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Topic: "Scientists Say" blather (Read 53243 times)

"Scientists Say" blather
Are you, too, bothered by internet news reports that "scientists say" this or that. I find it utterly annoying. Who are these scientists? Are cosmologists qualified to say anything meaningful about high energy physics, biologists about the orbit of Enceladus?

What think you?

Re: "Scientists Say" blather
Reply #175
Problem about America is that it is such a comedy of errors that it IS noticeable but for all the wrong reasons. The word 'hypocrisy' fits neatly.
I see you're confused again, with your poor comprehension of the English language. The thread topic is "'Scientists Say' blather" , not "Howie Says Blather." Don't worry. One day you'll learn how to read. Before you know it, you'll write a sentence that follows grammar rules of some language, although not necessarily the English one. I always believed in you. :yes:
"What kind of man would put a known criminal in charge of a major branch of government? Apart from, say, the average voter."
― Terry Pratchett, Going Postal

  • OakdaleFTL
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Re: "Scientists Say" blather
Reply #176
ersi recently linked to a non-blather article (two clicks to get there, RJ, so I don't expect you to put yourself out; the paper itself is here) about the methodology of modern neuroscience... But you might have missed it, RJ -- it was on a previous page, and written in English. (I doubt RT covered it. :) )
进行 ...
"Humor is emotional chaos remembered in tranquility." - James Thurber
No one listens to me as much as I do and even I have my limits...
"Science is the belief in the ignorance of experts!" - Richard Feynman

  • rjhowie
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Re: "Scientists Say" blather
Reply #177
For your ignorance (standard procedure for ex-colonists of outside knowledge) midnight (and to the hermit we do not talk about 'blather.' Nearest would be being a blether. And while you two try to be so full of yourselves getting sniffy about being so pompous may i remind that it is routine practice here for forum threads to start a drift away from the  original stance?  That you try to ignore the obvious says much about yourself. Arrogance must be subtly taught over there. Nah, maybe in essence a built-un thing!
"Quit you like men:be strong"

  • OakdaleFTL
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Re: "Scientists Say" blather
Reply #178
it is routine practice here for forum threads to start a drift away from the  original stance
Did you mean "topic"? You seem, RJ, to seldom even come close to connecting your comments to any thread topic...

Why don't you start a thread: "America Bad! So, that's all we'll talk about..." :)

BTW: "sniffy," "pompous," arrogant," and "subtly" are words that are beyond your ken. Bark like a true Glaswegian!
(You can still use "ignorance": as a cognomen.)
进行 ...
"Humor is emotional chaos remembered in tranquility." - James Thurber
No one listens to me as much as I do and even I have my limits...
"Science is the belief in the ignorance of experts!" - Richard Feynman

  • Luxor
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  • Global Moderator
Re: "Scientists Say" blather
Reply #179
it is routine practice here for forum threads to start a drift away from the  original stance?
[Moderator hat]
That doesn't give you the right to abuse the privilege. Especially when your deviation from the actual topic is just to start another of your America bad rants. We have enough of them already.
[/Moderator hat]
  • Last Edit: 2016-06-08, 12:24:04 by Luxor
The start and end to every story is the same. But what comes in between you have yourself to blame.

  • Mr. Tennessee
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Re: "Scientists Say" blather
Reply #180
That doesn't give you the right to abuse the privilege. Especially when your deviation from the actual topic is just to start another of your America bad rants. We have enough of them already.
The more I post here, the more I dislike Americans. Though, it may have something to do with Donald Trump.

  • OakdaleFTL
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Re: "Scientists Say" blather
Reply #181
... not the blatant media bias and the "liberal world-view" scientists? :)
A slight Oops!
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Researchers have fixed a number of papers after mistakenly reporting that people who hold conservative political beliefs are more likely to exhibit traits associated with psychoticism, such as authoritarianism and tough-mindedness.

