Thursday, January 26, 2017

Statements by scientists are not necessarily statements of science

What is more, the fact that there are scientists who appear to be at
war with God is not quite the same thing as science itself being at war
with God. For example, some musicians are militant atheists. But does
that mean music itself is at war with God? Hardly. The point here may
be expressed as follows: Statements by scientists are not necessarily
statements of science. Nor, we might add, are such statements necessarily
true; although the prestige of science is such that they are often taken to
be so. For example, the assertions by Atkins and Dawkins, with which we
began, fall into that category. They are not statements of science but rather
expressions of personal belief, indeed, of faith – fundamentally no different
from (though noticeably less tolerant than) much expression of the kind
of faith Dawkins expressly wishes to eradicate. Of course, the fact that
Dawkins’ and Atkins’ cited pronouncements are statements of faith does
not of itself mean that those statements are false; but it does mean that they
must not be treated as if they were authoritative science. What needs to be
investigated is the category into which they fit, and, most important of all,
whether or not they are true.

John Lennox, God's Undertaker, (p. 19)

125 comments:

Joe Hinman said...

Agree. i don't anyone who thinks that everything scientists say is science. So if Dawkins bangs catches his hand in the car door is "AAAAAAAAAAAAA" a scientific statement?

William Brown said...

The key is to be able to see as clearly as possible, the underlying assumptions and faith commitments of the scientist in question. From there, one can understand a lot about their science and how it merges with their worldview. Based on this information, one can see how their science omits certain chains of logic and only includes certain others. And how and why they come up with some of the theories that they do. They may be fantastical, but they need them so badly for their entire worldview to be true. I think of certain macroevolutionary theories, for example, or the multiverse theory.

Joe Hinman said...

right. The bottom line is science is a human endeavor it is laced with ideology and biased human assumption It is no more pristine or transcendent than religion,

B. Prokop said...

Since William brought the subject up, here is an interesting article in Astronomy magazine that wonders aloud whether the multiverse idea is science.. or something else.

Of extreme interest to me is the article, when it was first put online, explicitly stated that there are areas of inquiry in which science has little or nothing to say. That sentence has since been removed! Looks like scientism has its own thought police. (For the record, as an Astronomy subscriber since the mid 1980s, I can testify that the magazine has recently (the last 3-4 years) taken on a casual hostility toward religion. That editorial bias may be relevant here.)

Stardusty Psyche said...

Joe Hinman said...

" right. The bottom line is science is a human endeavor it is laced with ideology and biased human assumption It is no more pristine ... than religion,"
Darn, you got it wrong in the end, started out ok though, that was my disappointment, I thought you might finally have something valuable to add, but then you went wrong at the end, pity.

To be "more pristine" would be a relative condition of being more clean, but clean of what? Well, you set up with "ideology" and "biased human assumption". So your assertion becomes that science has as much ideology and biased human assumption as religion, which is a preposterous assertion.


January 27, 2017 8:23 AM

Joe Hinman said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Joe Hinman said...

" right. The bottom line is science is a human endeavor it is laced with ideology and biased human assumption It is no more pristine ... than religion,"
Darn, you got it wrong in the end, started out ok though, that was my disappointment, I thought you might finally have something valuable to add, but then you went wrong at the end, pity.

To be "more pristine" would be a relative condition of being more clean, but clean of what? Well, you set up with "ideology" and "biased human assumption". So your assertion becomes that science has as much ideology and biased human assumption as religion, which is a preposterous assertion.


so your crunching argument against science being a human endeavor is that pristine is not comparative? Brilliant. So if science is not human is it divine? i though you were atheist?

apparently you then science is not laced with ideology and biased human assumption and your big reason is because it's priostine? is that it genius?

Joe Hinman said...

I can testify that the magazine has recently (the last 3-4 years) taken on a casual hostility toward religion. That editorial bias may be relevant here.)

I've noticed a renewed upturn in anti religious feeling expressed through popular outlet's for science

we have kind of strayed from the topic about is atheism a religion?

David Brightly said...

Steady on, Joe! What ideology and biased assumption do you find in Boyle's Law?

B. Prokop said...

"we have kind of strayed from the topic about is atheism a religion?"

Joe, you're talking about the conversation two below this one. The topic here is "Statements by scientists are not necessarily statements of science." So see? No straying.

I've recommended this book at least twice before on this site, but I think it's appropriate here to do it once again. One of the best (and most fun to read) books I've ever read on the subject of the objectivity/non-objectivity of science is Geographies of Mars by K. Maria D. Lane. The author uses the controversy in the late 19th and early 20th centuries over whether canals existed on Mars as a case study to examine how scientific research is affected by the culture and the times in which it is being conducted, and the implications of such interdependencies.

Here's a sample of Lane's thesis:

"The geopolitical moment in which the inhabited Mars narrative unfolded - dominated as it was by European imperialism and American expansionism - produced an intellectual and social climate in which the view of Mars as an arid, dying, irrigated world peopled by unfathomably advanced beings was really the only interpretation of Mars observations that could plausibly have been accepted by large numbers of Western scientists, writers, and audiences." (emphasis in original)

David Brightly said...

Bob, do you think 19C observation of Mars constitutes an experimental science?

B. Prokop said...

Observational science. Astronomy is a science, but almost exclusively an observational one. (How do you do "experiments" on a distant galaxy?)

William Brown said...

Joe,

".....I've noticed a renewed upturn in anti religious feeling expressed through popular outlet's for science..."

So true. I did research in molecular biology for many years in the 1980's (regulation of DNA transcription was my area) and used to read 'Scientific American', as a fun but worthwhile diversion from all the dry academic journals that I had to read. I have not looked at Sci. Am for about 20 years, but recently picked one up. My goodness, that magazine is so awful now - much of it looks like an ideological screed for PC causes. Really amazing to see how that magazine could degenerate in so short a time. It used to be intellectually challenging, quite rigorous, and much less biased toward a certain worldview. Science requires an ability to go wherever reality takes you. I am seeing the opposite of this from many of the most prominent scientists.

David Brightly said...

Exactly, Bob. Do you not think that it's the experimental sciences that tend to keep the whole enterprise firmly on the ground?

Stardusty Psyche said...

Joe Hinman said...

" right. The bottom line is science is a human endeavor it is laced with ideology and biased human assumption It is no more pristine ... than religion,"
Darn, you got it wrong in the end, started out ok though, that was my disappointment, I thought you might finally have something valuable to add, but then you went wrong at the end, pity.

To be "more pristine" would be a relative condition of being more clean, but clean of what? Well, you set up with "ideology" and "biased human assumption". So your assertion becomes that science has as much ideology and biased human assumption as religion, which is a preposterous assertion.


" so your crunching argument against science being a human endeavor is that pristine is not comparative? "
Reading for comprehension issues, Joe. "Comparative" is your word, not mine.

"apparently you then science is not laced with ideology and biased human assumption and your big reason is because it's priostine?"
Reading for comprehension, try it Joe. Recall how I said you started out ok? Then I showed you clearly how you made a preposterous assertion. You obviously lack the reading skills to follow just a few words with accurate comprehension, only repeating back a couple confused straw man statements of your imagination.

Joe Hinman said...

Steady on, Joe! What ideology and biased assumption do you find in Boyle's Law?

so either all of it does or none of it does right? I can always count on the old gang here to leap to ridiculous conclusions. Boyle wanted to use science as apologetics, that's pretty biased. He also invented the protocols of modern experimentation and calculated them to make it appear he was rational and objective and did not have an agenda so he could foster his agenda of beating Thomas Hobbes in political contest.

Joe Hinman said...

Geographies of Mars by K. Maria D. Lane.

Prokop sounds intesting.

Joe Hinman said...

so your crunching argument against science being a human endeavor is that pristine is not comparative? "
Reading for comprehension issues, Joe. "Comparative" is your word, not mine.

"apparently you then science is not laced with ideology and biased human assumption and your big reason is because it's priostine?"
Reading for comprehension, try it Joe. Recall how I said you started out ok? Then I showed you clearly how you made a preposterous assertion. You obviously lack the reading skills to follow just a few words with accurate comprehension, only repeating back a couple confused straw man statements of your imagination.


obviously you are not reading for comprehension, the only supporting reason you gave for the unsupported claim that my observation failed "to get it" was that quibble ab out the use of that word, you have given no other reason in fact you really didnt say what your beef is. notonly do you fail to comprehend my meaning but your own as well.

Stardusty Psyche said...

B. Prokop said...

" Observational science. Astronomy is a science, but almost exclusively an observational one. "
All science is observational.

"(How do you do "experiments" on a distant galaxy?)"
At the risk of waxing poetic or anthropormorphizing, nature does that for us.

In a lab experiment conditions are established, things are done, and observations are made. At the very smallest levels the notion of "measurement" becomes dubious.

For objects or systems too large to fit in the lab, or too far away in space or time we must limit ourselves to the "experiments" that occur naturally. Rather than intentionally setting up certain conditions to observe the results, we are limited to the conditions naturally occuring, and observing those results.

Fortunately, in the case of astronomy a very great many "experiments" are available for observation.

Also, fortunately, a great many experiments are available in the study of light, particle physics, and nuclear detonations that provide enormous insight into what our observations mean.

