a pretty good one, for getting explanations for natural phenomena. But there are things that people experience that science hasn't explained.

As to your throwdown about rejecting the scientific efforts of those who do attmept to study the forbidden, explain to me how a Harvard graduate got himself a department at U of Az studying consciousness? He is quite a respectable researcher, not a crackpot, and it is his insistence on the scientific method that sets him apart. You, however, lump him willy-nilly into a group that you dismiss out of hand.
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LeftishBrit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-05-07 09:14 AM
Response to Reply #114
125. There are lots of scientists studying consciousness
Who said that it was a forbidden subject?

Consciousness does not equal ESP. But even ESP is not a 'forbidden subject' to science, and has been studied lots of times - the studies have just failed to demonstrate it convincingly.
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sojourner Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-05-07 09:20 AM
Response to Reply #125
129. That's correct. But read this thread. The contempt and the use of ESP
as so-called scientist's favorite whipping boy (don't forget UFOs) tells me about a religious faith and the superiority of the faithful over the dirty unwashed masses who are still curious about experiential phenomena.
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ElboRuum Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-05-07 01:56 PM
Response to Reply #114
151. Right.
Edited on Mon Nov-05-07 01:56 PM by ElboRuum
So science should quit trying to explain them and merely "accept" their reality? Or are you conjecturing that science should spend more time, not only to verify the very existence of these things, but also to find out where they come from? I'm a little confused at the intent of your line of argument.
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liberation Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-05-07 02:12 AM
Response to Reply #20
70. Just because *you* can't explain something doesn't meant that something is inexplicable....
Edited on Mon Nov-05-07 02:38 AM by liberation
The reason why science advances is because people who were competent and curious did not take the laziness and mental mediocrity of others who wanted the easy way out and assume that somethings are what they are and can't be explained.

The scientific method is not religious simply because it relies on two things: facts, and reproducibility. It is fairly solid at separating reality for bullshit. You can thank that method next time you go to a hospital and you get a treatment rather than a prayer and a well wish from a voodoo practitioner.
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cgrindley Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-05-07 09:10 AM
Response to Reply #20
121. Writing off internet political forum "evidence" of ESP and UFOs is probably
the sanest possible thing to do. Anyone who uses internet postings on this site to argue for the existence of shit that clearly doesn't exist has a screw loose. I don't care how adamantly people claim to have seen this shit. They haven't.
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Uncle Joe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-04-07 01:19 PM
Original message
Kicked and recommended.
Thanks for the thread, turltensue. :thumbsup:
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Junkdrawer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-04-07 01:19 PM
Response to Original message
22. "Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel.": Samuel Johnson
"Sole ownership of the Scientific Method is the last refuge of the Drug Company Shill.": Junkdrawer
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TZ Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-04-07 01:24 PM
Response to Reply #22
24. Hey insults always are SOOOO convincing....
They are the last refuge of the ignorant thats for sure!
:rofl: :rofl: :rofl: :rofl: :rofl: :rofl:
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mr blur Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-04-07 01:33 PM
Response to Reply #22
25. Well, that's the dumbest thing I've read all day.
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TZ Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-04-07 02:05 PM
Response to Reply #25
27. I just have one thing to say to you....
A-WOOOOOOOO!!!
:rofl:
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semillama Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-05-07 08:53 AM
Response to Reply #27
113. Were-woos of London
A-woooo!!!

I saw a were-woo with some Chinese medicine in his hand
Walking through the streets of Frisco in the rain
He was looking for a place called Lee Ho Fook's
Gonna use tiger penis to cure the cancer in his brain
Were-woos of London....
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B3Nut Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-05-07 08:58 AM
Response to Reply #113
115. ROFL!!!!!
I sing the original version of this with my band...now I'm going to have to try not to think of this so I don't crack up! :D

Someone photoshop some hair onto Sylvia Browne...she's a were-woo if there ever was one...

Todd in Cheesecurdistan
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LeftishBrit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-04-07 03:44 PM
Response to Reply #22
30. Why am I so reminded here...
Edited on Sun Nov-04-07 03:46 PM by LeftishBrit
of those who think that the theory of evolution, and support for stem cell research, are the marks of secular types who are going to hell?
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moggie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-05-07 03:09 AM
Response to Reply #22
73. Why mention Samuel Johnson?
Linking yourself to him does not automatically give your epigrams the wit and insight of his. Dude, you're no Samuel Johnson.

I have no more pleasure in hearing a man attempting wit and failing, than in seeing a man trying to leap over a ditch and tumbling into it. -- Samuel Johnson
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Twenty3 Donating Member (361 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-04-07 02:30 PM
Response to Original message
28. K&R with a round of applause
Thank you for this.
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lizerdbits Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-04-07 05:59 PM
Response to Original message
33. K&R
Sincerely,

Narrow minded scientific fundamentalist
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slowry Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-04-07 06:04 PM
Response to Original message
35. Says it all:
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bananas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-05-07 06:39 AM
Response to Reply #35
94. Hey, those are pretty good!
Never saw that website before, thanks!

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drm604 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-04-07 06:33 PM
Response to Original message
36. K&R
:applause: :applause: :applause: :applause: :applause: :applause: :applause: :applause:
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Odin2005 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-04-07 07:25 PM
Response to Original message
40. K&R
From one "evil scientistic pig" to another! :hi:
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sendero Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-04-07 08:00 PM
Response to Original message
43. Science is fine..
... but 200 years ago had someone suggested that sound and images could be sent through the ether, they would have been laughed out of town.

To quote the worst Secretary of Defense in history, scientists don't know what they don't know. And they cannot "test hypotheses" on what they don't know any more than scientists 200 years ago could have PROVEN there was no such thing as electromagnetic radiation.

And then we get to "medical science". Where a pill is given to 1000 people and thousands of subjective conclusions are related by patients and reached by "scientists". A psuedoscience at best IMHO.

Even people who are nerds out the wazoo and can cite the scientific method chapter and verse forward and backward sometime don't seem to have a clue about what science CAN and CANNOT do.
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slowry Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-04-07 08:14 PM
Response to Reply #43
45. There certainly have been cases where people were have been laughed out of town.
I'd like to think such attitudes are far rarer today, though. It doesn't seem likely that a modern day John Harrison, for example, will be patted on the back, mockingly, and forgotten, given the existence of the Internet and other mass communication mediums (not to mention the lessons learned from such histories).

