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cinepro

The Problem With Science: It's Not Credible

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Scott Adams, the creator of Dilbert and a pretty rational thinking guy, recently posted an interesting view of why many people don't trust science.  And he wonders if it is sometimes more rational not to trust "science":

 

Science's Biggest Fail

 


If a person doesn’t believe climate change is real, despite all the evidence to the contrary, is that a case of a dumb human or a science that has not earned credibility?

 

We humans operate on pattern recognition. The pattern science serves up, thanks to its winged monkeys in the media, is something like this:

 

Step One: We are totally sure the answer is X.

 

Step Two: Oops. X is wrong. But Y is totally right. Trust us this time.

 

Science isn’t about being right every time, or even most of the time. It is about being more right over time and fixing what it got wrong. So how is a common citizen supposed to know when science is “done” and when it is halfway to done which is the same as being wrong?

 

You can’t tell. And if any scientist says you should be able to tell when science is “done” on a topic, please show me the data indicating that people have psychic powers.

 

I post this because I usually argue strongly in favor of "science" over other more supernatural forms of knowledge acquisition, and I thought he made an interesting point.

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Science isn’t about being right every time, or even most of the time. It is about being more right over time and fixing what it got wrong. So how is a common citizen supposed to know when science is “done” and when it is halfway to done which is the same as being wrong?

 

I think this is also the current Church policy on doctrine.  Maybe religion isn't credible either.

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While in some cases the scientists are wrong this is the more usual culprit:

phd051809s.gif

Similar problems with many questions in the LDS church. People hear something and assume authenticity and you have people telling you from the pulpit that Jesus said: "I never said it would be easy. I only said it would be worth it."

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...more rational not to trust "science":

 

 

More rational not to utilize the scientific method?

 

Or, more rational not to trust what some group of

scientists agreed was factual yesterday, or last year,

or, back when most of them agreed that malaria came

from rotting vegetation and bad odors?

 

Doesn't the scientific method itself allow for (or, in

fact, almost insist upon) distrust of what previous

scientists have agreed was "true" ???

 

UD

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I think this is also the current Church policy on doctrine.  Maybe religion isn't credible either.

Men, be it science or religion are flawed and often present their ideas as unarguable fact...we call this ego, something we all suffer from.

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When you add the element of greed/pride with history of fraud into the mix, science (scientists rather) become even more difficult to trust. 

 

By coincidence, Ira Flatow of Science Friday on NPR will be discussing this topic later today. 

 

"Faked X-rays, fabricated data, unreported amputations—those are just a few examples of the medical misconduct discovered during Food and Drug Administration inspections."

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So how is a common citizen supposed to know when science is “done” and when it is halfway to done which is the same as being wrong? You can’t tell. And if any scientist says you should be able to tell when science is “done” on a topic, please show me the data indicating that people have psychic powers.

 

Science is not about absolute certainty, but scientists have a high confidence that Evolution and CO2 caused Climate Change are true. 

Doctors have a high confidence that something is wrong with a patient before surgery.

 

 

Scott Adams, the creator of Dilbert and a pretty rational thinking guy, recently posted an interesting view of why many people don't trust science.  And he wonders if it is sometimes more rational not to trust "science"

 

Bible literalists are wrong all the time, they do not challenge a scientific consensus with peer-reviewed evidence, they challenge it with pseudoscience. Bible literalists are not open minded, they won't change their views. 

Edited by MormonFreeThinker

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If a person doesn’t believe climate change is real, despite all the evidence to the contrary, is that a case of a dumb human or a science that has not earned credibility?

The problem often is not science but those that don't use it and claim they did. THe other issue is that creating straw men are indeed useful. I have not heard one person every say that "climate change does not happen".

 

Can't win on AGW, change the meme and see if it sticks this time.

Edited by Mola Ram Suda Ram

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Scott Adams, the creator of Dilbert and a pretty rational thinking guy, recently posted an interesting view of why many people don't trust science.  And he wonders if it is sometimes more rational not to trust "science":

 

Science's Biggest Fail

 

 

 

I post this because I usually argue strongly in favor of "science" over other more supernatural forms of knowledge acquisition, and I thought he made an interesting point.

 

Cinepro...

 

Thanks for sharing that.