Now with modern computers simulations provide the capability to do virtual experiments even with systems far too large to bring into the lab.

So, the answers to your question are many.


January 28, 2017 8:13 AM

B. Prokop said...

"firmly on the ground"

Was that humor? Even if not, I still got a chuckle out of it.

But to seriously answer a question that may well have been posed in jest...

No, experimental research is not hierarchically superior to observational science. Many of the "soft" sciences (such as history) are purely observational. And when they do stray into experimentation (as when sociologists conduct "experiments" on subjects to see how they react to various stimuli), there are all sorts of messy ethical concerns to deal with. Whole 'nother topic!

Astronomy is practically unique amongst the "hard" sciences in that it cannot conduct experiments upon its subject matter, due to distance and other constraints. The astronomer can merely observe and record.

(Digression: This accounts for the confusion over the terms astronomy and astrology. "Astronomy' comes from the Greek, meaning "star counting" or alternatively "star arranging", whereas astrology quite literally means "study of the stars", or what we would call "star science". Until quite recently, astrology was considered to be the more practical of the two, as it was thought to be applicable to actual events here on the Earth, whereas astronomy was pretty much good for making calendars and not much else.)

B. Prokop said...

"virtual experiments"

Virtual experiments are not experiments. Just ask a test pilot.

David Brightly said...

In Boyle's Law, Joe. Not in Boyle himself. You can check it roughly in a high school lab.

David Brightly said...

Humour, Bob? Ah yes, astronomy the antithesis of being firmly on the ground. Quite unintended! But it's not a question of superiority. It's about what is understood in terms of what. Chemistry can be understood in terms of physics, and large parts of biology can be understood in terms of chemistry. A big chunk of astronomy and cosmology rests on physics which is the archetypical experimental science. I'm not suggesting that history and sociology can be turned into hard sciences by doing experiments or making statistical surveys. They both have to be understood in terms of our ordinary understanding of human beings and that lies outside the scope of the hierarchy of understanding built on top of physics. That hierarchy includes vast amounts of modern technology and medicine (not ancient or medieval technology---that was a practical art as the root techne suggests). This system of knowledge coheres wonderfully. But it rests on ideas that have sprung from observing the results of experiments, both natural and artificial. And these results are free of politics and culture and ideology and bias in so far as anybody, anywhere can repeat them. If you want to undermine experimental science's claim to be a source of knowledge you've got to dig rather deeper than this.

Stardusty Psyche said...

Joe Hinman said...

" you have given no other reason in fact you really didnt say what your beef is. notonly do you fail to comprehend my meaning but your own as well."



Blogger Stardusty Psyche said...

Joe Hinman said...

" right. The bottom line is science is a human endeavor it is laced with ideology and biased human assumption IT IS NO MORE pristine ... than religion,"
Darn, you got it wrong in the end, started out ok though, that was my disappointment, I thought you might finally have something valuable to add, but then you went wrong at the end, pity.

*** To be "more pristine" would be a relative condition of being more clean, but clean of what? Well, you set up with "ideology" and "biased human assumption". So your assertion becomes that science has AS MUCH ideology and biased human assumption as religion, which is a preposterous assertion.***



January 27, 2017 8:23 AM

January 27, 2017 9:07 PM Delete

January 28, 2017 9:37 AM

Stardusty Psyche said...

B. Prokop said...

" "virtual experiments"

Virtual experiments are not experiments. Just ask a test pilot."
No modern test pilot would get into a newly designed plane without having first conducted virtual experiments on that plane.

The reason an extremely sophisticated modern aircraft can be flown successfully is that a very great many virtual experiments have been performed on it, and the problems found have been corrected, and the flight characteristics have been optimized under virtual conditions.


January 28, 2017 10:02 AM

B. Prokop said...

Sorry, they are not experiments - by definition. They are simulations or studies. A simulation is NOT an experiment.

Joe Hinman said...

*** To be "more pristine" would be a relative condition of being more clean, but clean of what? Well, you set up with "ideology" and "biased human assumption". So your assertion becomes that science has AS MUCH ideology and biased human assumption as religion, which is a preposterous assertion.***

that i the kind of semantic bull shit atheists specialize imn. you read other peoples sentences the way Christian fundamentalists exegetic the Bible.

all knowing sickness wise one have actually proved the science is not redyed in a fair amount of epidemiological bs? no.you are still trying to save face by quibbling over the use of that one word because that's all you got,

Joe Hinman said...

The reason an extremely sophisticated modern aircraft can be flown successfully is that a very great many virtual experiments have been performed on it, and the problems found have been corrected, and the flight characteristics have been optimized under virtual conditions.

no it's not. they don't stack up virtual experiments and then put them all together to make one big real experiment,

Joe Hinman said...

David Brightly said...
In Boyle's Law, Joe. Not in Boyle himself. You can check it roughly in a high school lab.

look you are challenging my view point by selecting some aspect of science and asserting that it has no taint of ideology connected with it as though for my view to be true everything in science must have ideology. that's just all or nothing thinking. Nothing in my statement implied that laws physics have to be ideological.As it so happens Boyle's law is tainted,in a sense, because Boyle himself was ideological. His law is an expression of his mind, to some extent.

David Brightly said...

Well, you did say that science is laced with ideology and biased human assumption, which sounds like an attempt to devalue it as knowledge. I can agree that individual scientists have all sorts of motivations and preconceived ideas about their work, but this doesn't carry over into their experimental results, which, if they are on to something, as Boyle was, can be reproduced by others with quite different motivations and preconceptions. Boyle's Law is just as much the product of my mind or your mind or anyone's mind who takes the trouble to try the experiment. And what applies to Boyle's Law applies to vast swathes of basic experimental science which underlies modern technology and medicine. That's not to say that there are no areas of research, say in medicine or climatology, where technical difficulties make results hard to replicate, especially where controlled experiments are impossible, and the work is primarily observational.

Stardusty Psyche said...

Joe Hinman said...

Joe musters his best rational response:

"That's bullshit!!!"

*** To be "more pristine" would be a relative condition of being more clean, but clean of what? Well, you set up with "ideology" and "biased human assumption". So your assertion becomes that science has AS MUCH ideology and biased human assumption as religion, which is a preposterous assertion.***

" that i the kind of semantic bull shit atheists specialize imn. you read other peoples sentences the way Christian fundamentalists exegetic the Bible."

" all knowing sickness wise one have actually proved the science is not redyed in a fair amount of epidemiological bs? no.you are still trying to save face by quibbling over the use of that one word because that's all you got,"

"quibbling over the use of that one word"
Ha Ha Ha. Complaining that I read your words and correctly applied their ordinary meanings to demonstrate clearly you made a preposterous assertion.

Too bad Joe, learn how to speak accurately if you want to avoid having your statements pointed out to be the preposterous assertions they often are.


January 28, 2017 3:25 PM

Stardusty Psyche said...

B. Prokop said...

" Sorry, they are not experiments - by definition."
By what definition?

Google returns this:
ex·per·i·ment
noun
noun: experiment; plural noun: experiments
ikˈsperəmənt/

1.
a scientific procedure undertaken to make a discovery, test a hypothesis, or demonstrate a known fact

By that definition a virtual experiment is an experiment because they are indeed a scientific procedure undertaken to make a discovery, test a hypothesis, or demonstrate a known fact.

In my example of aircraft virtual experiments, since you brought up test pilots, the aircraft is subjected to virtual stresses and do in fact discover flaws, and confirm a hypothesis about flight characteristics.

Those flight characteristics are then programmed into a flight simulator, which allows the test pilot to fly the aircraft virtually.

How does one experiment with a plane that has not even been built yet? Using virtual experiments is one method. Wind tunnel tests are another method.

Modern technology has advanced so much that such virtual experiments prove themselves to be extremely accurate when the plane is actually built.

So how does one experiment with a far off galaxy? For example colliding galaxies? How can we determine the way the fantastic butterfly wing shapes came to be? One method is to experiment virtually.


January 28, 2017 3:00 PM

B. Prokop said...

Is a virtual dog a dog? No.
Is a virtual friend a friend? No.
Is a virtual murder a murder? No.
Is virtual reality reality? No.
Is a virtual experiment an experiment?...

Stardusty Psyche said...

B. Prokop said...

" Is a virtual dog a dog?"
Depends on the definition of dog.
" Is a virtual friend a friend? "
Depends on the definition of friend
" Is a virtual murder a murder?"
Depends on the definition of murder
" Is virtual reality reality? "
Depends on the definition of reality
" Is a virtual experiment an experiment?"
Depends on the definition of experiment.

According to the definition of "experiment" returned by google, yes.


January 28, 2017 9:15 PM

Joe Hinman said...

David Brightly said...
Well, you did say that science is laced with ideology and biased human assumption, which sounds like an attempt to devalue it as knowledge.

Not to anyone who has done graduate work in History/Philosophy of science in the last 40 years. It's typical of cults that if one challenges any point than all truth truth and knowledge is under assault,


I can agree that individual scientists have all sorts of motivations and preconceived ideas about their work, but this doesn't carry over into their experimental results, which, if they are on to something, as Boyle was, can be reproduced by others with quite different motivations and preconceptions.Boyle's Law is just as much the product of my mind or your mind or anyone's mind who takes the trouble to try the experiment. And what applies to Boyle's Law applies to vast swathes of basic experimental science which underlies modern technology and medicine.