If someone is really onto something, and has evidence to back it up, word will get out much easier, that they aren't complete loons. The corollary to that is that it's painfully obvious when someone is just making shit up, like ORBO. There are no excuses for not making evidence public.

imho.
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TZ Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-04-07 08:18 PM
Response to Reply #43
47. Uh thats NOT how drug tests work,,,
Clinical trials are more than just "pill is given to 1000 people and thousands of subjective conclusions are related by patients and reached by "scientists". There are actually complex testing done on the patients and animals that have been given the drug for both toxicity and potency. There is a test called ELISA (Enzyme Linked ImmunoSorbant Assay) that I do that measures the PRECISE amount of drug (down to mg/ml) in a patients system. There are also ELISA's that measure the amount of antibody to a drug (which can measure potential allergic reactions), or the amount of antibody to a given vaccine, also to the exact concentration in the blood stream. And trust me these researchers are REAL scientists.
Sounds to me that you, as an obvious non-scientist have NO CLUE about what science can and DOES do....
:eyes:
And thats not an opinion but facts from EXPERIENCE.
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sendero Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-04-07 08:23 PM
Response to Reply #47
49. I was making a generalization..
... if drug testing were a real science, there wouldn't have been so many recalled for causing serious health problems.

And if there was such great "science" involved, there would be a test one could take to see if they were going to react badly to statin or any number of other drugs that many people do not tolerate well, instead of waiting until they die or or suffer serious health consequences to find out.


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TZ Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-04-07 08:42 PM
Response to Reply #49
54. Wow. Since we don't know everything...
then nothing is accurate? Hoo boy is that faulty logic. And you do realize there are many, many many meds on the market that work quite well and aren't being recalled? The media only reports the bad stuff. Even your example--statins have saved the lives of far more people than they are hurt. 3 of 4 of my grandparents died from heart disease. None of my generation have even had a heart attack BECAUSE of the statins there are.
And clinical trials are designed to find out WHAT side effects can happen and TRY to predict who might be subject to them (did you miss my sentence about ELISA's that look for immunological response, but that probably went right past your rigid mind block).
Face it buddy, you know NADA about drug research. Only what you have read on the internets and heard from the MSM.
Here do yourself a favor and educate yourself--here is how clinical trials work:
http://eurekasci.16.forumer.com/viewtopic.php?t=616
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slowry Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-04-07 08:23 PM
Response to Reply #47
50. "Science is faulty, because it takes smarter scientists to prove how things really work."
Edited on Sun Nov-04-07 08:43 PM by slowry
:rofl:
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eridani Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-04-07 09:51 PM
Response to Reply #43
57. Makes me think of the post WW II "futurologists"
They observed that large passenger planes were becoming more common, and that big computers were being increasingly used by government and businesses. From that they concluded that people would eventually want small private planes in their driveways, but not small computers in their home offices. Go figure.
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liberation Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-05-07 02:31 AM
Response to Reply #43
72. That is a red herring argument...
Edited on Mon Nov-05-07 02:32 AM by liberation
It is not about saying that "Images and sound will travel through the ether in the future..." A real scientist will laugh out of town for many reasons, the simplest one of them: there is no ether. Hand waving and conjectures are no science...

If you were to say: there is this thing called electromagnetism (even though Maxwell had done a terrifict job about explaining it a couple centuries ago, but I digress), and how you can encode image and audio by encoding using wave frequency or amplitude modulation, and how you can transmit and receive these waves... which once decoded can be used to excite some electrons through a vacuum tube as well as using them waves to carry current through a magnet to pulsate a membrane that generates the sound you just encoded back to you.

You could have said that, and scientist 200 years ago would not only not laugh you out of town, they would be damn interested in hearing more about what you just said.


Those least acquitted with science are the first ones to attack it...
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moggie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-05-07 03:27 AM
Response to Reply #43
74. What's the alternative?
Science is a process for delivering knowledge. If you have an alternative process which is more effective than the scientific method, let's hear it!
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druidity33 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-04-07 08:16 PM
Response to Original message
46. i agree
with nearly everything you've written.

but i do take exception to this:

"When something is presented that goes outside of the bounds of those observed principles scientists are extremely skeptical."


The most brilliantly scientific person i know always met these types of situations with CURIOSITY. Not SKEPTICISM. He was with me when i first saw a "UFO". Everyone else that was there spent the 20 or so second event saying things like, "didja see that?!", "WOW, that shot off like a rocket", "Holy cow, did you see how it just zigged?". The only thing he said was, "strange". He's not a believer, but he doesn't dismiss the possibility out of hand... and he doesn't feel the need to try and debunk everything.

What i'm having trouble understanding is how people can confuse the simple acronym UFO for the misconception that i or anyone else is talking about "little green men". Please, unless someone mentions "aliens" or talks about "ships from another planet", don't just assume that's what we're discussing. Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar, no? Can't a group of intelligent, sober, discerning people see something they aren't able to identify?


Science is all important on the physical plane... here in this reality. But what about other states of consciousness and metaphysical states? Can there be anything that science doesn't know yet? Or CAN'T know?

:shrug:

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TZ Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-04-07 08:32 PM
Original message
dupe-delete
Edited on Sun Nov-04-07 08:43 PM by turtlensue
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TZ Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-04-07 08:32 PM
Response to Reply #46
52. don't confuse skepticism with lack of curiosity...
I do know good scientists should be curious and most are. But scientists will take what seems like outrageous claims with a grain of salt first with an interest in seeing more investigation.
I do know that UFO means "Unidentified". But too many people leap to conclusions based on fuzzy logic...
Here's a good example of this..A pretty thorough debunking of a recent UFO sighting:
http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/news/la-et-ufo22au...
Thats the thing about skeptics its not that we don't WANT to find things like aliens, Nessie, Big Foot etc...its just that so far their has been no reason to think that any of these creatures exist YET.... Trust me, I don't believe we are alone in the universe, but as Carl Sagan laid out, the odds of us actually being contacted by intelligent extra-terrestrial life are astonishing small.
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druidity33 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-05-07 06:41 AM
Response to Reply #52
95. sorry...
I thought that it was you who was confusing skepticism with curiosity. And i'm glad you are one of the "good ones" who understands that "unidentified" does NOT MEAN "little green men". There are things out there that science still does not have adequate/complete explanations for... i don't believe it's wrong for anyone to admit that.

