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Is giving authority to science almost as bad as giving authority to a religion? watch

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    (Original post by Slimewizard)
    Since science is done by humans, who are naturally biased and have different interpretations to things, it is as fallible as any other belief system.
    People who 'worship' science and claim intellectual superiority over the religious are effectively doing the same thing as zealots.

    I kinda think humanity is still in its infancy in terms of how much we know, as some theoretical physicists think that an objective reality may not even exist at all
    Who...?
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    (Original post by ChaoticButterfly)
    I'd lump the scientific view as a sub part of the critical/sceptical viewpoint. You have to be criticist (is that a thing?) and a skeptic to be scientist but you don't have to be a scientist to be a skeptic etc. If you get what I mean.
    Yes

    The further we get from idealised simplified systems the harder it is to be rigorously scientific and it gets more squishy. We can predict motion of planets but we can not predict how human societies will develop to anywhere near the same degree of accuracy (Marxism is an example of false sense of scientific understanding leading to untold misery). But that doesn't mean we shouldn't try to apply scientific analysis and understanding to these areas. We can do studies to test the hypothesis that say Trump is the result of an increase in authoritarian tendencies in the American population. That's never going to be as rigorousse as physics but we can learn something from it. Physicist like Friedman thought things like social sciences, or even parts of biology like nutrition, shouldn't be called sciences since we just don't have the understanding.
    Hmm... I'm not so sure. I can only talk about history though.

    Is good history based on evidence? Yes. Is it based on critical evaluation..? Yes. Is it scientific? No. You can't apply the scientific method to history. It's not a scientific discipline. Sometimes scientific evidence is used in writing history, but the "history" part is never scientific. It just... can't be. :beard:

    So you should apply scientific analysis to the extent that scientific analysis overlaps with critical analysis.
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    (Original post by Puddles the Monkey)
    Hmm... I'm not so sure. I can only talk about history though.

    Is good history based on evidence? Yes. Is it based on critical evaluation..? Yes. Is it scientific? No. You can't apply the scientific method to history. It's not a scientific discipline. Sometimes scientific evidence is used in writing history, but the "history" part is never scientific. It just... can't be. :beard:

    So you should apply scientific analysis to the extent that scientific analysis overlaps with critical analysis.
    I think I mean you should apply it wherever you can and it makes sense to do so. But it isn't enough on its own or may be impossible to carry out. We can;t go back in time and survey peasants for example. So what your bolded bit says (which I am going to steel for use in the future ).

    Marxism was as attempt at what is now called social science and political science. Political scientists employ what can be called scientific methods. The below is an example.

    http://www.vox.com/2016/3/1/11127424...thoritarianism

    It also merges with history.

    I agree there are a load of areas where it can;t be done or wouldn't help or miss the point. Like what you said about history.
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    Science doesn't ask you to believe in them nor worship them. If that's the case there would be no peer review, or new discovery that rebuke the old. Science shows you what you should believe in, it doesn't force you to believe. Eg . When you jump off a tall building you fall down and die. Science calls it Newtons law of physics. Feel free to not believe in it and jump off Westminster palace.

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    (Original post by XcitingStuart)
    In place of people being for their religious beliefs, online I've noticed an increasing trend for the polar opposite, which I consider almost as bad.

    When people think science should give your life purpose usw. usf.

    Such as the other day when someone said that "we have a duty to science to know & understand more." Like wtf? (I'm not explaining my disagreement 'cos I want to see your thoughts.)

    What are your thoughts on giving authority to science?
    What does usw. usf mean?

    Anyway, science is actually the opposite of authority. Authority says "believe me because I am in charge". Science says "believe me because of evidence". That is why so many established ideas have been overthrown by science and will continue to be. And why incorrect scientific ideas will continue to be overthrown.

    (Original post by the bear)
    scientists are the new secular priesthood. with their obscure jargon and hermetic societies they inspire awe and fear.
    they cling fanatically to their belief systems; any scientist who dares to challenge the status quo is anathema; heresy is not tolerated.
    What nonsense. Scientists spend their careers challenging the status quo and other scientists' beliefs.
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    (Original post by Puddles the Monkey)
    Sometimes scientific evidence is used in writing history, but the "history" part is never scientific. It just... can't be. :beard:
    Archaeology, paleontology, cosmology, and evolution are all historical sciences, and geology and climatology can be too.

    Read Guns Germs and Steel for a very nice argument that human history should be much more scientific than it is.
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    nothing* is as stupid as giving authority to a religion
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    (Original post by chazwomaq)
    What does usw. usf mean?

    Anyway, science is actually the opposite of authority. Authority says "believe me because I am in charge". Science says "believe me because of evidence". That is why so many established ideas have been overthrown by science and will continue to be. And why incorrect scientific ideas will continue to be overthrown.