Boyle invited his readership to re-produce the experiments and to follow along in such a way that he made it seem they were really in on the production of knowledge But was really just rouse to attack them to his cause,Read Leviathan and the Air pump.


That's not to say that there are no areas of research, say in medicine or climatology, where technical difficulties make results hard to replicate, especially where controlled experiments are impossible, and the work is primarily observational.

that whole orderly little world of enlightenment rationalism is under assault, it's not under assault from religious people it;s under assault from philosophers and scientifically minded feminists and people who don't like the sham.

one of the major issues facing philosophy of science is how to replace the term law, There is a real contradiction between the realization that laws of physics are not laws but descriptions and going ack to evoking alwa like status wheniralce come up.

Joe Hinman said...

that's just one example, miracles. The feminists are not concerned with that but they have their own examples of problems with "law" as a viable term and the inconsistency of its use,

Joe Hinman said...

quibbling over the use of that one word"
Ha Ha Ha. Complaining that I read your words and correctly applied their ordinary meanings to demonstrate clearly you made a preposterous assertion.

exactly, gotta be right abotu that one word adn say nothing about the major issue in relation to which it was used,AT SMU we call it being petty,

Too bad Joe, learn how to speak accurately if you want to avoid having your statements pointed out to be the preposterous assertions they often are.

Ok Dusty you have point about the word I don't blame you for avoiding the issues about which it was raised, you dontunderstgand then anyway,

Joe Hinman said...

Dusty we get your drift. you pick apart peoples use pf terms so it looks like you really have something to say when you are just ignoring the major issues in order to knit pick. you are doing this with the term pristine and with virtual experiment, in both cases you stifled a discussion that was brewing os we can behold what wonderful vocab you have.

Joe Hinman said...

those who defend the term scientist who don't even know its history or origin,don't really understand its meaning, tend to view science as a disemboweled collection of facts and great eternal truths that have nothing to do with human biases, only the scientists have bias but it doesn't effect the great eternal truths. Science is done by humans and there is no pure ideal "true science." Its all just a sophisticated form of cartography. No map reflects tye reality it represents perfectly.

William Brown said...

David Brightly said: " I can agree that individual scientists have all sorts of motivations and preconceived ideas about their work, but this doesn't carry over into their experimental results, which, if they are on to something, as Boyle was, can be reproduced by others with quite different motivations and preconceptions".

I think this is pretty crucial. The problem arises when popularizers, media, and/or politicians bend science to an agenda. A great example is global warming and the so-called "science" behind it. In this case, it's driven largely by a certain world-view and the desire to make the world a certain way. This is abuse of science, fooling the masses (either purposively or subconsciously) who do not really understand the issues, to further an agenda. This has always occurred,but with modern technology it gets communicated to the masses much quicker and easier. And folks like Dawkins, Bill Nye, and Neil Tyson can spread their ideologies very effectively the way.

B. Prokop said...

The interesting point about Victor's OP is how obvious it is. Just change the occupation and you see just how much so:

Statements by musicians are not necessarily statements about music.
Statements by dog catchers are not necessarily statements about dog catching.
Statements by architects are not necessarily architectural statements.
Statements by theologians are not necessarily theological statements.
Statements by automobile mechanics are not necessarily statements about mechanics.

But here's the really interesting thing. Many people seem to miss this obvious fact when it comes to scientists. So Stephen Hawking or Neil deGrasse Tyson can make a statement that is clearly philosophical or even political, and their opinion is all too often regarded as "science".

Now I have nothing against scientists voicing their opinion on whatever topic they wish (sorta like I do all the time on baseball, despite never having played the game), but I just wish everyone would realize they are simply not authorities on anything outside their field. We ought to regard them like those actors on television commercials who used to say "I'm not a doctor, but I play one on TV!"

William Brown said...

Exactly. The problem is that they misuse their science to deceive. Science is considered the final word by the average person at this point in modernity. But what folks don't realize is that there is much deception going on. These guys have a definite ideology, and it is very easy to use science to further it.

B. Prokop said...

I would not go so far as to use the word "deception". Yes, there are examples of such, the prime one being the tobacco industry deliberately falsifying or covering up research findings to deny the addictive nature of smoking. But I believe such things to be relatively rare. Though I would definitely say there is an agenda to most of what we label "science". For instance, planetary scientists have ever since Carl Sagan been overstating the likelihood of finding extraterrestrial life in the solar system to obtain funding for various missions. (Currently, the hype is all about there "probably" being life on Jupiter's moon Europa, in order to drum up support for a space probe to that body.)

William Brown said...

I did say "either purposively or subconsciously", and I think that this is an important point.

Joe Hinman said...

those who defend the term scientist who don't even know its history or origin,don't really understand its meaning,
]
>>oops my apologies should says"scientism" not scientist,

Joe Hinman said...

I think this is pretty crucial. The problem arises when popularizers, media, and/or politicians bend science to an agenda. A great example is global warming and the so-called "science" behind it. In this case, it's driven largely by a certain world-view and the desire to make the world a certain way. This is abuse of science, fooling the masses (either purposively or subconsciously) who do not really understand the issues, to further an agenda. This has always occurred,but with modern technology it gets communicated to the masses much quicker and easier. And folks like Dawkins, Bill Nye, and Neil Tyson can spread their ideologies very effectively the way.

willful ignorance, are you a creationist? Id gy?

science as a whle around tyhe rlds accepts the thesis that we have screwed it up.

Joe Hinman said...

I don't buy into ideologists i'm just part of god's chosen elect, if science seems to contradict six day creation well we wk by faith and not by sight,on the right side of politics we science by faith too,

Stardusty Psyche said...

Joe Hinman said...

" Ok Dusty you have point about the word I don't blame you for avoiding the issues about which it was raised, you dontunderstgand then anyway,"
Nope, I said you were doing ok until you messed up on your comparison.

That's why science uses the scientific method, because science is done by human beings, and all human beings suffer from a host of mental frailties. The scientific method is a very effective means to control for and weed out and separate the rational defects all human beings exhibit, from the most accurate description of reality we humans are capable of discerning.

Religion is very much not a scientific method. The Christian religion starts with a presupposition that certain texts are true and that there is a magic man who created everything and is the source of perfect morality and will judge us after death.

You equated the "ideology and biased human assumption" of science with the "ideology and biased human assumption" of religion, which is preposterous.

Science works very hard to eliminate both ideology and biased human assumption. Religion is an ideology and is dependent upon biased human assumption.

God is a biased human assumption. Boyle's law is not.

You are wrong that "Boyle's law is tainted,in a sense, because Boyle himself was ideological."

His ideologies, motivations, or human flaws are irrelevant to the truth of this equation:
PV = k
The truth value of that equation would not vary if Boyle ate babies after torturing them, if he was an anarchist, Satan worshiper, or a saint who helped the poor.

For an ideal gas, and within the limits of conventional measurement, and at a constant temperature, the equation simply does hold, and is not "tainted" in any way by the ideology of Boyle or any other human being.

PV = k simply is a useful approximate description of a physical reality.

You are wrong to state that this description is "tainted" by ideology.


January 29, 2017 12:48 AM

David Brightly said...

Joe, in response to my challenge regarding Boyle's Law you have said,

look you are challenging my view point by selecting some aspect of science and asserting that it has no taint of ideology connected with it as though for my view to be true everything in science must have ideology,

implying a narrow view that certain bits only of science are compromised. Then you said,

that whole orderly little world of enlightenment rationalism is under assault [] from philosophers and scientifically minded feminists and people who don't like the sham,

implying a broad view that all of science is tainted for some fundamental reason. Which view do you want to argue for, the narrow or the broad?

Joe Hinman said...

Joe Hinman said...

" Ok Dusty you have point about the word I don't blame you for avoiding the issues about which it was raised, you dontunderstgand then anyway,"
Nope, I said you were doing ok until you messed up on your comparison.

That's why science uses the scientific method, because science is done by human beings, and all human beings suffer from a host of mental frailties. The scientific method is a very effective means to control for and weed out and separate the rational defects all human beings exhibit, from the most accurate description of reality we humans are capable of discerning.


yes chicken pie science loves you and has a plan for your life, let us all singpriases to scinece.

amazing science, how sweet the data
that promoted a grad student like me
I once was an instructor but now have tenure
was unemployed but now i research.


Religion is very much not a scientific method.

why should it be? Science is not the only form of knowledge. it;s BS to think Theology has no methods, of course it does. Its phenomenological,,


The Christian religion starts with a presupposition that certain texts are true and that there is a magic man who created everything and is the source of perfect morality and will judge us after death.

no it doesn't. it starts with a phenomenological apprehension then the texts were written by people based upon their apprehensions.