It's troubled me that lately here on DU, it's not the UFO sighters that have been "leap to conclusions based on fuzzy logic...". It's the folk who have responded with vitriol and dismissiveness about the impossibility of such an event that have shown a very surprising lack of inquisitiveness and questioning in order to come to "conclusions".

Most people are agnostic when it comes to UFO's anyway, i know i was. I still don't quite know what to make of the 2 sightings i've had. One of them seemed easy to explain away, the other, well... there were too many of us who saw it and had enough professional experience in one way or another to know it was not a plane, or any physical phenomena that we were aware of. Maddeningly Unidentifiable.

The unknown can be a powerful incentive in the quest for knowledge...





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Pithlet Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-05-07 11:02 AM
Response to Reply #52
144. Yes! I get so tired of that.
Skepticism is not a lack of curiosity. Just because I haven't jumped to the same conclusion doesn't mean my mind is closed to different possibilities. And I would think it was absolutely the coolest thing in the world if, say, evidence actually came forward and proved something like ESP, or ghosts. I've always been fascinated by things like that.
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FloridaJudy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-05-07 09:24 AM
Response to Reply #46
131. Interesting that you mentioned metaphysical states
You know who the "hot" research subjects are in neuroscience? Tibetan monks and contemplative Christian nuns. They've been stuck in PET and MRI scanners, and it seems these folks are able to do something to their brains. When they pray/meditate, they actually alter the electrical activity and blood flow to various areas in ways that ordinary humans cannot. Don't take my word for it: check out the March 2003 issue of Scientific American (that well-known font of New Age mysticism). Someone jestingly called it the "God Effect", though I think that does make a promising area of research sound like pseudo-science.

Not so oddly, Buddhist monks are volunteering for these studies. They're pretty sure they have something that works, and don't mind a bunch of people in lab coats poking around to figure out what it is. This is all happening on a physical plane: there's nothing more concrete than having your head stuck in an MRI machine, and if they can keep their equanimity while doing that, they undoubtedly do have some technique worth studying! The trick may be duplicating it without several decades of meditative practice.

Just this morning, I read an article that said that neuroscientists had actually been able to identity "mirror neurons" in human beings. There's some indication that these may be responsible for such traits as empathy and self-awareness (link here: http://www.salon.com/news/feature/2007/11/05/mirror_neu... ). Again, this isn't the Fortean Times. It's the UCLA brain research center.

Now if someone can use this research to find out why the Chimpster seems blithely immune to the suffering he causes, it would be worth every penny it costs.
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druidity33 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-05-07 09:57 AM
Response to Reply #131
139. precisely
I had heard of those studies and had them in mind when i mentioned "metaphysical".

I'm not sure about this assessment though:
"This is all happening on a physical plane: there's nothing more concrete than having your head stuck in an MRI machine"

It is important to remember that science in this instance and others is just measuring a physical phenomena that is an effect of a metaphysical practice/event. They still don't "understand" how meditation works, they can only try to quantify it.

Humanity will only be able to learn what it has the ability to comprehend. If we don't destroy this planet first, it'd be interesting to see where "people" are a couple of hundred years from now...


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FloridaJudy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-05-07 10:21 AM
Response to Reply #139
142. I meant the *research* is happening on a physical plane
What's happening inside the monk's/nun's head may be metaphysical, but the physical effects are real and measurable.

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StClone Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-04-07 08:33 PM
Response to Original message
53. Mention WTC collapse
And watch Physics go bye-bye as personalties take over the debate.
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WindRavenX Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-04-07 10:25 PM
Response to Reply #53
62. I can't touch WTC collapse debates
I just can't. The conversations always seem to devolve to a realm where physics just doesn't hold up.

BTW, K&R for this thread.
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TZ Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-05-07 05:15 AM
Response to Reply #62
88. Arguing in those types of debates
is an awful lot like arguing with the anti-vax brigade. All emotion and ignorance..logic and scientific data don't enter into the equation at all.
Thanks for the K+R btw.... :hi:
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KT2000 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-05-07 03:38 AM
Response to Original message
75. There are limits to science
and more and more people are witnessing this.
The proof that satisfies science is a wonderful thing! But what is not making it into the sphere of scientific examination?
Many problems that if closely examined will adversely affect powerful corporations.

Peer-review is also used as a form of censoring. Journals often reject for peer-review and publication articles that would adversely affect their benefactors. Corporations do contribute to medical, scientific organizations, societies, individuals and by extension, journals.
If you want to see a shameful example of that, please look into the speacialy of occupational/environmental medicine.

Journals are well aware that what is published could become proof in court cases.

How valuable is science if it is so very selective in what it examines? Who is it serving?

How much scientific effort is spent on subjects that won't make someone a lot of money?

People in the scientific world do not seem to understand that their pristine methods are heavily influenced by powerful entities.
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TZ Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-05-07 04:41 AM
Response to Reply #75
82. okay so we bash the media for publishing anything and everything
Edited on Mon Nov-05-07 04:45 AM by turtlensue
But scientists should just publish anything with no review? That happens its called junk science--poor experimental design, flawed statistical analysis, outright massaging of data to meet political ends (boy wouldn't big oil love lots of non-peer reviewed journals)
And their is lots of research going on that doesn't involve "making money". Perhaps you think a scientist is going to get "rich" by discovering that gene A B and C give fruit flies differing eye colors? Or that the difference between one strain of weed and another is a small sequence of genes..
Really as someone said upthread, its the people LEAST familiar with science that are the first to criticize.
Oh and suggesting that scientists are all naive fools or corrupted by monetary influences doesn't lend ANY strength to your arguments

On edit: Here's another big money maker--for something soooo experimental it might actually start clinical trials in about 5 more years....Of course wanting to cure one of the biggest killers in the world, thats all just driven by greed right?
http://www.pnas.org/cgi/content/abstract/103/48/18243?m... :
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KT2000 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-05-07 01:06 PM
Response to Reply #82
148. You misread what I said
Censorship exists before work is accepted for peer review and publication.

Scientists are naive fools? No they are just humans that work within a context like everyone else. Just ask the ones who have stood up for what is right only to have their careers destroyed by offended benefactors.

You started your post with a decent discussion of a subject that you are passionate about. But like other posters, you have turned it into a personal attack. This is where these "science" discussions usually end up. The person of science is superior and smarter than those who question its limitations and authority.