 

I have to accept many scientific claims on the basis of authority. How do I know how fast light moves? I am at a loss as to how to make such a calculation. I don't know other than somebody who seems smart thinks it moves at this pace and not that. Science changes so fast. In my own lifetime, medical science, which I find to be relatively reliable, given that we seem to be living longer because of it, changes its mind about what is good to eat and drink every year. As for the other "sciences", they often seem to adopt "truths" that follow and seem motivated by political and philosophical ideologies. I believe in what I can see "works". Edison's lightbulbs. The engine that makes my car go. But with regards to those "scientific truths" that cannot be verified by an objective individual putting theory to the test, my hunch is that we live in the greatest era of "quack science" that has ever existed.  

Edited by 3DOP

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 In my own lifetime, medical science, which I find to be relatively reliable

 

LOL How convenient, perhaps you will find climate science reliable when the Global Temperature increases by 6 degrees.

 

As for the other "sciences", they often seem to adopt "truths" that follow and seem motivated by political and philosophical ideologies.

 

Most Biologists and Climate Scientists don't care about the politics when they are doing their scientific research. 

 

THe other issue is that creating straw men are indeed useful.

 

That is why you use them without knowing. 

Edited by MormonFreeThinker

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LOL How convenient, perhaps you will find climate science reliable when the Global Temperature increases by 6 degrees.

 

Step one:  We are totally sure the answer is 6 degrees

 

Step two: Oops.  6 degrees is wrong, but tomorrow will be 6 degrees warmer than today.  Trust us this time.

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Step one:  We are totally sure the answer is 6 degrees

 

Step two: Oops.  6 degrees is wrong, but tomorrow will be 6 degrees warmer than today.  Trust us this time.

 

Nice straw man

 

We don't have to be 100% certain, there is too much at risk, but I am not absolutely certain. 

 

Do you remember what you told me?

 

As an RN I can tell you all about hospitals. They follow a principle called "best evidence practice", not "conclusive definitive proof practice". There is no hard fast conclusions, rather they make decisions based on the best evidence. To make such conclusions would be dangerous and would reject new evidence that emerges.

Edited by MormonFreeThinker

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Scott Adams, the creator of Dilbert and a pretty rational thinking guy, recently posted an interesting view of why many people don't trust science.  And he wonders if it is sometimes more rational not to trust "science":

 

Science's Biggest Fail

 

 

 

I post this because I usually argue strongly in favor of "science" over other more supernatural forms of knowledge acquisition, and I thought he made an interesting point.

Everybody has an axe to grind and there is no such thing as "objectivity".

 

Whoever is offering the most grant money will get the most research, and often in the favor of whoever writes the checks.

 

There are no facts, just interpretations of data.   Welcome to being an adult.

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LOL How convenient, perhaps you will find climate science reliable when the Global Temperature increases by 6 degrees.

 

 

Most Biologists and Climate Scientists don't care about the politics when they are doing their scientific research. 

Just like most embryologists don't care about the politics when they are doing their scientific research. 

 

Hi MFT. Your zeal is admirable. I mean that. Would that it were transferred to something less doubtful.

 

I find meteorology to have made great advances in my own lifetime. People complain about "the weather man". I am very impressed with how accurately we have learned to predict weather about ten days in advance. As for centuries and millenia and multi-millenia, I don't guess we have data to show that man is causing an ice age. There was an ice age, according to the climatologists millions of years ago, right? I don't know if that is true. But supposing it is, what caused that? Too much deodorant? Clearly, if contemporary climatology is true, ice ages happen with industrialization and without industrialization. Right? How do I know what causes an ice age when we have had at least one (according to climatology) without any aerosol deodorant or paper mills at all?   

 

As to your claim about biologists, embryologists, and climate scientists? I just don't have your faith. How could you prove a claim like that scientifically? I am not saying you are wrong. I am just an agnostic with a hunch that there is bias.

 

Rory

Edited by 3DOP

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Step one:  We are totally sure the answer is 6 degrees

 

Step two: Oops.  6 degrees is wrong, but tomorrow will be 6 degrees warmer than today.  Trust us this time.

You could not be more right.

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Hi MFT. Your zeal is admirable. I mean that. Would that it were transferred to something less doubtful.

 

As to your claim about biologists, embryologists, and climate scientists? I just don't have your faith. How could you prove a claim like that scientifically? I am not saying you are wrong. I am just an agnostic with a hunch that there is bias.

 

Rory

 

Just make science your religion.

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Once again, an hour that could change your life.  You can skip the Q&A at the end- really the "good part" probably runs 45 minutes or so.

 

Science and religion are perfectly compatible, but not for the reasons most Mormons think.

 

Just FYI, this guy was one of the greatest philosophers of the 20th century, and though he was officially an agnostic, his wife was raised LDS and this whole thing is full of ways of thinking that are compatible with LDS thought.   His wife even had a home teacher who visited, and was well received by Rorty.