You equated the "ideology and biased human assumption" of science with the "ideology and biased human assumption" of religion, which is preposterous.

why because you worship science and hate religion,? because sciences your guarantee against hell? you have not made an argument you are asserting some unspoken investitute of science with some kind of sanctity and dis valuing religion in some way we are supposed to accept that with no proof merely because you assert what you think is cultural capital.,There is no reason why I should accept your cultural capital

Science works very hard to eliminate both ideology and biased human assumption. Religion is an ideology and is dependent upon biased human assumption.

that utter crap! science does nothing about ideology noway it can those totally indifferent domains, ideology is not a scientific question,science is full of ideology ,The point I made about Boyle is that he was constricting the protocols of experiment along ideological lines and that was more deeply embedded,

God is a biased human assumption. Boyle's law is not.

science is a biased human assumption

You are wrong that "Boyle's law is tainted,in a sense, because Boyle himself was ideological."

His ideologies, motivations, or human flaws are irrelevant to the truth of this equation:
PV = k
The truth value of that equation would not vary if Boyle ate babies after torturing them, if he was an anarchist, Satan worshiper, or a saint who helped the poor.

that is such a naive view. you are spouting ideology right now. are you aware of the squabble between scientific realism and Humeanism? There's no way you can assert the transcendent purity and pretend there are no ideological perspectives when one whole camp asserts that the the knowledge im't eben a correspondence.Ill spare yo the Feyerabend for now,

For an ideal gas, and within the limits of conventional measurement, and at a constant temperature, the equation simply does hold, and is not "tainted" in any way by the ideology of Boyle or any other human being.

PV = k simply is a useful approximate description of a physical reality.

You are wrong to state that this description is "tainted" by ideology.

you are just thinking of science in a mechanical way, that has nothing to do iwth the philosophical simpatico of method,

B. Prokop said...

"Religion is very much not a scientific method."

Very much true, and quite appropriate. Most of what makes us human beings is not a fit subject for the scientific method. Any attempt to apply it would be a classic case of jamming a square peg into a round hole.

But the problem with the scientismist's way of thinking is that he wants to deny the existence of round holes.

Joe Hinman said...

Me: that whole orderly little world of enlightenment rationalism is under assault [] from philosophers and scientifically minded feminists and people who don't like the sham,

Brightkly:
implying a broad view that all of science is tainted for some fundamental reason. Which view do you want to argue for, the narrow or the broad?

That really depends upon what we mean by "science?" Is science just the law we draw from our observations? O is it a culture? is it a philosophical outlook? I think it's all of those things, That doesn't mean that the laws have to not work it just means that the whole of science has this ideological dimension we can't necessarily see it in every aspect. it;s fundamentally involved with the whole.

Joe Hinman said...

But the problem with the scientismist's way of thinking is that he wants to deny the existence of round holes.

January 29, 2017 11:29 AM

good one Prokop. i wish blogger had like buttons like face book

B. Prokop said...

The Gospel read at today's Mass included the Beatitudes:

Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.
Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.
Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.


I'd like to see someone, anyone, apply the scientific method to that! (And why would one want to?)

Stardusty Psyche said...

Joe Hinman said...

SP You equated the "ideology and biased human assumption" of science with the "ideology and biased human assumption" of religion, which is preposterous.

" why because you worship science and hate religion,?"
No.

"because sciences your guarantee against hell?"
No.


SP Science works very hard to eliminate both ideology and biased human assumption. Religion is an ideology and is dependent upon biased human assumption.

" that utter crap! science does nothing about ideology noway it can those totally indifferent domains, ideology is not a scientific question,science is full of ideology"
Only to the extent that the scientific method has not been fully applied.

" ,The point I made about Boyle is that he was constricting the protocols of experiment along ideological lines and that was more deeply embedded,"
Doesn't matter scientifically, what matters is that others repeated the experiments and found they agreed with the truth value in PV = k.



SP His ideologies, motivations, or human flaws are irrelevant to the truth of this equation:
PV = k
The truth value of that equation would not vary if Boyle ate babies after torturing them, if he was an anarchist, Satan worshiper, or a saint who helped the poor.

" that is such a naive view. you are spouting ideology right now."
No, actually I am describing scientific facts irrespective of ideology.

" are you aware of the squabble between scientific realism and Humeanism?"
Irrelevant to the Pressure-Volume relationship.

SP For an ideal gas, and within the limits of conventional measurement, and at a constant temperature, the equation simply does hold, and is not "tainted" in any way by the ideology of Boyle or any other human being.

PV = k simply is a useful approximate description of a physical reality.

You are wrong to state that this description is "tainted" by ideology.

" you are just thinking of science in a mechanical way, that has nothing to do iwth the philosophical simpatico of method,"
well, if you do not provisionally or faithfully accept the basic reliability of the human senses and the commonly held principles of logic then you live in a dream world where reality might be anything at all.

Beyond such speculations
PV = k
Is not a philosophical statement, it is a statement of scientific fact known to be accurate to a particular degree under specified conditions.


January 29, 2017 10:39 AM

Stardusty Psyche said...

B. Prokop said...

SP "Religion is very much not a scientific method."

" Very much true, and quite appropriate. Most of what makes us human beings is not a fit subject for the scientific method. "
Why? I can't think of any such example, can you?


January 29, 2017 11:29 AM

Stardusty Psyche said...

B. Prokop said...

" The Gospel read at today's Mass included the Beatitudes:

Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.
Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.
Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

I'd like to see someone, anyone, apply the scientific method to that! (And why would one want to?)"

Ok, here's a little offhand hypothesis:
A promise of reward in another world bring solace to those who are in positions of weakness who are suffering in this world. Pain serves an important evolutionary function to survival and propagation. The drive to avoid pain is innate to our physiology because it has been selected for over many millions of years.

An innate drive often has side effects. In this case one's circumstances can lead to various sorts of pain, and by becoming convinced that this is actually an indicator of much better circumstances to be had later the present pain of circumstance is reduced, and thus the selected for drive to avoid pain is satisfied.

The beatitudes are a sort of opposite day pain relief narcotic drug.

Very much a fit subject for scientific investigation.


January 29, 2017 12:22 PM

B. Prokop said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
B. Prokop said...

Me: Most of what makes us human beings is not a fit subject for the scientific method.
Stardusty: Why? I can't think of any such example, can you?

Me: Art, history, literature, music, love, sin, beauty, purpose, meaning, patriotism, treachery, altruism, greed, prayer, contemplation, intellectual dishonesty, integrity, religion, poetry, inspiration, perseverance, repentance, redemption, faith, grief, humility, pride, saintliness, joy... I could go on, but you get the point.

Oh, one could feign using the scientific method against these matters (as Stardusty did with The Beatitudes in his comment above), but I will defer to C.S. Lewis here. In his novel Out of the Silent Planet, one of his characters says something like (I cannot recall the exact quote) "He who would destroy something by taking it apart in order to find out how it works has left the path of reason."

(Does anyone reading this know Lewis's exact wording here?)

B. Prokop said...

As to all of human experience being capable of explanation via the "scientific method"...

I am currently immersed in reading the Book of Job. One of the things I have realized by this latest reading is that there is a vast difference between the so-called "Problem of Evil" and the "Mystery of Evil". While the "problem" is basically an intellectual game played with no skin in the game, the "mystery" is our own selves living amidst evil.

What profound wisdom is gleaned from this book, by slow reading, open to what it tells you, as opposed to reading it to affirm or reaffirm what you already think. There's an old cartoon somewhere that shows a man brushing off a young woman who is trying to get his attention by saying, "Don't disturb me! I'm looking for a Bible verse to back up my preconceived notions!"

You'll never learn anything from Scripture that way. You need to allow the Word to speak to you - not the other way around. If you read The Bible to "prove" something or other, you are doomed to failure. If you read it with the going-in aim of "debunking" Christianity.. well, you're not really even reading it.

The "trick" is to allow the Word to wash over you, to keep an open mind, to not say "What do I want this text to say?" but rather "What is this telling me?"

Why am I posting this? Mostly, because I'd love for "certain" people to understand just how inappropriate "science" often is. I pity the person with such a narrow understanding of reality that he thinks everything in life is reducible to atoms energy and and vectors. What a stifling prison! I'm gasping for air, just thinking about it.

Stardusty Psyche said...


Blogger B. Prokop said...

Me: Most of what makes us human beings is not a fit subject for the scientific method.
Stardusty: Why? I can't think of any such example, can you?

Me: Art, history, literature, music, love, sin, beauty, purpose, meaning, patriotism, treachery, altruism, greed, prayer, contemplation, intellectual dishonesty, integrity, religion, poetry, inspiration, perseverance, repentance, redemption, faith, grief, humility, pride, saintliness, joy... I could go on, but you get the point.

Indeed, I do get the point. All of those things are subject to scientific investigation and explanation through the scientific method. Why wouldn't they be? But go ahead, pick one or two you think are particularly immune to science.

" Oh, one could feign using the scientific method against these matters (as Stardusty did with The Beatitudes in his comment above), but I will defer to C.S. Lewis here. "
Chuckle, snicker, snarf...

"In his novel Out of the Silent Planet, one of his characters says something like (I cannot recall the exact quote) "He who would destroy something by taking it apart in order to find out how it works has left the path of reason.""
I did that to an old wind up clock when I was a kid. I felt bad to have to admit to to my father I had ruined the clock he had given to me. He told me, don't worry about it son, I knew you were going to break it, I don't care, I just wanted you to have a chance to see how it works.