As one of the notices specifies, now it appears that liberal political beliefs are linked with psychoticism. That paper also swapped ideologies when reporting on people higher in neuroticism and social desirability (falsely claiming that you have socially desirable qualities); the original paper said those traits are linked with liberal beliefs, but they are more common among people with conservative values.
(source)
There's more, and it's worth reading -- although not clearly written... (Can you spot the weasel-grammar already evidenced? :) Probably not.
Indoctrination doesn't fade...at least, not quickly.)

Scientists indeed do say blather; and the media routinely report it. That's a problem different from the one originally posited here.

Jerry Pournelle long ago wrote an essay about the "social sciences," which he called the Voodoo Sciences... :)
  • Last Edit: 2016-06-12, 02:19:24 by OakdaleFTL
进行 ...
"Humor is emotional chaos remembered in tranquility." - James Thurber
No one listens to me as much as I do and even I have my limits...
"Science is the belief in the ignorance of experts!" - Richard Feynman

  • Mr. Tennessee
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Re: "Scientists Say" blather
Reply #182
Jerry Pournelle long ago wrote an essay about the "social sciences," which he called the Voodoo Sciences...
Very social but not quite science.

  • ersi
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Re: "Scientists Say" blather
Reply #183
World Renowned Scientist Michio Kaku Proves Existence Of God

Now, it's not sufficient to be scientifically minded in order to prove God. It takes also rigorous conceptual analysis to understand if one is really proving God or something else. As much as I have seen Michio Kaku, he is not up to that analysis.

  • Frenzie
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Re: "Scientists Say" blather
Reply #184
Now, it's not sufficient to be scientifically minded in order to prove God. It takes also rigorous conceptual analysis to understand if one is really proving God or something else.
That depends. You can say you define X thusly and anything that doesn't abide by that definition isn't X. Or you can say X is a meaningless concept in reality and it should either be tossed or rephrased as Y.

That being said, I'm inclined to agree because iirc Michio Kaku is quite happy spreading all kinds of nonsense outside of his realm of expertise.

PS Your article doesn't know how to spell Spinoza.

Edit: skip the article, just watch the last 20 or so seconds of this video if you want to know what Kaku says.

https://youtu.be/jremlZvNDuk?t=4m54s

  • ersi
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Re: "Scientists Say" blather
Reply #185
That depends. You can say you define X thusly and anything that doesn't abide by that definition isn't X. Or you can say X is a meaningless concept in reality and it should either be tossed or rephrased as Y.
If you know what conceptual analysis means, then no, you cannot. A definition is not merely whatever you put into a concept. The result must be contiguous vis-a-vis all other relevant concepts. It must fit into the concept system. Then it's properly a concept. Otherwise it's dismissible nonsense.

Edit: For example, you cannot define "cat" whichever way you like. There may be a number of ways, but there's always the requirement that the result must be distinct from "dog". This is at the heart of my objection to "same-sex marriage", not some religious whiny sentiments like raccoon suggests. That religion happens to align with the "traditional" view of marriage does not disprove the concept system of natural philosophy.

That being said, I'm inclined to agree because iirc Michio Kaku is quite happy spreading all kinds of nonsense outside of his realm of expertise.
His popular documentaries are okay, but I cannot bring myself to regard the String Theory very highly. Precisely from the point of view of conceptual analysis.
  • Last Edit: 2016-06-25, 13:13:46 by ersi

  • Belfrager
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Re: "Scientists Say" blather
Reply #186
World Renowned Scientist Michio Kaku Proves Existence Of God
"I prefer the company of peasants because they have not been educated sufficiently to reason incorrectly."
― Michel de Montaigne
A matter of attitude.