No one suggests that science has not done wonderful things but that which exists outside the world of science is not wrong, stupid or useless. It is the human character, not science that would claim such a thing.


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liberation Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-05-07 05:01 AM
Response to Reply #75
85. Just because YOU are limited doesn't mean that Science is limited.
How can you say that something is limited, when you have little to no relation/knowledge of the field?

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MadHound Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-05-07 05:57 AM
Response to Reply #85
91. I can think of one big scientific limit right off the top of my head
That would be the Big Bang. Science can only take us back to that moment of the Big Bang, no further. What came before, what caused it, etc. all are unknown, and most likely unknowable. The Big Bang could as easily have been caused divine entity as by some trans-dimensional child :shrug:

Quantum physics is another squirrely science that baffles scientific minds and leads to questions of spirituality. Different dimensions, strange happenings, etc. Hmmm. As far as UFOs go, many scientists actually accept them, having seen the reports or having an experience themselves. The main difference is that the scientist doesn't label what they saw as an alien craft or what have you. They just note what they saw, a strange saucer like object that moved in ways incompatible with modern aviation.

Science is limited, both in breadth and scope, and scientists will be the first ones to tell you that. Otherwise they're simply being dishonest with you and themselves.
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TZ Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-05-07 06:03 AM
Response to Reply #91
93. ah yes the "since we don't know everything" I must accept
any explanation for the unknown including theories with little sound rationality or base behind them as in "I saw an unexplained light in the sky..I can't explain it..it MUST be aliens!!"
Most scientists will say there is plenty we don't know about, but just accepting non-sensical explanations for them isn't being "open minded" its being gullible.
For example if I saw a critter swimming in a lake that I had never seen before I wouldn't automatically assume I had just discovered a version of the loch ness monster, but I would investigate to see what it might be....
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MadHound Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-05-07 08:18 AM
Response to Reply #93
109. Wow, why such hostility?
Frankly, I've worked in the scientific arena, nuclear physics, and have associated with some great scientific minds. Yet even these people don't claim that science is the be all and end all of our life, and that in fact, at some point waaaay out there, science and the divine merge, forming an all encompassing whole. You may not like that, you may reject that, but that is some of the very latest state of the art thinking from those who are on the bleeding edge of physics.

I find it amusing, all of these people who put so much of their faith and themselves into science. It becomes much more like a religion to them, with science taking the place of the godhead as the be all and end all of life. The trouble is, as I pointed out earlier, science can only take you so far before it too, like religion, runs into a brick wall. Perhaps the best solution to the conundrum is a combination of both the secular and the divine, science and spirituality.

But hey, believe what you want. I personally lean rather heavily on science, but I also realize that science can ultimately go only so far. After that :shrug: It is wide open. We simply don't know and nobody, no matter which side of the fence they're on, can claim to have the answers for everything, or that either science or religion is infallible. Both have been proven wrong time and again, and both are a work in progress. Perhaps you should open your own mind to the possibilities rather than tying yourself to the concrete.
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D23MIURG23 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-05-07 08:00 AM
Response to Reply #91
104. Everything is limited in breadth and scope
What's dishonest is implying that ideas well supported by empirical observation should take a backseat to ideas that are unsupported because the former set is "limited".
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Odin2005 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-05-07 07:56 AM
Response to Reply #75
103. Conspiracist BS.
I have no use for rants based on the conspiracy-based theory of society. :eyes:
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momto3 Donating Member (497 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-05-07 06:45 AM
Response to Original message
96. Thanks for posting this, turtlensue.
Being fairly new here, I am quite surprised at the amount of "pseudoscience" that is accepted as fact on this "progressive, liberal" website.

PhDmom


BTW - Nice PNAS paper.
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TZ Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-05-07 10:06 AM
Response to Reply #96
140. Thanks!
I am quite proud of the PNAS thing..I had only been at NIH for four months when I was informed my data was going to be included. Sadly, since it was the end of study really, I am not listed with the authors but acknowledged later. Still for a journeyman lab rat(tech) who only has a BS degree I consider publication of data in a prestigous journal the pinnacle of my career so far.
And yeah, I was surprised too when I first posted here, and hearing all the smart, dedicated people I have met on my journey trashed as closed minded, money grubbing shills or robots for the administration really really bothers me....
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momto3 Donating Member (497 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-05-07 08:30 PM
Response to Reply #140
168. You should be proud.
I have published many papers now, but I am still proud of them all. Actually, I still send a reprint to my mom!

Most of the scientists I have met through out my career have been truely devoted to what they study. There are a few, though, that give the rest of us a bad name.

Good luck!
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Festivito Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-05-07 07:23 AM
Response to Original message
98. Disagreement with your piece:
1: I AGREE scientists are open minded for the most part, BUT ARE NOT, for the most part, open minded in discussions of the pseudosciences, which is where your concern arises. NEITHER am I open minded about ESP, Ghosts, nor UFO-aliens unless shown compelling data with compelling reliability, which to date, I have not seen. It is a prejudice I have. EVEN TO THE POINT OF CALLING IT A FAITH I HAVE DEVELOPED that I will never hear such a compelling case so as to waste my time reading more, my time being spent on better pursuits -- leading to ..

Thusly,

2: Science is at times faith-based. It is willing to change, but, for that matter, so is the Roman Catholic church willing, able, having changed its dogmas, albeit over LONG LONG LONG periods of time. The notion of science being "afraid of anything.." is too absolute, and of not being a religion becomes drearily semantical.

Anytime a group thinks the same and may ignore certain data that group is open to being lead astray, money being the best, ahem, leader, leading me to ...

3: Scientists can be bought, so can people of religion. If they are found with a separate agenda, try not to get your panties too bunched such that you can no longer think for yourself.

Sorry, I must rush to work and insure an underground storage tank is cleaned properly.

P.S. I love rants. And, I mean well, but sometimes I'm seen as just mean. Sorry if that's the case. Oh, an due chek ur spel'n b4 pust'n. Oh, dear.
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Odin2005 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-05-07 08:06 AM
Response to Reply #98
106. Science is not based on faith.
Science is based on skepticism and critiquing and testing hypotheses, unlike the RCC. Sure, certain scientists may hold to a hypothesis or theory dogmatically, that stubbornness is actually necessary to a point in order to make sure hypotheses and theories are tested thoroughly, but science is not a dogma.
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Festivito Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-06-07 04:41 AM
Response to Reply #106
175. What? Because YOU say so? At least I supplied reasoning for it.
AND "Science is based on" PEOPLE EXERCISING "skepticism and ..." AND, some of those people will hold to theories dogmatically, stubbornly, necessarily, thoroughly, even testfully from BOTH science's side AND religion's side.