January 29, 2017 1:36 PM

Stardusty Psyche said...

B. Prokop said...

" I pity the person with such a narrow understanding of reality that he thinks everything in life is reducible to atoms energy and and vectors. What a stifling prison! "
You apparently are not aware that understanding the subatomic elements of existence does nothing to diminish the relishing of human experience at our macro level, quite the contrary, understanding the reducibility of our human experiences to the submicroscopic level only adds to the exhilaration of experiencing life and living it to the fullest.


January 29, 2017 2:41 PM

B. Prokop said...

I think I have amply demonstrated the difference in mindsets here. One (the self-described "skeptical" outlook) is in reality a totalitarian imposition of one's own preconceptions upon whatever new information comes his way. The "skeptic" would never dream of approaching the Scriptures to see what he could learn from them. No, he must troll it for whatever he can find to bolster what he already believes.

This is how the typical fundamentalist atheist approaches Scripture. He thinks you have to be a YEC-ist, and insists on obsessing over talking snakes and naked forebears in a garden. (Interesting how such never seem to get past the first 5 or 6 pages of The Bible. They so rarely come up with objections from, say, Jeremiah or Sirach.)

Now contrast this to how one ought to come to the Word - not only with a truly open mind but with an open heart. What can I learn from this? How can this change me? Where have I been going wrong? What falsehoods do I erroneously believe? What actions must I cease, and what must I begin to do, that I haven't been doing?

It soon becomes clear just who is the true "skeptic" here, and who is living in a self-made prison, where all thought must submit to an iron conformity, with not the slightest deviation permitted.

Me? I choose freedom!

David Brightly said...

Bob, you said,

Though I would definitely say there is an agenda to most of what we label "science".

There are two, possibly more, senses of 'science' here that we should distinguish. First, 'science' is a body of knowledge about the non-human world and a systematic way of understanding it. Second, it's the people and institutions that are seeking to propagate and extend this knowledge. I take it that it's the second meaning you have in mind here. My question then is, What is so terrible about these people having an agenda? Their work can be extremely expensive and they are often in competition with other scientists or other institutions outside science for funding. They are embedded in a political and economic structure, effectively a zero-sum game, in which they are obliged to talk themselves up for fear of losing out. Knowing this, one can take some of what they say with a pinch of salt. Nor is this peculiar to scientists. The same thing happens within and between the arms of the military and within divisions of corporations.

James Lovelock records being invited to work on one of the Mars missions to look for signs of life. He declined, saying that the atmosphere of Mars was so close to chemical equilibrium with the rocks of the Martian surface there was no chance that it supported life.

Legion of Logic said...

"understanding the reducibility of our human experiences to the submicroscopic level only adds to the exhilaration of experiencing life and living it to the fullest"

How so, out of curiosity? For example, I have two young kids. To think of them as "my son and daughter" is one thing. To think of them as "colonies of multiple collections of specialized cells" doesn't quite inspire the same fuzzy feelings. To think of them as "mostly empty space in between carbon molecules" is about as devoid of charm as one could desire. It seems to me that the more one reduces things to the subatomic level, the less emotionally relatable it becomes.

So, unless you meant something else than how I took it, I must disagree that viewing life through the prism of subatomic reality does anything to enhance it on an experiential level, beyond technological or medical innovations that arise from the study of subatomic behavior.

B. Prokop said...

"I take it that it's the second meaning you have in mind here."

You are correct.

"What is so terrible about these people having an agenda?"

Absolutely nothing. I would just like people to recognize that they're there. The problems arise when these agenda are unrecognized, or worse, denied.

(Note the sentences above. When checking on what was the plural of agenda, I was startled to discover that "agenda" is the plural. The singular is agendum. Ya learn something every day!)

David Brightly said...

Hi Joe, and thanks for sparing us the Feyerabend :-) You ask what we mean by 'science'. As I suggested to Bob, I take its primary sense to be a body of knowledge and understanding of the material world. The 'laws' if you like. If this ideological dimension that you discern in the whole of science---presumably the totality of all the senses of 'science'---does not imply that the laws have not to work, then we have no dispute. For we both appear to agree that the laws do work, and that's all I think we can ask of primary sense science.

Stardusty Psyche said...

B. Prokop said...

" The "skeptic" would never dream of approaching the Scriptures to see what he could learn from them. "
Quite the contrary, I rather enjoy the story about let he who is without sin cast the first stone. There are a few good bits buried in all the rubbish.


January 29, 2017 3:43 PM

Stardusty Psyche said...

Legion of Logic said...

SP "understanding the reducibility of our human experiences to the submicroscopic level only adds to the exhilaration of experiencing life and living it to the fullest"

" How so, out of curiosity? For example, I have two young kids. To think of them as "my son and daughter" is one thing. To think of them as "colonies of multiple collections of specialized cells" doesn't quite inspire the same fuzzy feelings. To think of them as "mostly empty space in between carbon molecules" is about as devoid of charm as one could desire. It seems to me that the more one reduces things to the subatomic level, the less emotionally relatable it becomes.

So, unless you meant something else than how I took it, I must disagree that viewing life through the prism of subatomic reality does anything to enhance it on an experiential level,"

Those are your personal sensibilities, mine are much different. Absent an absolute standard to judge them it is not an issue of right or wrong, good or bad, worse or better.

Communicating personal experiences to somebody who does not share them can be very difficult, but I will take a stab.

Consider our view of the universe. When you look into the clear night sky I am sure you realize you are literally looking out into our big bang, our observable universe. The stars are, of course, trillions of miles away, and those are just the very close ones you can see. I expect you have looked up and considered the vast distances in our galaxy, and the far greater distances in our big bang, and the multitudes of stars, and what I tiny spec we are by comparison.

Does that make you feel insignificant? Perhaps, but does it also make you feel somehow special or astronomically lucky, that out of all this amazing vastness we here on Earth might be the only part of the universe capable of contemplating our own place in it and the true nature of it.

So it is with me and the very small multitude as well. A true wonderment that makes me want to keep on living just for the exhilaration to keep on learning and connecting with the true nature of existence as well as I am able to discern it.


January 29, 2017 4:09 PM

B. Prokop said...

Good for you! 'Twould be an excellent start, except it was likely something you were looking for, so as to use as a weapon.

Now go on to something really challenging, like, The Heavens declare the glory of God, And the firmament His handiwork. (Psalm 19:1), or I the Lord have not spoken from hiding, nor from a land of darkness. And I have not said to the descendants of Jacob, "Seek me in an empty waste or in chaos." (Isaiah 45:19)

B. Prokop said...

"The stars are, of course, trillions of miles away, and those are just the very close ones you can see."

Actually, the stars one sees in the night sky are almost without exception not the closest stars to us, but are by and large the relatively rare blue-white supergiants - and often quite far away. 19 out of the 25 closest stars to the sun are too faint to be seen with the naked eye. (I myself have only managed to see 13 of them so far with my telescope - and that after three years of patient hunting.) The astronomer Luyten calculated that for every star we see naked eye, there are at least 96 that we cannot see which are closer than them (and likely even more than that).

William Brown said...

David said: "What is so terrible about these people having an agenda? Their work can be extremely expensive and they are often in competition with other scientists or other institutions outside science for funding."

I saw an awful lot of corruption in the world of basic science when I was working in the research lab. There are topics and roads that are just not followed because they aren't the current fashionable (and often politically correct) "hot topic". I saw great potential findings that could have led to potential new discoveries that were not followed because of the fear of losing grant (taxpayer) money. The tenure process also leads to intense conformity. I may have sounded harsh in some posts above, but I left academic research with some degree of cynicism.

The really great discoveries made in days of old were largely made by men who had complete freedom to follow their hearts and minds wherever they wanted to go, usually at minimal cost. We now expend insane amounts of money for a lot of really bogus "research".

And yes, there is a plague of outright deception and faked results, misapplication or tweaking of data in order to get the next grant and to become popular, well-known, and published. Some of this has come out, for example the well-publicized faked data scandal that is still used to support the theories of global warming.

Stardusty Psyche said...

B. Prokop said...

SP "The stars are, of course, trillions of miles away, and those are just the very close ones you can see."

" Actually, the stars one sees in the night sky are almost without exception not the closest stars to us,"
I didn't say they were. The ones we can see are very close to us relative to most of the stars that exist.



January 29, 2017 5:37 PM

Joe Hinman said...

SP Science works very hard to eliminate both ideology and biased human assumption. Religion is an ideology and is dependent upon biased human assumption.

" that utter crap! science does nothing about ideology noway it can those totally indifferent domains, ideology is not a scientific question,science is full of ideology"
Only to the extent that the scientific method has not been fully applied.

" ,The point I made about Boyle is that he was constricting the protocols of experiment along ideological lines and that was more deeply embedded,"
Doesn't matter scientifically, what matters is that others repeated the experiments and found they agreed with the truth value in PV = k.



SP His ideologies, motivations, or human flaws are irrelevant to the truth of this equation:
PV = k
The truth value of that equation would not vary if Boyle ate babies after torturing them, if he was an anarchist, Satan worshiper, or a saint who helped the poor.

as I said you cant just sum all of science up in one equitation or law. it's not just a list of laws.

