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  1. #11
    Lex Parsimoniae Xander's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by grey_beard View Post
    What is now called science has in many ways been corrupted and subverted: by factors ranging from who's paying for the funding, to the "publish or perish" culture, to the insularity of the review system and bias towards established researchers and consensus, to the very scope of major projects in physics, to the pressure for profitability, to the implicit bias in favor of "new findings" rather than confirmatory studies, to empire building and rivalries...
    the scientific model works, and it is the best currently available for weeding out false negatives, but like the garbage collection feature in Java, there is no guarantee express or implied about the rate at which it works; further, the institutions we have now do not embody the scientific method perfectly: but they are propagandized to the outside world as though they *do*.
    Yup. That's the problem with assuming that some guy who was accredited as knowing stuff by some other guy who was also accredited, all off the same set of principles based on the first guy being famous, popular or rich. It does build in some degree of the same problems as pedigree dogs. However, there is always hope to be found in the outsider who just proves them all wrong. Einstein was one. They are rare but their impact is legendary.
    Isn't it time for a colourful metaphor?

  2. #12
    Senior Member Passacaglia's Avatar
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    I thought the GMO objection is ethical? Like the thing where some local farmers wouldn't buy Monsanto seed for their fields. So Monsanto plants GMO crops next door, resulting in cross-germination and partially-GMOed crop in the local famers' fields. Monsanto has its crop gene-sequence patented, so now it claims that the neighboring farmers are stealing the GMO seed, and since the locals can't afford to go to court to prove Monsanto's lawsuits fallacious they end up out of business or buying Monsanto seed anyway.

    I don't believe that eating GMO is unsafe, but unless there's more to that story I can absolutely understand objecting to Monsanto-based product at least.

  3. #13
    Mojibake sprinkles's Avatar
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  4. #14
    Senior Member Passacaglia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hard View Post
    This is incredibly depressing, angering, and in some cases, dangerous. I've known for a long time that there is a very unfortunate gap between what scientists view as valid, and what they general american public views as valid. I did not know it was this bad though, in some of the issues I am utterly flabbergasted and embarrassed. The fact of the matter is, science is unbiased and speaks for itself. There is no disagreeing with fact. There will always be some naysayers and a bit of disagreement on matters that are more opinion based, but on other matters there truly is a right or wrong answer. How someone can just flagrantly ignore fact in favor of fringe low impact material, personal opinion, gut feelings, or simple dislike is absolutely beyond me.
    *sigh* Agreed. It's absolutely baffling, but John Oliver yet again has a funny and potentially insightful explanation for all the ignorance:


  5. #15
    Suave y Fuerte BadOctopus's Avatar
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    None of this is new information. People have always been resistant to and suspicious of revolutionary thinking. They only like science as long as it makes their lives easier, and it doesn't conflict with their personal views.

    Seeing the actual poll results are pretty depressing, but hardly surprising.
    Likes Mace, Passacaglia liked this post

  6. #16
    Analytical Dreamer Coriolis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Xander View Post
    Science is not fact. It is the current best theory based on what is understood and other best known theories. Ergo there is room for discourse and disagreement, hence why there are scientists who think differently to one another but both are being scientific and unbiased.

    Speaking of bias, a scientist is a human being and as prone to bias and corruption as much as any other. They are no paragons of virtue.
    Science is neither fact nor theory. It is the method by which facts and observations are gathered, hypotheses ventured, and theories developed and tested. Scientific disagreements are readily settled by experiment and calculation. If they cannot be, it is because we do not currently have the means to find or generate the necessary information.

    As humans, scientists are as prone to bias and corruption as anyone. As scientists, however, we are at least trained in the methodology of identifying and setting aside our biases. Corruption is another matter.

    Quote Originally Posted by Xander View Post
    As for the american public going for hearsay over proven theory, this has great track record within the country. It is often joked in the UK that we sent the criminals to Australia and the religious nuts to the states. Just reading the news from America makes me cringe and it's not out of some nationalistic pride.