Neither is religion a dogma. Rather, they BOTH HAVE dogmas, and they both change dogmas from time to time.
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TZ Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-06-07 05:46 AM
Response to Reply #175
178. again, I ask
Please give examples of "dogmatic" scientists. Are they the ones that say they haven't seen convincing evidence of ESP/Extra-terrestrial visits etc? Because thats usually when I hear the term. When someone is peeved because their pet belief is challanged scientifically.
And yes, I have encountered what I would consider "dogmatic" scientists, but they have been in the minority of scientists I have known in my almost 20 years in the field. Curiosity makes a good scientist, but gullibility (ie accepting unsubstatiated explanations for the unknown without examination of those explanations) does not.
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Festivito Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-06-07 12:51 PM
Response to Reply #178
195. Like yourself, when you do not answer to numbered responses.
Remember, you numbered your responses and I in turn numbered mine to address yours. And, why is it that you do not respond by number? Perhaps because, dogmatically certain that science cannot be called a religion, you do not wish to address the arguments as presented, but rather, to fight for your dogma: "Again, I ask" yet you did not respond to me before. It's as though you throw in a red straw man. Then you want examples of scientists. What? Their names?

Okay, yourself and myself.

And, I'm not talking about gullibility here. (Although, I have had gullible moments in my life. I'm sure you must have experienced such a thing at least once.) I'm talking about having dismissed a certain topic, e.g. UFO-aliens, ESP, ... Not that I, or either of us, would not listen to a report on PBS or NPR, but I will not bother myself with another copy of supermarket tabloids, because I BELIEVE it will be unremarkably worthless as usual. I bet you pass on those also.

So, we might both really miss something. Because of our BELIEF.

And we are not alone. 99+% of scientists would not give it a look either. We'd all miss it. Falsity of tabloids would be science consortium's dogma. A good dogma. But, still a dogma.

You, I, and scientists in general are sometimes closed minded(I will not pick up a tabloid.), hold to dogmas faithfully(not even when it has a picture of Brittany's bathroom shelving), and we sometimes refuse to pick it up because we have an agenda to not promote such tripe. (I have commented, while in line, to others that those mags are amazingly false. Hoping to get others to think rather than to digest such foolishness. I.e., I have an agenda.)

We all need to check our assumptions. Just because religions seem slower, unreasonable, unresponsive, ... :dogmatic, they are not necessarily completely and utterly wrong.

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TZ Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-08-07 08:11 AM
Response to Reply #195
209. Yes and thats
exactly what Pat Robertson and crew argue. Especially when it comes to Evolution and Global Warming.
Plenty of data supporting both yet both dismiss the science as unproven and the scientists who argue for it as dogmatic. They argue that the scientists are being dogmatic. The belief of ESP, alien visitations ect, despite lack of solid scientific evidence, with the ones saying the are witholding belief UNTIL they find reliable data (which is my point) are the other side of the coin. The far left and the far right share an anti-intellectual anti-science bias. And the only people I have ever heard say science is a religion, are those who lack a true understanding of the scientific method as evidence gathering.
Funny how in the real world I am considered very open minded (to the point where some consider me naive) yet I often get bashed on this site as "closed-minded" because I refuse to belief everything posted here without rational basis or real EVIDENCE.And thats my issue. I have seen nothing to persuade me that the psuedosciences are valid. I have however, seen real science WORK on a daily basis.
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Festivito Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-09-07 09:15 AM
Response to Reply #209
210. That, as I see it, would be wrong.
Pat would argue that his points deserve equal and even priority consideration, rather than his points were to be just less than completely and utterly wrong -- an absolute point you seem to project for him. It is this absolute point, that you draw, that troubles me in this discussion. The point being that when he differs with science, he CANNOT BE CORRECT, science MUST be right and Pat MUST be wrong. And, although I like that thinking, I know better than to engage in that thinking -- I hope.

No! When it comes to choosing an action for the general welfare, where two belief systems disagree, the determination should occur on the sacred/reasoned alter/forum of a democracy/republic. Not in the sacred ONLY, not in the secular ONLY, but in the whole of us ONLY.

It may be frustrating that science is forced to compete in democracy.

But, that's tough.
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Odin2005 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-06-07 03:49 PM
Response to Reply #175
197. Religion is dogmatic by definition. n/t.
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Festivito Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-06-07 09:32 PM
Response to Reply #197
200. A wrong statement in good grammar this time.
Nope. Not by definition.
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Odin2005 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-07-07 08:13 AM
Response to Reply #200
206. Of course it is, taking anything on blind faith is dogmatic.
The key words being BLIND faith. When I am in an airplane I have faith that the pilots know what they are doing, but that isn't blind faith. Blind faith is being absolutely sure some belief is true even though that belief cannot be tested for it's validity.
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Festivito Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-07-07 11:02 PM
Response to Reply #206
207.  I stand by my point 1 as supported by my point 2.
I think you are unable to see beyond your own unacknowledged absolutist thinking.

Good luck.
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Odin2005 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-08-07 07:39 AM
Response to Reply #207
208. If stating the facts is "absolutist thinking" to folks following Postmodernist, anti-science...
Edited on Thu Nov-08-07 07:41 AM by Odin2005
...nonsense then so much worse for the PoMo anti-science nonsense.
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NoFederales Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-05-07 07:49 AM
Response to Original message
99. That SOAPBOX isn't nearly big enough; you should stay on it
while I, and many others join you. The charlatons of psuedoscience/religiosity and all their dupes will be the ruination of the world.

NoFederales
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D23MIURG23 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-05-07 07:55 AM
Response to Original message
101. Praise Bob!
Get slack. :tinfoilhat: :think:
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semillama Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-05-07 09:06 AM
Response to Reply #101
117. or kill me! n/t
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2beToby Donating Member (151 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-05-07 07:56 AM
Response to Original message
102. What I'm hearing is
science of our day and age has limits, therefore, science is ineffective in the areas it's currently limited. That's ridiculous. We've crashed through the limits of science before and I'm willing to bet we'll do it again. At one point, magnetism was considered magic. Not so much anymore.