" that is such a naive view. you are spouting ideology right now."

No, actually I am describing scientific facts irrespective of ideology.

that is just the pathetic naivete I'm talking about nothing is more ideological than thinking that just presenting some iconic signifier such as an equation frees you from ideology,

" are you aware of the squabble between scientific realism and Humeanism?"
Irrelevant to the Pressure-Volume relationship.

SP For an ideal gas, and within the limits of conventional measurement, and at a constant temperature, the equation simply does hold, and is not "tainted" in any way by the ideology of Boyle or any other human being.


trying to reduce reality to mere physical dimensions and make serve as the limit on truth and meaning, that is so obviously flag waving for scinetism truth regime,

Joe Hinman said...

Dusty you try to use scientific statements of fact such as laws and equations as a limit on reality but you have not responded to the issue raised that the Humeian approach to relativity is to refrain from asserting that science represents reality,

Scientific realists are n the minority, Popper shows us that sicnece cant determine truth it can only falsify hypotheses.

your thing on the beatitudes,


I'd like to see someone, anyone, apply the scientific method to that! (And why would one want to?)"

Ok, here's a little offhand hypothesis:
A promise of reward in another world bring solace to those who are in positions of weakness who are suffering in this world. Pain serves an important evolutionary function to survival and propagation. The drive to avoid pain is innate to our physiology because it has been selected for over many millions of years.

reducing them to premise of rewards is really missing the whole point of what's being said,. it says blessed are not blessed will be. Why are they already blessed? not because they will get a reward that's obvious what what he says about the lilies of the field, they are already blessed ,why?. because they have truth,

An innate drive often has side effects. In this case one's circumstances can lead to various sorts of pain, and by becoming convinced that this is actually an indicator of much better circumstances to be had later the present pain of circumstance is reduced, and thus the selected for drive to avoid pain is satisfied.

what if it does? your world view tries to deny pain and reduce reality to a world without feelings,

The beatitudes are a sort of opposite day pain relief narcotic drug.

Very much a fit subject for scientific investigation.

that's not ideology is it?the old atheist fear of hell disguised as discrediting heaven

Joe Hinman said...

And yes, there is a plague of outright deception and faked results, misapplication or tweaking of data in order to get the next grant and to become popular, well-known, and published. Some of this has come out, for example the well-publicized faked data scandal that is still used to support the theories of global warming.

right wing garbage only Fuehrer can save us only big daddy can make it work .don't listen to science or the moderate or people ho think. Only big brother Donny can save us,

there was not scandal in science fake climate change data, that is a total right wing lie oit was made up by right wing republicans and tht;s all itios, it is a lie,
trump lie

Joe Hinman said...

SP "understanding the reducibility of our human experiences to the submicroscopic level only adds to the exhilaration of experiencing life and living it to the fullest"

" How so, out of curiosity? For example, I have two young kids. To think of them as "my son and daughter" is one thing. To think of them as "colonies of multiple collections of specialized cells" doesn't quite inspire the same fuzzy feelings. To think of them as "mostly empty space in between carbon molecules" is about as devoid of charm as one could desire. It seems to me that the more one reduces things to the subatomic level, the less emotionally relatable it becomes.

So, unless you meant something else than how I took it, I must disagree that viewing life through the prism of subatomic reality does anything to enhance it on an experiential level,"


Dusty you are just regurgitating the atheist echo chamber, you are really saying there;s one way to look at things, the only way is to see thingsin science terms andno other, When someone tries to show another way you compare it science and say this isn'tscience it cnathave meaning,

Joe Hinman said...

Heavens declaring he glory of God might as well indicate the sense we get from the night sky of our own finite being juxtaposed to the infinite which is suggested the stars (whatever their retaliative distance) evokes the sense of the numinous and we sense the presence of God. Then the reductionist has to eliminate that regardless of it;s truth so they have to assert that it is some trick of the mind and take it apart and lose the phenomena.

Joe Hinman said...

Prokop: Art, history, literature, music, love, sin, beauty, purpose, meaning, patriotism, treachery, altruism, greed, prayer, contemplation, intellectual dishonesty, integrity, religion, poetry, inspiration, perseverance, repentance, redemption, faith, grief, humility, pride, saintliness, joy... I could go on, but you get the point.

Dusty:Indeed, I do get the point. All of those things are subject to scientific investigation and explanation through the scientific method. Why wouldn't they be? But go ahead, pick one or two you think are particularly immune to science.



perfect example of what we call "Losing the phenomena" (we being philosophy of science guys) you can't analyze art qua art scientifically. To subject artistic creation to scientific analysis is reduce to to a level where it's artistic meaning is no longer regard the thing that makes it art as part of the equation. Science is all pretense of objectivity and art is the enhancement of the subjective so they contadoct a priori.

we could examine the physical and psychological complements of an art work, that would not allow for an artistic understanding, Then the reduction would say "see it's just this motivation with this kind of pigment" or whatever that would be assumed to sum up the components but it would only mean that the meaning of it as art is reduced to a point where it's not considered as part of the melange.

One could use science to assist the creative process but only at the expense of real science. Imagine a work where one transposes gnome data points to musical notes then plays the the human genome like a symphony. You can appreciate the music at the expense of the science or you could appreciate both in different ways but you can't make the two work together as themselves, you would either only be referring to art to analyze the phsyical aspects or appreciating sciene in a way that is not really scientific,

Joe Hinman said...

Philosophy still owns science

David Brightly said...

Hi William,
Yes, I can believe it. One of the contemporary meanings of 'science' is career, profession, industry, even, and the doing of science has become beset with the institutional pathologies you describe. This I think is the nugget of truth in Joe's protestations of pervasive ideology, unless he is aiming at something far deeper that I don't understand. History and philosophy of science is subject to fashions and pathologies just as science itself is! But the discipline can still throw up individuals of genius and tenacity who go their own way and are a joy. Jim Lovelock and Lynn Margulis spring to mind. And despite the well-publicised scandals a great deal of good and interesting work gets done. Nothing in life is perfect and maybe the downsides are a price we have to pay to gain the upsides.

Joe Hinman said...

David well said. That is a large part of what I', talkimg ab out. not only careerism but the tendency to use science as a means of "proving" pet causes.I see that in movements like,new atehism(Dawkins,Stenger, Myeres,Carroll,Coyne and others) as well as transhuaism, evolutionary psychology, and I rapidly see then using the derogatory term scientism and turning into an actual banner for their world view. A New atheist Proselytizer named Hellier comes to mind (he is an astrophysicist). Scientism is the idea that science is the only valid form of knowledge.

Victor Reppert said...

My original post was not an objection to science itself. Science in the narrow sense operates within limited guidelines and is what gets us all the wonderful accomplishments.

But it is too much to ask people in the scientific professions to stay within the narrow confines of the "strictly speaking science." For example, with respect to intelligent design, the first issue that has to be raised is whether science can properly address the question of ID. You can press the "no" button, and if you do then you can defend things like the Dover decision and keep ID out of public school. But if you do that, then you can't at the same time use evolutionary evidence in an anti-theistic polemic. On this view, science didn't answer the question of intelligent design, it just failed to ask it because to ask the question is to violate the canons of science. On the other hand, if you think science can ask the question, then you cannot object on methodological grounds to the arguments of ID.

Statements of the type "what science cannot discover, mankind cannot know" are not statements of science, and this one in particular has the self-refuting implications. If true, then it cannot be known, since it is not based on any scientific experimentation.

Joe Hinman said...

Why can't we say that ID as a movement, if we understand that as creationism in better packaging, so socioeconomically wrong? We can ask because then it's about interpreting the data on evolution.

I understand that a lot of ID people are not creationists kin fancy dress and they have a bigger question than just evolution I have no problem with that group,in fact I join that group.

Creationism (understood as anti-evolution,literal Genesis) is one of the few places where Christianity and science really contradiction, But only if you understand creation in that way.

B. Prokop said...

I differ from the ID proponents in one important respect, in that while I consider the universe as a whole to be the product of design, I see no point in looking for irreducible complexity within the whole. In fact, I have some small concern that IC might be a cop out. It fails to ask, "What's the next question?" - something that any decent result in True Science always points toward. To this layperson, it appears that IC just says "Answered!" with no follow-on.

That said, allow me to reiterate. I firmly believe that "all things visible and invisible" are objects of God's creation, Who not only brought everything that exists into being, bur sustains it at all times, and that everything was made (a.k.a., designed) for a purpose, from the smallest subatomic particle to the largest galactic supercluster.

Stardusty Psyche said...

Victor Reppert said...

" with respect to intelligent design, the first issue that has to be raised is whether science can properly address the question of ID. You can press the "no" button, and if you do then you can defend things like the Dover decision and keep ID out of public school. "

I press "yes" and defend the Dover decision.

Science does address ID, and it has been shown to not be supported by science. That is why we don't teach it in public school. We don't teach the flat Earth controversy, or the YEC controversy because established science is what is taught to kids in public school, not every crackpot idea to come down the pike.