    Critical thinking needs to be taught in school, not blind acceptance of authority. The real joke is that america is supposed to be the land of the free when all I see is more blind herd like behaviour than in say Germany which is still considered a systematic and authoritative land.
    I agree 100%, and I am part of that American public. Moreover, when Americans break from the herd, it is far too often in answer to some irrational whim or misguided purpose.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jaguar View Post
    2. Science is easily biased - just add more zeroes to the face of the check. Et voilà!
    Not science, just (some) scientists, same with some elements of every other human group.
    I've been called a criminal, a terrorist, and a threat to the known universe. But everything you were told is a lie. The truth is, they've taken our freedom, our home, and our future. The time has come for all humanity to take a stand...
    Likes Ivy liked this post

  7. #17
    Away with the fairies Southern Kross's Avatar
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    This is the problem with the idiotic obsession with balance in the media when dealing with evidence based conclusions. They make it seem like there's more debate than really exists.
    INFP 4w5 so/sp

    I've dreamt in my life dreams that have stayed with me ever after, and changed my ideas;
    they've gone through and through me, like wine through water, and altered the colour of my mind.

    - Emily Bronte
    Likes Hard, JAVO liked this post

  8. #18
    deplorable basketcase Tellenbach's Avatar
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    The opinions of a professional society only matter if the individual members took the time to read the primary sources. How many members of the AAAS actually took the time to read the research on fracking? The fact that a mere 39% of them support fracking tells me that very few of them took the time to research the issue. If 87% truly believe that climate change is "mostly due to human activity", then how do you explain climate change 10 million years ago, lol? Do these people believe there was no climate change 10 million years ago?
    Senator Rand Paul is alive because of modern medicine and because his attacker punches like a girl.

  9. #19
    Senior Member INTP's Avatar
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    I wonder how this would vary between countries. I couldnt help to notice that quite large group(35%) of americans seems to believe in creationism instead of evolution and im quite sure that in most other developed countries the number would be quite a bit lower(like in finland only 9% believe strictly in creationism and 4% believe in some creationism thing that also incorporates some aspects of evolution over time, i would assume that other nordic aka pagan countries have similar numbers, norway maybe even lower), and then there most likely are other countries where the number is even higher.
    I could safely assume that this isnt the only number that differs between usa and other countries.
    "Where wisdom reigns, there is no conflict between thinking and feeling."
    — C.G. Jung

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  10. #20
    Lex Parsimoniae Xander's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coriolis View Post
    Science is neither fact nor theory. It is the method by which facts and observations are gathered, hypotheses ventured, and theories developed and tested. Scientific disagreements are readily settled by experiment and calculation. If they cannot be, it is because we do not currently have the means to find or generate the necessary information.
    Agreed on the first point, I was countering what seemed to be an erroneous implication.

    As for disagreements, I doubt it's ever that clean but I get your drift. Science provides a method to reach an agreement even if the parties decide not to pursue it.
    As humans, scientists are as prone to bias and corruption as anyone. As scientists, however, we are at least trained in the methodology of identifying and setting aside our biases. Corruption is another matter.
    Now this has become more of a focus for me recently, especially when arguing with my friend who has studied forensic science (much to his great and overwhelming pleasure...not). Science does have it's own bias which seems to build, or at least the perception of science is that it builds. Once one theory is accepted as to be considered reliable it is used repeatedly and over time seems to become less challenged. This then leads to greater and greater claims of knowledge which just don't seem to hang together. I'm trying to educate myself in the basis of quantum theory and most of that seems to be sound but then the light clock throws me for a loop. It's kind of like thinking that if I jump into the air in one direction then I'm travelling faster than in the other because of the spin of the earth and so forth. I get the idea but it just seems to be an absurd thing to concentrate upon. Kind of reminds me of an old Bruce Lee quote:
    “Its like a finger pointing away to the moon. Don't concentrate on the finger or you will miss all that heavenly glory.”
    I agree 100%, and I am part of that American public. Moreover, when Americans break from the herd, it is far too often in answer to some irrational whim or misguided purpose.
    I blame the media. They are so hungry to justify their existence that they hound everyone for something to sell. In science this means they report that perhaps we have a cure for the common cold three days after a guy postulates a theory only to then report that he's screwed up and sneezed too close to the petri dish! Everyone then assumes that science will be overturned with time and so why listen to them until it becomes a marketable item. The number of people who still think that a fusion reactor is not possible when there's international projects with generators already working!

    However, it is always worth considering that when you have a meteorologist telling you it will snow tomorrow only to find a clear and sunny day, it all adds up to undermine people's faith in science. Perhaps what should be worked upon is making this stuff teachable to more people. It occurs to me that you'll never reach the Star Trek style of everyone knowing quantum physics when we spend people's formative years telling them the wrong things about particles and physics. Perhaps we don't understand it well enough yet to be able to explain it simply but all the information going about seems to just add to the static.
    Isn't it time for a colourful metaphor?

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