Why is it wrong to be skeptical of something that cannot be proven? My skepticism isn't hurting you. And it goes the other way too. If I have faith in something, believe in it without any facts to support my belief, I don't really care if no one else believes in it. And the skeptics shouldn't care that I believe in it either. So long as I'm not arguing against their basic human rights or the rights of others. Why can't we just acknowledge each other and move on?

I also hear people talking about the bias in the scientific community. I share that concern--how do we know good, sound peer reviewed studies aren't being given print space? Where are the facts? Why are these rejected scientists, why aren't we, as concerned layman, writing letters to the scientific community offering to help support their publications if they make the selection process transparent? Is the process transparent already and we've never taken the time to find out?

Or are they just not enough scientists interested in peer reviewing XYZ study? Maybe we should be looking into funding aspiring scientists who do have an interest in XYZ.

It comes down to money and funding. We can't force somebody to conduct a peer review of a study if they aren't interested in it. That would lead to lazy work. And we can't force a publication to run against it's backers--that'd be bad business and eventually the publication would fail; it may not be what's best for me, but I understand the dilemma. This is not a limitation of science, but rather a limitation of time, money and interest.
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semillama Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-05-07 09:15 AM
Response to Reply #102
126. I've always said I'd be more than willing to look into pseudoarchaeological claims
if someone were to completely fund the research, overhead for lab, office, and workers, travel, equipment, etc. etc.

I think that all of my co-workers would think it's fun to go look at some of these claims, get an outfit together, and check out stuff like the supposed underwater city off Japan, evidence of Vikings in Minnesota, etc, etc. It would be fun, plus I would probably get to be on tv and write books and stuff.


Of course, the problem is, no one is willing to fund that type of stuff.
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SidDithers Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-05-07 08:06 AM
Response to Original message
105. Scientists...meh...
what have they ever done for us. :evilgrin:

K&R. Good post, turtlensue :hi:

Sid
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Xipe Totec Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-05-07 08:14 AM
Response to Original message
108. Nicely done!
:thumbsup:
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Romulox Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-05-07 09:06 AM
Response to Original message
118. Calling oneself a "scientist" doesn't insulate one from human frailty.
You can easily observe that fact on this very thread. 300 years ago, zealots and inquisitors had all the answers; today it is autocrats and "scientists". And yet our world remains unjust, brutal and utterly unsustainable.

That's because, ultimately, the ordering of human relations is not a scientific question.
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LeftishBrit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-05-07 09:11 AM
Response to Reply #118
122. Who said that it did?
And scientists know that they do not have all the answers; if they did, there'd be nothing further to study!

And no one, certainly scientists,think that it's the job of scientists to 'order human relations' - I don't know where you got that from the OP?
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Romulox Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-05-07 09:39 AM
Response to Reply #122
136. One poster claims, "[Science] can only allow us to learn about anything and everything
Edited on Mon Nov-05-07 09:42 AM by Romulox
that could possibly affect us."

Another posits, "Science extends to cover the entirety of the universe and everything within it. The scientific method is the only useful means of gaining factual knowledge.( sic! )"

Yet another demanded scientific proof that so-called "other truths" (i.e. non-quantifiable aspects of the human experience) exist.

So hubris, hyperbolic overvaluation of one's own facilities, and an especially an all-too-human lack of perspective does not fall away from a person because he dons the appellation of "scientist"! :)
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LeftishBrit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-05-07 10:59 AM
Response to Reply #136
143. Science is a method of study, not a body of knowledge
Saying that science is 'the only useful method of gaining factual knowledge' does not mean that the knowledge already exists.

And none of this means that we can deduce moral values from science. Morality is not based on facts, though facts may help us to determine what actions will be consistent with our values.
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Romulox Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-05-07 11:34 AM
Response to Reply #143
145. You are seemingly disagreeing with the propositions I have quoted...
You are seemingly disagreeing with the propositions I have quoted, each from this thread, made by advocates of science; none of the posted propositions are my own belief. I don't understand how what you've posted is responsive to my post.



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LeftishBrit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-05-07 03:22 PM
Response to Reply #145
154. I honestly think you misunderstood the propositions
The first proposition at any rate was simply saying that facts can only be acquired/ proved by the scientific method. It wasn't saying that all the facts are already known!
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Romulox Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-05-07 04:26 PM
Response to Reply #154
155. Nope. The statement was overreaching and ultimately unfalsiable...
Edited on Mon Nov-05-07 04:27 PM by Romulox
"(Science) can only allow us to learn about anything and everything that could possibly affect us."

There is simply no proof for this proposition, (nor could there be,) that the scientific method (and no other!) can allow us to "learn about anything and everything that could possibly affect us."

This statement does not mean that facts can only be acquired by the scientific method (a relatively uncontroversial assertion,) but that "everything that could possibly affect us," may be converted into a scientifically testable "fact".

The latter proposition is absurd on its face.
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slowry Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-06-07 01:50 PM
Response to Reply #155
196. I meant anything physical, that we can observe, that affects us in some physical way.
Edited on Tue Nov-06-07 01:59 PM by slowry
The poster I was responding to seemed to be suggesting that there exist phenomena (lights in the sky, alien abductions, ESP, spoon bending) which are and always will be inexplicable by us. I'd love for someone to name such a phenomenon, and explain why it is inexplicable.

Signed,
Mr. Google, PhD, Groupie of Science
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Odin2005 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-05-07 02:52 PM
Response to Reply #118
153. No respectable scientist says he/she has all the answers.
That's what makes science different from Dogma and religion and why comparing scientists to the Inquisition is ignorant.