Conceivably we might find evidence for ID in that we might find patterns of nature that require an intelligence to explain. No such patterns have been detected by any science with significant acceptance by professionals of the scientific method.

If anybody ever develops a bona fide science of ID we should teach it to kids, but no such thing exists at this time. There simply is no science of ID to teach, so Dover was rightly decided.

As I mentioned on the other thread, gotta go for awhile, au revoir.



January 30, 2017 8:46 AM

Joe Hinman said...

That said, allow me to reiterate. I firmly believe that "all things visible and invisible" are objects of God's creation, Who not only brought everything that exists into being, bur sustains it at all times, and that everything was made (a.k.a., designed) for a purpose, from the smallest subatomic particle to the largest galactic supercluster.

agree.

Joe Hinman said...

Conceivably we might find evidence for ID in that we might find patterns of nature that require an intelligence to explain. No such patterns have been detected by any science with significant acceptance by professionals of the scientific method.


that is nonsense!, There have been many many scientists throughout history even in the 1930s who made various kinds of design arguments.The most famous is Newton and with him Boyle and most of the Royal Society, in his day they almost made argument from design into a law of physics. They didn't discuss it but it was so widely and deeply believed and very much so by Newton and Boyle it seems it almost was a law; it played into newton's theories was the basis for his thing on comets,

B. Prokop said...

Joe, you caught Stardusty in a real whopper! Sir Fred Hoyle, one of the most famous cosmologists of all time and for much of his life a fierce atheist, utterly repudiated atheism after concluding on the basis of empirical evidence (i.e., astronomical observations) that the universe is the product of intelligent design from the smallest to the largest scales. He summarized his scientific conclusions in his 1983 book The Intelligent Universe. So much for "No such patterns have been detected by any science with significant acceptance by professionals of the scientific method."

Victor Reppert said...

The case against ID in the Dover decision was methodological, not substantive.

Science is a particular way of knowing about the world. In science, explanations are restricted to those that can be inferred from the confirmable data – the results obtained through observations and experiments that can be substantiated by other scientists. Anything that can be observed or measured is amenable to scientific investigation. Explanations that cannot be based upon empirical evidence are not part of science. (in Jones 2005, 66)

It is not that we could have found evidence for ID but haven't, the basis of his decision was that by definition science cannot produce evidence for ID.

Joe Hinman said...

Prokop:

"Joe, you caught Stardusty in a real whopper! Sir Fred Hoyle,..."


good one. and yow Paul Davies? Any fine tuning guy

Joe Hinman said...

Dr.
Reppert:

"It is not that we could have found evidence for ID but haven't, the basis of his decision was that by definition science cannot produce evidence for ID."

There's a similar problem with the Religious experiences issue that I've encountered in my arguments witty atheists. Atheists had no real argument so they started saying that none of the studies actually made an official conclusion that God exists. Then In Dr. Hood's chapter where he discusses the M scale he says its not his job as a scientist to say weather or not God exists. I talk to him about God all the time. So I know he believes in God strongly,he's a Unitarian. He just refuses to say "ye sGod exists" as a matter pf principle.

Miguel Corleone said...

Sorry for being way off-topic, but has anyone here read Rene Girard's work? I find it fascinating, as it plugs in some of the gaps in my understanding of Jesus' self-sacrifice.

I'm wondering if anyone here who has encountered Rene's work finds his arguments convincing as well, or if it goes against Christian doctrine.

I can't find much discussion of it online, so it's hard to get a feel of what mainstream Christian philosophers think of it.

William Brown said...


Joe said: "there was not scandal in science fake climate change data, that is a total right wing lie...."


It's pretty well documented Joe.....

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Climatic_Research_Unit_email_controversy

https://realclimatescience.com/2016/07/global-temperatures-are-mostly-fake/

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/earth/environment/globalwarming/11395516/The-fiddling-with-temperature-data-is-the-biggest-science-scandal-ever.html

William Brown said...

Stardusty said....."Science does address ID, and it has been shown to not be supported by science. ..."

I don't know how you support this. Recent work by Doug Axe, for example is starting to unravel the predominant paradigm of naturalistic evolution as genetic mutation and natural selection....

https://www.amazon.com/Undeniable-Biology-Confirms-Intuition-Designed/dp/0062349589

Stephen Meyer, Michael Denton, and many other prominent scientists are coming out with research that supports ID. It looks like, based on the just the time required for DNA to mutate and assemble new beneficial proteins, that macroevolution is impossible. I suspect that the entire theory will be discarded in the near future.

Joe, don't worry, I am not a YEC. I try to follow the evidence where it leads.

David Brightly said...

Since scientific knowledge can be used in arguments for and against God it probably is too much to ask scientists with an agenda to keep their public statements scientific. What would happen if self-identifying ID scientists did manage to demonstrate convincingly that organisms existed that were more complicated than natural selection could produce? They would say that this lacuna in our scientific understanding was evidence for God. It's important to see that this argument, and the fine-tuning arguments, are not strictly scientific. They are extra-scientific. The survey the whole of science and say, look, some phenomenon has no explanation within science. Ergo God. So the ID program is both scientific, in so far as it seeks to show internally the limits of purely Darwinian evolution, but also extra-scientific, in that it hopes to furnish an argument for God. The Dover decision was based on the latter consideration. But I basically agree with Dusty here. The scientific work is, well, scientific, but insufficiently established to displace an existing mainstream topic from the high school syllabus. It hasn't overturned the prevailing paradigm yet. Contrast this with Margulis's endosymbiosis theory. After a couple of decades biology accepted that non-Darwinian processes were possible in evolution. But I'm not sure this is in the syllabus either.

Joe Hinman said...

To
William Brown


apparently the server tick is a favorite ploy of fascists, we see where the Putin teamed learned it.

your sources only say that it was a gimmick and emails were taken out of context. So the climate change deniers desperate because they had no data hacked into a server and took a bunch of emails out of context.


you first link:

"The story was first broken by climate change denialists[6] with columnist James Delingpole popularising the term "Climategate" to describe the controversy.[7] Several people considered climate change "skeptics" argued that the emails showed global warming was a scientific conspiracy, that scientists manipulated climate data and attempted to suppress critics.[8][9] The CRU rejected this, saying the emails had been taken out of context and merely reflected an honest exchange of ideas.[10][11]
The mainstream media picked up the story as negotiations over climate change mitigation began in Copenhagen on 7 December 2009.[12] Because of the timing, scientists, policy makers and public relations experts said that the release of emails was a smear campaign intended to undermine the climate conference.[13] In response to the controversy, the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the American Meteorological Society (AMS) and the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) released statements supporting the scientific consensus that the Earth's mean surface temperature had been rising for decades, with the AAAS concluding, "based on multiple lines of scientific evidence that global climate change caused by human activities is now underway... it is a growing threat to society."[14]"

Joe Hinman said...

Since scientific knowledge can be used in arguments for and against God it probably is too much to ask scientists with an agenda to keep their public statements scientific. What would happen if self-identifying ID scientists did manage to demonstrate convincingly that organisms existed that were more complicated than natural selection could produce?

What we really need to do is teach little Christian kids to do science well, not propagandize them against evolution,and also introduce them to philosophy of science and to theology. Logic, phenomenology, buy them my books,

Joe Hinman said...

Sayig that fine tuning is not scientific is like saying that probability is not mathematics. Mathematicians do say that,The major criticisms of Bayes come from mathematicians,

Joe Hinman said...


Tree Huger
Debunking the Great Global Warming Conspiracy Conspiracy

Brian Merchant
Brian Merchant (@bcmerchant)
Business / Corporate Responsibility
November 30, 2009


"One of the strangest things about the ongoing non-controversy over the hacked climate emails is that it's revealed how irrational much of the thinking behind global warming denial really is. It's always been understood that people have fundamental reasons for resisting the idea that man's behavior is causing the climate to change--especially if they're deeply comfortable with said behavior. But I hadn't realized how many people actually--I mean really, truly--believe that climate change is a nefarious conspiracy concocted by elite liberals to . . . do what, exactly?It's that final point that seems to have logic faltering from the climate denial camp--and it's happening right when they'd most like us to believe they've found their 'A-ha!' or 'whatever-gate' moment. As far as I can tell, these people that feel that a few awkward (and sometimes mean-spirited) emails between a couple climate scientists disprove the entire body of scientific evidence on the subject feel that way because they also believe there's been some sort of plot by climate scientists to deviously mislead the public."


read more

B. Prokop said...

I'm with Joe on this one.

Climate change science is not a good example of researchers having an agenda. Both my hobby of amateur astronomy and my social connections to Johns Hopkins University mean that I know lots of professional scientists (mostly astronomers and folks in the medical field) quite well. And I can assure you that by and large, scientists mirror the general population when it comes to politics. That means that approximately half of them are liberal and half conservative (or whatever other terms you might wish to use, like left/right or Dem/Repub, etc.) But climate change denial is almost exclusively a right wing phenomenon. Practically no one on the left disbelieves it. So if climate change were indeed a left wing conspiracy, then you would expect a 50/50 split amongst scientists as to whether it was in fact occurring. But the actual split is 97/3. There is no way to account for such a lopsided consensus other than by the conclusions (i.e., climate change is real and man is contributing to it) being apolitical.