    What nonsense. Scientists spend their careers challenging the status quo and other scientists' beliefs.
    For the German "Und so weiter und so fort". That means "and so on and so forth". I love the abbreviation.

    How can you say that, and make that distinction?

    And it's more like "believe me because of more evidence", despite many basing it on faulty premises. Many people who go in the name of science don't even have a lot of depth into it. Many people lack sufficient depth (though that "sufficient" is spoken arbitrarily at the moment.)

    My issue is the am the amount of command people give to science for their lives.
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    (Original post by sleepysnooze)
    nothing* is as stupid as giving authority to a religion
    I'm not saying that.

    I'm asking whether you think it is almost as stupid to give it to 'science'.

    Trust me, I am in no way in favour of religion.
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    (Original post by the bear)
    scientists are the new secular priesthood. with their obscure jargon and hermetic societies they inspire awe and fear.
    they cling fanatically to their belief systems; any scientist who dares to challenge the status quo is anathema; heresy is not tolerated.
    This is weirdly kind of true, though. Barry Marshall claimed that everyone was entrenched in their opposition to his hypothesis and wouldn't give him the time of day because of how absurd it was. Until he proved his hypothesis right and got the Nobel Prize for it.
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    (Original post by XcitingStuart)
    For the German "Und so weiter und so fort". That means "and so on and so forth". I love the abbreviation.
    Geil.

    How can you say that, and make that distinction?

    And it's more like "believe me because of more evidence", despite many basing it on faulty premises. Many people who go in the name of science don't even have a lot of depth into it. Many people lack sufficient depth (though that "sufficient" is spoken arbitrarily at the moment.)
    If it's based on faulty premises or too shallow, then it's bad evidence and bad science.

    My issue is the am the amount of command people give to science for their lives.
    Science is a way of finding out truth, and I don't think anyone's come up with a better way yet. I don't see how it can command anyone.
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    (Original post by XcitingStuart)
    I'm not saying that.

    I'm asking whether you think it is almost as stupid to give it to 'science'.

    Trust me, I am in no way in favour of religion.
    it depends - science shouldn't necessarily be appealed to blindly because there have been times where science hasn't been completely correct, but appealing to a religion is like appeal to a person who has continuously not only got everything~ wrong but proven their intentions to be negative. so science looks infinitely more useful to believe in on face value than religion does. religion is immodest and unintelligent. at least science can boast about its humility and its lack of absurd claims, making it more reliable for belief.
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    (Original post by chazwomaq)
    Archaeology, paleontology, cosmology, and evolution are all historical sciences, and geology and climatology can be too.


    These are areas with historical considerations/historical sciences.... but they're not 'history' per se.... but I guess this is also a semantic argument about how you define 'history'? I am wishy-washy.

    Read Guns Germs and Steel for a very nice argument that human history should be much more scientific than it is.
    Yes. I agree that history tends to focus too much on human agency and not enough on environmental factors and influences. :beard:

    But... I still think the 'history' part of history can't be scientific- you're studying something that no longer exists for us, and if you're studying human/political history you're studying an abstract thing that never physically existed at all, and cannot be repeated or empirically observed. And of course as humans we are way to close to our own history to be objective.

    :dontknow:
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    Religion claims truth in what is false and that all other theories are wrong.
    Science teaches that nothing is for certain and we are always developing better ways to view the world.

    I know which one I would rather pick.
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    (Original post by Puddles the Monkey)
    [/b]

    studying something that no longer exists for us, and if you're studying human/political history you're studying an abstract thing that never physically existed at all, and cannot be repeated or empirically observed. And of course as humans we are way to close to our own history to be objective.
    :dontknow:
    That's why I mentioned the historical sciences. They also study things that no longer exist and cannot be observed directly. But their effects today can be observed, and hypotheses made and tested as per normal.

    Human history may not be quite so amenable, but I think more historians should try. And archaeologists try to do it all the time.
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    (Original post by chazwomaq)
    That's why I mentioned the historical sciences. They also study things that no longer exist and cannot be observed directly. But their effects today can be observed, and hypotheses made and tested as per normal.

    Human history may not be quite so amenable, but I think more historians should try. And archaeologists try to do it all the time.
    Yes but a key difference is they're studying physical things which obey physical laws, no? Also - with cosmology as an example but it might also be true of others - you're studying things that exist in the present and using that make conclusions about what happened in past aren't you...? That's why it's "historical sciences" not "scientific history" right...? Might just be getting in to semantics though....

    Historians do try. There's a lot of literature about being scientific in history.

    Environmental History has also been gaining much more traction over the past couple of decades or so.

    But I do think you need to be careful not to confuse using scientific evidence in analysis as a scientific conclusion. :beard: Can't really create scientific theories/laws for history in the same way as we have the theory for evolution, either.