And of course the ordering of human relations is, in part, a scientific question. We are animals, certainly knowledge of human nature can help inform ethicists and policy makers.
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Romulox Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-05-07 04:28 PM
Response to Reply #153
156. Read the quotes I gathered from this very thread! nt
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spoony Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-05-07 11:53 PM
Response to Reply #156
172. Fortunately those are just the groupies
They aren't scientists, they just play them on the internets. ;)
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TZ Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-06-07 05:50 AM
Response to Reply #172
179. ....
"They just play them on the internets"--ROFL...I call them the Dr. Google crowd...I read this n that article and now I am teh expert!
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TZ Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-05-07 07:29 PM
Response to Reply #118
164. And yet somehow
Edited on Mon Nov-05-07 07:29 PM by turtlensue
we have longer, better lives and are able to sit here arguing about nonsense ON COMPUTERS (those know it all scientists invented that stuff) because of those self same scientists.
I have yet to meet a scientist that thinks they have ALL the answers (yes, there are some arrogant egotistical pricks who think they have many answers but thats true of EVERY field, including POLITICS)
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chicagomd Donating Member (437 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-05-07 09:12 AM
Response to Original message
123. K and R.
n/t
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sufrommich Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-05-07 09:13 AM
Response to Original message
124. k & r and well said!!
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Cameron27 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-05-07 09:30 AM
Response to Original message
135. Great rant!
:thumbsup:
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progressoid Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-05-07 10:20 AM
Response to Original message
141. Error: you can only recommend threads which were started in the past 24 hours
Dang! Just missed it.
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Duncan Donating Member (498 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-05-07 12:45 PM
Response to Original message
146. I think you made an error
I think you made an error in this sentence:

"Scientists are by nature skeptical of data that has not been rigorously tested through the scientific method."

Data is not tested, hypotheses are tested, data is gathered. Scientists can't use data that has not been gathered in a documented and repeatable, or verifiable fashion. Scientists call a hypothesis a hypothesis until it is proven to fit the available data, then it becomes what scientists call a theory. To a scientist, it doesn't get more defined than theory, it never becomes "truth". While most scientists are skeptical of nonscientific assertions, you do not have to be "skeptical" to be a scientist, if you follow the scientific method, skepticism is built right in.

What does the success rate of a hypothetical doctor have to do with the statistical significance of data gathered in an experiment designed to measure a paranormal phenomena? I don't know if the data you refer to is significant or not, but your analogy certainly isn't. Also, the FDA has approved drugs that have proven to be worse than ineffective, without much outcry. Quite a bit of pseudoscience goes on under the FDA's roof.

I agree with you that there are lots of misconceptions about what science is, but science does not (actually can not) dismiss something simply because it seems unlikely, that can only be done by a skeptic. While it may be true that most scientists consider themselves to be skeptics, myself included, your lumping together of scientist and skeptic bugs me, and I am fascinated by postings about UFOs and perpetual motion machines, I say bring em on.
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TZ Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-05-07 01:54 PM
Response to Reply #146
150. Oh ineffective?
THe problems with avandia and vioxx weren't ineffectiveness...in fact they worked quite well for many many people.
Please actually do research on how COMPLEX getting a drug to market is...10+ years of testing. The FDA often takes YEARS just to review documents.
It isn't as one person put it just writing down how a person feels--there is a complex web of toxicity and potency and pharmakinetic (concentration of drugs in the system).
Drug approval involves biology, chemistry, biochemistry and some physics. Hmm. Sounds like ACTUAL science to me. But what do I know, I'm just a stupid biologist who has been doing this for 10+ years.
And scientists and skeptics often go together even to scientists being skeptical of other scientists work, until it can be verified and validated
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semillama Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-05-07 01:00 PM
Response to Original message
147. Water From HEAVEN~!!!
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piesRsquare Donating Member (960 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-05-07 07:02 PM
Response to Original message
161. Before I say anything, what's the sentiment around here
about "psychic phenomena"? "Seeing future events before they happen"? EXCLUSIVE of "self-fulfilling prophecy", that is.

This isn't directed at the OP exclusively...jump in, anyone.

And to those who brought it up on this thread: Yes, psychology IS a science. However, a psychologist is not necessarily a scientist. There are clinical psychologists (the shrinks) and research psychologists (those who play with mice :P). A former client of mine had a Ph.D. in cognitive psychology and was a research scientist for NASA (here in Silicon Valley, at Moffett Field); her team's work focused on perception of sound. If you REALLY wanna argue about this, go take Psych 101 and then come back...if you've already taken Psych 101 and still wanna argue, go take it again and then come back. :)

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Xipe Totec Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-05-07 07:10 PM
Response to Reply #161
162. I knew you were going to post this
I just had this feeling...





:rofl:

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TZ Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-05-07 07:31 PM
Response to Reply #162
165. Somebody call
Sylvia Brown! We got a live one here! :evilgrin:
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piesRsquare Donating Member (960 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-05-07 07:56 PM
Response to Reply #162
167. Funny...
I just KNEW you were going to say something! :rofl:
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TZ Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-05-07 07:19 PM
Response to Reply #161
163. I have taken Psych 101, and animal behavior/ethology (which is related0
and yes there is some real science to be found in psychology (but not much *IMO* in parapsychology) but there is also some very questionable stuff, not only treading the line with pseudoscience but ethically too (some real humm dinger sadistic tests have been done in the recent past in the name of "psychology")
As for psychic phenomena, I have yet to see a convincing example of it. Its so hard not to acknowledge the subconcious picking up of cues of things and beleive its a "premonition". Here's a very basic example..it has been demonstrated that some people have genuine physiological changes or perceptions that can pick up changes in weather (ie cold fronts, storms, etc) how can one ever distinguish between a subconcious cue that the mind has picked up on and the so called "psychic phenomena".In other words someone predicts a huge storm thinking its a "premonition" when its really slight physiological changes they aren't conciously aware of but know on some level means "big storm coming"
Also for example, my older sister beleives her daughter is psychic because from time to time she has said something that turned out to be true. Well thats the one case thats gonna stick out in ones mind...not the 50 other times where she has said something like "grandma's sick" and it wasn't true.
Thats why I am skeptical because there are a lot of explanations (although many beleivers don't often want to hear them) that can account for the "phenomena". The human mind is a tricky thing, and it can indeed fool us into believing things that aren't really true.
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LeftishBrit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-06-07 06:02 AM
Response to Reply #163
181. As a researcher in Experimental Psychology, I think there is often confusion about different types
of psychologist.

There are academic researchers in psychology; clinical psychologists; educational psychologists (who perform assessments and give advice about children who are experiencing educational difficulties); etc. These groups are often confused with one another, and also with psychiatrists (medical doctors who specialize in the treatment of mental illness) and sometimes with philosophers: on two or three occasions, when I said I do research in psychology, I was instantly asked: "So do you think a computer has a mind then?" Moreover, there are various types of counsellors and therapists outside clinical psychology, who may or may not have any training in psychology, but often regard themselves as psychologists. So there can be confusion about what sort of 'psychologist' is being referred to. And being a professional in one branch of psychology does not always make one an expert on others.

