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Old 03-07-2016   #21
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Re: Science says stop complaining

Phone call over, but work beckons, so I must be brief.

I also know someone with a science background whose particular bugbear is the fact that, as he says, hardly anyone understands the interpretation and presentation of data/statistics. He says this is one of the biggest problems in the world.

Since generalisations are apt to cause misunderstandings, I might try to go back, when I have a bit of time, to the article first linked to and be specific about all the details that worry me.

I'll give one example of the kind of thing that worries me, which is about the way questions are framed, and its application to the article will hopefully be apparent.

There are people who think they can cure homosexuality. I don't know how numerous such people are or ever have been, but it seems that many people feel the need to respond to them by saying that they didn't choose to be homosexual (and now there might be a scientific basis for this). But what happens if you invest everything in saying, "I can't help it"? Haven't you already conceded the viewpoint you're defending against? At this point, certain things that were prior to the debate get left behind, such as the question, "Why would anyone want to cure homosexuality anyway?" In other words, there is a tendency to place the starting point of the debate at the question: "Is homosexuality inborn or is it a choice/can it be cured?" That's not really the starting point at all.

When I used to watch television, I would see this same kind of thing happening all the time: the debate was already framed in a particular way that obscured questions that (to me) seemed antecedent to and more important than the debate.

"人生夢幻耳" - 高井鴻山
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Old 03-07-2016   #22
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Re: Science says stop complaining

CF: http://www.slate.com/articles/health...planation.html

"人生夢幻耳" - 高井鴻山
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Old 03-07-2016   #23
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Re: Science says stop complaining

People are never going to leave gay people alone entirely.

That someone is a homosexual means they differ from the norm in a fairly significant way. All these movies Hollywood sometimes goes overboard in making that celebrate gay people and gay culture will not supersede the one upsmanship most people engage in regarding *everything*--especially sexuality and "the basics".

And Christians are hardly the only people guilty of this.

“The real reason why so few men believe in God is that they have ceased to believe that even a God can love them.”
― Thomas Merton, No Man Is an Island
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Old 03-07-2016   #24
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Re: Science says stop complaining

And this is why I'm at war with the theoretical Experts.
They want us to accept their wisdom as written in stone. Don't get me wrong: If you're building a house or need surgery, go for an expert carpenter or surgeon. The theory guys are different. It's just theory until it's something else. Say a bad word about global warming and you're history. Recently, some scientists have urged pols to pass a law making it a crime to deny Global Warming. We're not Europe. At least, not yet. Global Warming may or may not be real but that's not the spirit of science to indulge in fascist techniques. Grant money, awards, fudging results, and the politicization of science have done considerable harm.
The Australian doctor Marshall is a good example. Billions had been spent over the years on ulcer research and they were certain it was an autoimmune disease. It wasn't: it was caused by h.pylori which the experts said was harmless bacteria and couldn't exist in stomach acids.
The guy who cured ulcers didn't make a penny for it. There was already an antibiotic that could kill h.pylori (which Marshall knew before he drank his concoction of h.pylori neat.)..

The Experts were Wrong, wrong, wrong.
They laughed at Marshall, then tried to destroy his reputation. After years of attacks, they decided to run simple inexpensive tests to shut him up forever And they found to their horror he was right. Ulcers could be cured by antibiotics alone. ( Marshall's story is fascinating. Like a mad scientist, he experimented on himself and almost died of bleeding ulcers.) All those meds ulcer patients needed to take for the rest of their lives were suddenly overnight available over the counter. The FDA suddenly decided they weren't too dangerous to require a prescription. Interesting. The experts changed their mind with a nudge from the big drug companies.
Numerous examples but none better than Marshall's tribulations to reveal the rottenness at the heart of much modern science.
Beware the theory Experts, my friends. They may be right, they may be wrong. But their conclusions are NOT written in stone. Everything from greed to politics plays a part in contemporary research.
Also, the idea of throwing endless money at a disease in hopes of curing it, is probably a fallacy. Most of the great breakthroughs come by accident. You need a researcher smart enough to take advantage of such accidents.
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Old 03-08-2016   #25
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Re: Science says stop complaining

Quote Originally Posted by Druidic View Post
And this is why I'm at war with the theoretical Experts.
They want us to accept their wisdom as written in stone. Don't get me wrong: If you're building a house or need surgery, go for an expert carpenter or surgeon. The theory guys are different. It's just theory until it's something else. Say a bad word about global warming and you're history. Recently, some scientists have urged pols to pass a law making it a crime to deny Global Warming. We're not Europe.
Druidic, this is definitely not the thread to begin debating the merits of anthropocentric climate change theory, so I will not. However, I would be happy to point you to a host of published papers and websites that might help you better understand this matter. That aside, I do understand where you are coming from in terms of a bridling against the "experts". Your juxtaposition between surgeons and carpenters with climatologists is an interesting one. You see surgeons and carpenters as doing "real work" while climatologists are simply engaged in the frivolous activity of half baked theorizing.

As it so happens, the theories that are being explored by climatologists are far from half baked and are firmly rooted in data analytics as well as current experiments and further collection of data. There is actual "real work" happening in this field. Is there room for criticism of data interpretation and a deeper examination of certain regression coefficients used to support current climate change theory... of course there is.