    I don't really have any conclusive ideas about any of this, so it's good to talk about :woo:
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    (Original post by XcitingStuart)
    My point was that people think science gives their life purpose, or that science has supreme authority over them.Like there are people who think we have a "duty to try understand things." Since when? That's just bloody creepy. (And it goes against scientific concepts like evolution which is ironic.)Or that people doesn't consider it a (more logical) explanation to things, but as cold, hard fact.Maybe it's just my personal distaste, but I find it really unsettling when people think like that. It's like people have transferred their source of purpose from a couple of holy books to the current thing, instead of keeping independence. And then they have the audacity to include me in that "we". They're right in saying that religion doesn't (shouldn't) have authority over our lives, but then they go try dictate my life and other people's lives instead of allowing them to find their own path. I know I've only said this one example, but I'm encountering that view (or views with a similar sentiment) more and more.
    As a scientist I have never met another scientist who has dedicated their life to the pursuit of knowledge for any reason other than these: 1) with knowledge we can make the world a much better place for everybody 2) there is nothing more exhilarating than the discovery of something new, nor will there ever be.

    For us science is our whole lives. With science we can explore the cosmos or dive into the world of quantum particles - a world where macroscopic laws don't apply. In the quantum world particles can be in two different places at the same time, get "entangled" with another particle so that whatever happens to one instantaneously happens to the other (regardless of how far apart they are), pop into and out of existence spontaneously and tunnel their way through spaces which they shouldn't be able to ever enter or go through. They can do so many more unfathomably awesome things, this is just a negligible fraction of them. I can't understand how anyone wouldn't want to dedicate their whole existence to something so indescribably beautiful and confusing as the quantum world.

    This is the kind of thing I'm talking about, http://www.iflscience.com/sites/www....%20collide.PNG. It's what two protons slamming into each other at close to the speed of light looks like. Each of those small dots represents a particle far smaller than a proton, they're the mesons, leptons and bosons created by the immense burst of energy at the moment of impact. Most of them are bosons - particles with no mass which are exchanged whenever two particles with mass interact via forces. These are the building blocks of everything in existence.

    With an understanding of how each of these particles behaves we can use them in new technologies which benefit all of mankind. There's nothing more noble or important than this. Unfortunately knowledge can also be used to commit atrocities such as the holocaust. That is not the fault of knowledge or science though, the blame lies solely with those who use it for such deplorable purposes.

    Hopefully that helps you understand we scientists dedicate our lives to the advancement of knowledge. It's not at all that we're enslaved by it or anything like that, it's that we care so deeply about the research we do that we just don't want to stop doing it!

    As for the second point you made, I have to ask, what are you on about? A lack of skepticism from the public? Most of the things we're researching require years of study to understand. Most of the public doesn't have this so they make the logical choice and acknowledge that if someone who has spent years studying physics says stuff about physics, that stuff is much more likely to be correct than if they themselves were to talk about physics. I don't mean to sound boastful when I say this so I apologize if it comes across that way but, most of classical physics goes way over people's heads so for them to try to comment on more modern physics is like them trying to look left and right at the same time.

    I'd also like to point out that the scientific community puts all new ideas through some pretty darn merciless peer review before the idea is even considered a possibility. The smartest people on the planet scan the entire thing for any errors so you can be confident about the credibility of the very few ideas which survive that process.
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    (Original post by Puddles the Monkey)
    Yes but a key difference is they're studying physical things which obey physical laws, no? Also - with cosmology as an example but it might also be true of others - you're studying things that exist in the present and using that make conclusions about what happened in past aren't you...? That's why it's "historical sciences" not "scientific history" right...? Might just be getting in to semantics though....
    All of established cosmology is as rigorous as physics you can demonstrate in the lab. You can measure the cosmic background radiation for example. So you are right in a way. We use stuff we can meadure right now to learn about the past. It also helps that due to the speed limit of light we can literally look into the past and test it
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    (Original post by Puddles the Monkey)
    [/b]


    But... I still think the 'history' part of history can't be scientific- you're studying something that no longer exists for us, and if you're studying human/political history you're studying an abstract thing that never physically existed at all, and cannot be repeated or empirically observed. And of course as humans we are way to close to our own history to be objective.

    :dontknow:
    Isn't that what the idea of historical materialism is about? The idea that human societies develop based on material conditions. What if human agency is just an illusions and it is actually physical factors that push us. So when it is recorded that the leader of group of people said "lets move over there" he was actually just the expression of the result of a famine due to meteorological factors and a bunch of hungry people wanting food.

    What if we are slaves to forces we don;t understand :eek:
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    (Original post by ChaoticButterfly)
    What if we are slaves to forces we don;t understand :eek:
    ...aaand we've come full circle back to God
 
 
 
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