There have been a number of experimental psychological studies of ESP and other paranormal experiences, which have generally given negative results as regards the existence of true ESP, though sometimes interesting results about the nature of altered states of consciousness. There is also research within 'parapsychology', much of which seems to be collecting anecdotes without much in the way of experimental control, and tends to give whatever results the researchers want!

As regards ethics: until fairly recently, there wasn't a lot of regulation about what researchers could do, in psychology as in many other disciplines. In recent years, this has been tightened-up quite strongly, and researchers nowadays wouldn't get away with what was accepted 40 years ago. Sometimes I curse the regulations, when I have to fill in yet another form called IDREC or CUREC or something just to be able to ask a few children to work out some arithmetic problems; but they certainly prevent the abuses that used to occur at times!
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idgiehkt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-06-07 06:53 AM
Response to Original message
182. I don't believe in scientists.
Specifically, that they (whoever they are or presume to be) have a 'higher mind', a 'more rational mind', a more 'objective' viewpoint, than anyone else. I'd like to see that terminology, "scientist" done away with because it's wankerish crap. If you are a chemist, say, "I'm a chemist". A biologist? Own it. A physicist? Fine. But a "scientist"? WTF is that, anyway. "Scientists" as a group have probably brought far more destruction and suffering to this planet than good by way of weapons development and research and testing on both human and non-human animals species, a huge percentage of which is just torture prettied up for grant money that has no real benefit to anyone but the 'scientist' themselves. When I hear the term 'scientist' I always think of some wacko in a lab either torturing animals (with no regard for the pain they are suffering, the terror and fear they feel, the deprivation of anything even resembling a quality of life, no connection whatever to the qualities that make that creature a sentient being similar in many ways to themselves) or some equally wacked out diabolical dude standing over test tubes or something of that nature developing weapons with which to kill people most effectively. When I hear 'rational, objective' in regards to scientists I translate that to 'no capacity for empathy and compassion, borderline if not full-fledged sociopath out for self-aggrandizement with little concern about how their actions will impact future generations'. As an aside, scientists, whoever you are, are not a class of people, and the attempt to represent them as a group with common values, opinions, and ethics (!), or even lump any of them into a group at all, is so disingenous it's laughable. Get over yourselves, please, for the sake of the planet and future generations to come.

p.s. as an aside, this "Scientists however observe the known world and find that patterns exist." The 'known world' is a misrepresentation, otherwise 'scientists' wouldn't be making names for themselves with discoveries and inventions, and everyone knows for a scientist it's all about making that 'discovery' to attach your name to for posterity. You have to deal partially if not fully with the unknown to move your 'science' forward. And to your point about doctors, apparently doctors have a 50% accurate diagnosis rate collectively. Better than 30% or 40% but not much. As far as this: "So can you understand why scientists aren't going to take a bunch of blurry photos and questionable eyewitness accounts as being "the truth"?" Do you think anyone who is into that sort of thing really, truly cares what you all (whoever you are or think you are) think, even if they do buy into the cult of '"scientist as exalted being"? Ye Gods.
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TZ Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-06-07 07:52 AM
Response to Reply #182
185. wow shining ignorance there
You have never met anybody in the scientific field have you. 95% of them are the most caring dedicated passionate BRILLIANT AND HUMBLE people you will EVER meet.
But feel free to keep believing in ignorant bullshit. That is certainly your right. Freedom of stupidity is a big thing in this country
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Odin2005 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-06-07 08:46 AM
Response to Reply #182
187. Your bigotry is disgusting.
Knowledge is ethically neutral. It can be used for good or bad ends.

And your use of BS talking points about "Scientists torturing animals" that sound like they came out of a PETA press release make you sound laughable.

How DARE you say I have no compassion How DARE you call me a sociopath. You are despicable.
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LeftishBrit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-06-07 09:06 AM
Response to Reply #182
188. Yes, and we're all impious selfish un-Christian sinners who don't accept the Bible
Edited on Tue Nov-06-07 09:10 AM by LeftishBrit
and set ourselves above God's will. Oh, and don't forget, we're going to Hell.

Anti-science propaganda from different sources has quite a lot in common!
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Lurking Dem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-06-07 10:21 AM
Response to Reply #182
190. Well THAT was mind numbing.
I'm not sure whether to laugh or cry.
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snooper2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-06-07 10:37 AM
Response to Reply #182
191. but you believe in the booogee woogeee woooggeee it's going to get you








AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH



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cosmik debris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-06-07 12:29 PM
Response to Reply #182
194. I don't believe in scientist either, I believe in data and evidence
And I feel very fortunate the scientists provide that data and evidence because the anti-scientists only provide myth.
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Book Lover Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-06-07 06:12 PM
Response to Reply #182
199. Which is why you said this using a computer that would not exist were it
not for a scientist.

By the way, if I told you a scientist invented commas, would that get you to stop using them in such a profligate manner?
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mcscajun Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-06-07 10:08 PM
Response to Reply #182
203. "Scientists = sociopaths"; this really should go.
:thumbsdown:
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Orrex Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-09-07 12:55 PM
Response to Reply #182
211. I personally witnessed a scientist vivisect a busload of schoolchildren
All in the name of Science, mind you.


Your post is so patently nonsensical that there's no way even to start refuting it, in much the same way that there's no good way to pick up a soft heap of manure with one's hands.

You also appear wedded to the notion that reality is up for grabs and that no one is in any better position to describe it than anyone else. Well, that's absurd. The person who can present actual evidence in support of her case is in a much stronger position than someone who has no recourse other than to appeal to "traditional wisdom" or "divine revelation" or "gut feelings" or "hunches" or any other appeal to non-evidence.

If you've decided that scientists aren't to be trusted, then obviously that's your right. But I hasten to point out that the computer your using wasn't invented by shamans or acupuncturists.

PS. Kick!
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baby_mouse Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-10-07 10:10 AM
Response to Reply #182
215. Meaningless gibberish.
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Blue_Tires Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-06-07 07:31 AM
Response to Original message
183. ttt nt
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NoodleBoy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-06-07 06:06 PM
Response to Original message
198. kick
from maybe the only non-scientists who posts in SS&P.
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cosmik debris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-06-07 10:02 PM
Response to Reply #198
201. Nope, you are not the only one. kick n/t
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