If anything is a good example of agenda-driven research, it would be climate change denial!

David Brightly said...

Joe, if you as a well-known scientist publicly claim that God had carefully chosen the fundamental physical constants to make the universe habitable for us, Victor would reasonably say that you are exceeding your remit as a scientist. But WL Craig can make exactly the same claim as a scientifically-informed theologian.

Joe Hinman said...

My essay on Metacrock's for Wednesday is quotimng frpm
Dusty and Prokop from this discussion and making my point about what they said.if you think I misrepresented you please let me know,


Losing Phenomena of BeimgHuman

Joe Hinman said...

David Brightly said...
Joe, if you as a well-known scientist publicly claim that God had carefully chosen the fundamental physical constants to make the universe habitable for us, Victor would reasonably say that you are exceeding your remit as a scientist. But WL Craig can make exactly the same claim as a scientifically-informed theologian.

I agree. I should have said FT makes use of scientific data not that it is scientific,

B. Prokop said...

Joe,

Near the end of your essay, you mistakenly attributed the quote "How so, out of curiosity? For example, I have two young kids. To think of them as "my son and daughter" is one thing. ... (etc.)" to me, when it was actually posted by Legion of Logic.

Joe Hinman said...

when it was actually posted by Legion of Logic.

>>I'll change it

SteveK said...

Bob,
As far as I'm concerned, the denial aspect regarding climate change only applies to being able to predict how it will play out (accurate models) and that we must implement drastic measures. I deny the latter because of the former.

SteveK said...

"But I hadn't realized how many people actually--I mean really, truly--believe that climate change is a nefarious conspiracy concocted by elite liberals to . . . do what, exactly?"

I answer that in my prior comment, they are trying to convince us that "we must implement drastic measures". That is not a scientific conclusion by any means, it's a politically driven agenda based on an unproven model.

B. Prokop said...

But Steve, the scientists running the models and advocating various countermeasures are by no means all (or even majority) "elite liberals". If you knew real world scientists up close and personal, you'd know that hardly any of them could ever be classified as "elite" anything, liberal or otherwise. And from my own experience, no one political philosophy is predominate amongst any gathering of scientists.

Query any random group of, say, five scientists, and you'll likely find one liberal, one conservative, one libertarian, one middle of the road-er, and one who couldn't care less.

SteveK said...

The label is irrelevant. It's what "they" are doing.

B. Prokop said...

And what exactly is that?

SteveK said...

RE: advocating various countermeasures

This is what "they" are doing. Based on what settled science? Predictive models that haven't been able to predict anything useful regarding climate change other than it's changing. Way too many unknowns for anyone demand the world spend trillions stopping it.

SteveK said...

The climate situation is similar to the sinking building situation in the article below, with a few key differences. Engineering (a science) knows how to stop sinking buildings because they have proven their models that say "if you do X, then this will happen to the building". If they were to discover a growing volcano underneath it I expect they will deem that to be an uncontrollable natural event, stop throwing money at a fix and resign themselves to the fact that nature WILL devour the building.

Is the global climate an uncontrollable natural event like a growing volcano? We don't know. It's all theory and modeling at this point. Real life trial and error experiments will cost trillions upon trillions of dollars.

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-02-01/who-will-pay-for-san-francisco-s-tilting-sinking-millennium-tower

William Brown said...

The “97 percent” statistic first appeared in a 2009 study by University of Illinois student Kendall Zimmerman, based on a two-question online survey. Only 5 percent of respondents, 160 scientists, were climate scientists. The “97 percent” statistic was drawn from a smaller subset: the 79 respondents who were both self-reported climate scientists and had “published more than 50% of their recent peer-reviewed papers on the subject of climate change.” These 77 scientists agreed that global temperatures had generally risen since 1800, and that human activity is a “significant contributing factor.” A year later, William R. Love Anderegg, a student at Stanford University, used Google Scholar to determine that “97–98% of the climate researchers most actively publishing in the field surveyed here support the tenets of anthropogenic climate change outlined by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.” The sample size did not improve on Zimmerman’s. Anderegg surveyed 200 scientists.

The most suspicious “97 percent” study was conducted in 2013 by Australian John Cook, who9 wrote the 2011 book 'Climate Change Denial: Heads in the Sand' and created of the blog 'Skeptical Science, Getting skeptical about Global Warming Skepticism.”. In an analysis of 12,000 abstracts, he found “a 97% consensus among papers taking a position on the cause of global warming in the peer-reviewed literature that humans are responsible.” “Among papers taking a position” is a qualifier: Only 34 percent of the papers Cook examined expressed any opinion about anthropogenic climate change at all. Since 33 percent appeared to endorse anthropogenic climate change, he divided 33 by 34 and got 97 percent.

When David Legates, a University of Delaware professor who formerly headed the university’s Center for Climatic Research, recreated Cook’s study, he found that “only 41 papers — 0.3 percent of all 11,944 abstracts or 1.0 percent of the 4,014 expressing an opinion, and not 97.1 percent,” endorsed what Cook claimed. Several scientists whose papers were included in Cook’s initial sample also protested that they had been misinterpreted. “Significant questions about anthropogenic influences on climate remain,” Legates concluded.

Sorry for the tangent on the highly politicized topic. A better survey would look at what percentage of leftists, progressives, and socialists are climate alarmists vs. the percentage of those with a conservative worldview.

B. Prokop said...

"A better survey would look at what percentage of leftists, progressives, and socialists are climate alarmists vs. the percentage of those with a conservative worldview."

My point exactly. If the 97 percent figure is true (you apparently contest it), then the findings have nothing to do with political leanings. If they did, you'd expect a divide much closer to 50/50.

But this isn't really a tangent, since we're discussing the admixture of agenda and science, and what such a thing would look like. Interestingly enough, if Climate change science does turn out to be politically driven, then it is truly a unique phenomenon. Every other case of "conspiratorial" science I can think of has been sponsored by some business interest (such as the tobacco and automobile industries). But if climate change is a conspiracy, then it not only has no backing from industry, but rather faces intense and determined opposition from the fossil fuels industry.

Curious.

William Brown said...


It is politically driven by progressives who favor globalisation and increased government control. An effort by the government to control the climate would ensure most of their goals. Al Gore's background and beliefs serve as a useful case study.

B. Prokop said...

Sorry, but I just can't believe in conspiracy theories. Haven't seen one yet that hasn't ultimately been shown to be a house of cards built on sand.

Joe Hinman said...

William Brown said...

It is politically driven by progressives who favor globalisation and increased government control. An effort by the government to control the climate would ensure most of their goals. Al Gore's background and beliefs serve as a useful case study.

your reasons are ideological not scientific, you oppose to because you see it as a prodict of the enemy camp so the thing about the data is just an excuse. Do you also deny that air pollution is harmful?

William said...

Certain scientific fields, including veterinary and human medicine, conservation biology, and environmental science (which includes climate change studies) are highly normative disciplines. When the normative parts of science have policy implications, the things a scientist says about them may be correctly seen as political.

SteveK said...

How climate change data gets interpreted by one UN official.

The task is to "intentionally transform the economic development model for the first time in human history."

http://www.investors.com/politics/editorials/climate-change-scare-tool-to-destroy-capitalism/

William said...

The normative aspect of climate change science currently tells us we should make fewer greenhouse gases, unless of course the world would become too cold without them.

This does not directly imply what the UN official wants, except as one course of action among a great many others. It's beyond me what is best to do.

B. Prokop said...

"It's beyond me what is best to do."

Plant more trees - billions of them. Encourage "green roofs" (buildings with vegetation on top, so from the air a city looks a vegetated area). And stop deforesting the rain forests.

Seems to me that's a plan the entire political spectrum could enthusiastically get behind.

Stardusty Psyche said...

B. Prokop said...

" Seems to me that's a plan the entire political spectrum could enthusiastically get behind.
"
Allow me to put this first, since various interests would in fact object to your ideas for various reasons.

" Plant more trees - billions of them. "
Nope, that would take up commercially valuable cropland and urbanization space.

"Encourage "green roofs" (buildings with vegetation on top, so from the air a city looks a vegetated area)."
Nope, that would require much more expensive roofs, with much more weight, all kinds of maintenance problems, people falling off while tending the roof (roofing is a far more deadly profession than policing, for example), and all the water resources already stretched to the limit in many places, plus all the pests that habitat would draw onto the roof and into the house.

"And stop deforesting the rain forests."
Nope, they are getting deforested for very good human reasons, to harvest wood for commercial uses, to build houses, and to open up farm land to produce more food for more people. Deforestation may be bad environmentally in the long run but it is tremendously beneficial to humans in the short run.

" Seems to me that's a plan the entire political spectrum could enthusiastically get behind."
If wishing made it so...


February 03, 2017 3:38 PM

Joe Hinman said...

apologetics v science; argument v fact


atheists say we don't want arguments we want facts but sciences bases fact upon argument

Stardusty Psyche said...

Joe Hinman said...

" atheists say we don't want arguments"
I never heard that before. Where did you get that? I use arguments continually and so does every atheist I know of.

I think you are just making this up out of your imagination.


February 06, 2017 2:53 AM