At some point in history, surgery was once a very nascent field where many unproven theories abounded. Through medical experimentation, theory was proven via empirical study. I think what is happening here, particularly with climate change, is that it has become an extremely politicized matter.

There are paid industry lobbyists and "think tanks" that are engaged in some very unscientific theorizing of this important field and have intentionally politicized, muddied, and denigrated the work of very bright individuals. That being said, this is still a field ripe for new discovery and better understanding of correlative effects of certain material factors causing climate change is still being explored.

This kind of politicizing reminds me of the whole "teach the controversy" movement of creationists in their highly politicized crusade of ensuring that creationism creeps its way into public school. Its depressing to see scientific discovery cast aside in such a craven and nonsensical manner.

I too live here in the US and have never heard of the possibility of "denying climate change" as being criminalized. While it is certainly possible for anyone to have urged their pols to pass any ridiculous legislation, however, such an undermining of free speech is so far fetched that it doesn't merit further consideration. I wonder if such stories aren't just abounding on Fox News and or the Drudge Report?

Again, I do understand your point, I just wonder if it is actually a fair one.
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Old 03-08-2016   #26
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Re: Science says stop complaining

Quote Originally Posted by qcrisp View Post
Phone call over, but work beckons, so I must be brief.

I also know someone with a science background whose particular bugbear is the fact that, as he says, hardly anyone understands the interpretation and presentation of data/statistics. He says this is one of the biggest problems in the world.
Yeah, this a major problem that I think business/gov or really anyone looking to make an impact in the world, shares. There is such a dearth of folks that can actually make heads or tails of data and be able to extract important and worthwhile insights from. And given the proliferation of IoT (Internet of Things) we are getting access to more and more data at much higher velocities than we have ever seen.

I don't disagree with you on your points in this last post. I too find it distressing that the discussion on homosexuality is framed in this manner. I think though that scientific discovery in field of human behavior, even as it pertains to homosexuality, is not a problem in upon itself. But as you point out, the problem is that the very question that homosexuality is a problem to be solved, is framing the question in a highly biased manner. This framing though is almost entirely understandable through the lens of culture war that is being waged in many countries (even western developed countries). It is a good article to share that highlights these pitfalls.

And your point about scientific discovery without the control or bounds of solid ethical parameters is a worthwhile one. We do know of Oppenheimer's regrets of his scientific work and discovery. We are all still living under the specter of nuclear destruction.

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Old 03-08-2016   #27
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Re: Science says stop complaining

Dear Comrade--
You could have just googled (FoxNews.com - Breaking News | Latest News | Current News ) to find what I said was true instead of arrogantly insinuating I manufactured the attempts to criminalize global warming deniers.

Scientists Ask Obama To Prosecute Global Warming Skeptics | The Daily Caller

http://www.newsweek.com/should-clima...secuted-378652

You missed the entire point of my post which was science has been corrupted by greed and politics. You fixated on two or three sentences in which I said Global Warming might or might not be true (which I included because of the fascist approach to anyone disagreeing with the True Believers). The story about Marshall should have made the point I wanted to make. Of course, you no doubt assume I invented that one too.


Of course there are many scientific skeptics about climate change; it's hardly cut and dry. It does seem convienient though: A threat that that involves all the world. Rather like the old sci-fi films: the aliens come, all nations pull together, aliens vanquished, peace and One World follows.
Wonderful.

I have no quarrel with you, Comrade, you're probably one of the good guys. But I don't invent facts for the sake of an argument. I have no interest in debating Global Warming. We're all entitled to our opinion unless the fascists take over. I've made the point I wanted to make. When the weatherman forecasts the weather correctly for two weeks in a row, I'll pay more attention to forecasts a century down the road. Pax,my friend.

Last edited by Druidic; 03-08-2016 at 04:31 AM..
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Old 03-08-2016   #28
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Re: Science says stop complaining

Climate change is 'true' by as accurate a measure we are possibly able to gauge, and most of the groups pushing against it are those working for corporations whose interest it is to deny it, as too many very powerful people are turning the environment to crap for profit.

Quote Originally Posted by Druidic View Post
It does seem convienient though
Nothing convenient about it. A vast reshuffling of society will be necessary to mitigate the pernicious effects. The government are working for the corporations, so the idea they're in on it is a paranoid libertarian capitalist fantasy that only benefits a corporate elite. Climate change isn't a conspiracy that allows an elite to gain power. The true conspiracy is the one in which the combined efforts of our corporations and governments work to ensure practically nothing is done about it.

'I believe in what the Germans term Ehrfurcht: reverence for things one cannot understand.'
― Robert Aickman, An Essay
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Old 03-08-2016   #29
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Re: Science says stop complaining

Another example of what I mean:


Absolutely nothing here that I couldn't have picked up in a less confused, more eloquent form from Epictetus, but here the buzzwords about the brain being hard-wired for this or that are used to make it sound like this is all something the physical sciences have suddenly discovered in the last few years.

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Old 03-08-2016   #30
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Re: Science says stop complaining

That needs more background, but anyway... Tired... Sleep...

"人生夢幻耳" - 高井鴻山
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