 

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Just make science your religion.

 

ERay, heh. I am not saying that MFT does that. But he just has way more confidence than I could have in these people who identify themselves with "science". 

 

Like many, he seems very exercised about this climate stuff. But we all die no matter how good the weather is. "Science", or "Mother Nature" teaches me apart from any religion that it is folly to get very attached to earthbound living. Nobody believes that we live forever on Earth if only we become good custodians of the planet. So even if we shut down all the industry, we still have the same inescapable problem, death. Sooner or later. In the context of time, a few hundred years of life on earth, plus or minus, give or take, is nothing. Some think it shouId be warmer, some think it should be colder. I dunno. I know this: I die. My wife dies. My children die and so do all their children. So, sadly do everyone's loved ones. We all die in the most favorable weather. In a trillion years, if we exist as I expect, we won't care about the climate on the planet. 21st Century Planet Worship will be thought very corny at best, and very stupid most likely. This world is good at making people who love it live for illusions.

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ERay, heh. I am not saying that MFT does that. But he just has way more confidence than I could have in these people who identify themselves with "science". 

 

Like many, he seems very exercised about this climate stuff. But we all die no matter how good the weather is. "Science", or "Mother Nature" teaches me apart from any religion that it is folly to get very attached to earthbound living. Nobody believes that we live forever on Earth if only we become good custodians of the planet. So even if we shut down all the industry, we still have the same inescapable problem, death. Sooner or later. In the context of time, a few hundred years of life on earth, plus or minus, give or take, is nothing. Some think it shouId be warmer, some think it should be colder. I dunno. I know this: I die. My wife dies. My children die and so do all their children. So, sadly do everyone's loved ones. We all die in the most favorable weather. In a trillion years, if we exist as I expect, we won't care about the climate on the planet. 21st Century Planet Worship will be thought very corny at best, and very stupid most likely. This world is good at making people who love it live for illusions.

 

As you say we all must die.  I think, that when that time comes, it doesn't matter much whether the temperature is 100 degrees  or 6 degrees higher at 106 degrees.  Money is a great incentive for some to take advantage of natural cyclical fluctuations.

 

If they really want to make a difference they should be looking for a way to solve the problem of terrorism and war.

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Just make science your religion.

 

I prefer to make religion my science.  Eventually the "science" behind all things religious will be made known.

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I prefer to make religion my science.  Eventually the "science" behind all things religious will be made known.

 

3DOP was admiring MFT zeal and I was just telling him how easy it is to obtain.

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To say that science is immune from politics is....a ..... horsefeathers.

 

As I hinted at in another posting on this board, I ran into

scientists and technicians in Pakistan (or, rather from there)

who were constrained in their work by the limitations of

fundamentalist Islamic "politics."

 

Stalinist Russia was no place for an honest geneticist to

do meaningful research and publish.

 

I have the feeling that scientists working in North Korea

are not allowed to rely too heavily on discoveries made

outside of that hermit nation.

 

So -- yes -- the scientific method can be hindered by

hostile politics. It can be led astray by overzealous liberal

thinking, that squanders billions of taxpayer dollars on

totally useless research.

 

But, unless somebody has a "fix" to suggest, I suppose we're

stuck with that method as being the best one now available.

 

It doesn't really help, when somebody says to add "prayer"

to Science, in order to obtain more accurate information.

Whether the Hindu scientist prays to Krishna, or the pagan

scientist prays to Lucifer, they'll not get those portions of

their work past a general peer-review. So that suggestion, if

made a universal addition to the scientific method, won't work

out very well either.

 

Best answer -- get rid of politics.

 

UD

Edited by Uncle Dale

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Scott Adams, the creator of Dilbert and a pretty rational thinking guy, recently posted an interesting view of why many people don't trust science.  And he wonders if it is sometimes more rational not to trust "science":

 

Science's Biggest Fail

 

I post this because I usually argue strongly in favor of "science" over other more supernatural forms of knowledge acquisition, and I thought he made an interesting point.

Scott Adams is on to something, but it does not invalidate the huge, visible advances in science and technology in our lifetimes.  Got a good laugh, though.  Thanks, cinepro.

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........................................................   

So -- yes -- the scientific method can be hindered by

hostile politics. It can be led astray by overzealous liberal

thinking, that squanders billions of taxpayer dollars on

totally useless research.

.............................................................  

Unfortunately, that is the watchword which ends basic research, which is the most important type of research -- and the easiest to defund by myopic legislators.

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