  • Frenzie
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Re: "Scientists Say" blather
Reply #187
If you know what conceptual analysis means, then no, you cannot. A definition is not merely whatever you put into a concept. The result must be contiguous vis-a-vis all other relevant concepts. It must fit into the concept system. Then it's properly a concept. Otherwise it's dismissible nonsense.
Although we clearly differ greatly regarding epistemology, that's basically a paraphrase of what I said. To be more explicit, most God concepts are easily dismissible nonsense (and they already differ greatly in all kind of incompatible ways), while the Kaku God concept is something that may or may not be. The question is whether we insist on using God to refer to nonsense or whether we repurpose the word for a concept which is perhaps only tangentially related, but actually meaningful. You have effectively already opted for the latter possibility.

  • ersi
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Re: "Scientists Say" blather
Reply #188
If you know what conceptual analysis means, then no, you cannot. A definition is not merely whatever you put into a concept. The result must be contiguous vis-a-vis all other relevant concepts. It must fit into the concept system. Then it's properly a concept. Otherwise it's dismissible nonsense.
Although we clearly differ greatly regarding epistemology, that's basically a paraphrase of what I said.
You are clearly saying that you reject the method of conceptual analysis. Therefore no, that's no paraphrase.

To be more explicit, most God concepts are easily dismissible nonsense (and they already differ greatly in all kind of incompatible ways),...
You are saying that God is nonsense because theologians disagree among themselves. How does this fare with the fact that scientists disagree among themselves? Look at all the incompatible theories of quantum mechanics, for instance. Do they imply that quantum mechanics is nonsense? Clearly, there's a fault in your system.

Whereas from my point of view, people are free to disagree all they want, but conceptual analysis is one of the tools by which it's easy to determine who makes more sense, if any. So, you and I are in substantial disagreement, no paraphrase.

  • ersi
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Re: "Scientists Say" blather
Reply #189
Okay, I watched the Michio Kaku video. The same use of "mind of God" as in Hawking's Brief history of Time. It has a common standardised meaning in theoretical physics, like "act of God" in Anglo-Americal law. Nothing special. Just sensationalism. What a letdown.

  • Frenzie
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Re: "Scientists Say" blather
Reply #190
You are saying that God is nonsense because theologians disagree among themselves.
No, that's a parenthetical remark. It's a criticism of your oddly selective rigidity.

  • Frenzie
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Re: "Scientists Say" blather
Reply #191
You are clearly saying that you reject the method of conceptual analysis. Therefore no, that's no paraphrase.
It's possible, but it sounds more like you're hung up on what may or may not be delineated by a particular word than by the concept it happens to represent.

  • ersi
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Re: "Scientists Say" blather
Reply #192
You are clearly saying that you reject the method of conceptual analysis. Therefore no, that's no paraphrase.
It's possible, but it sounds more like you're hung up on what may or may not be delineated by a particular word than by the concept it happens to represent.
The principle is simple, really. If there are no other concepts around to delineate it, then the concept we are examining is unclear and could mean anything. Without context, 'God' could denote Satan and 'cat' could denote dog. Without a concept system, they are not meaningful, i.e. they are not even concepts. This applies to any and all concepts without exception.

I have found that atheists never examine the concept of God the way they examine other concepts. They deliberately replace God, wherever they see it, with some teapot or unicorn. Or something else they feel like at the moment. Unfailingly. Sometimes that's understandable, because grand theology or abstract metaphysics is not for everyone, just like high math or theoretical physics is not for everyone.
  • Last Edit: 2016-06-25, 17:25:46 by ersi

  • ensbb3
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Re: "Scientists Say" blather
Reply #193
I have found that atheists never examine the concept of God the way they examine other concepts.

Findings aside. How I define God would be an early influence in how I analyse everything. That and a Ukrainian ethics professor, capt. mono-culture. ;)

  • Frenzie
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Re: "Scientists Say" blather
Reply #194
I have found that atheists never examine the concept of God the way they examine other concepts. They deliberately replace God, wherever they see it, with some teapot or unicorn. Or something else they feel like at the moment. Unfailingly. Sometimes that's understandable, because grand theology or abstract metaphysics is not for everyone, just like high math or theoretical physics is not for everyone.
Don't confuse rhetoric with analysis. :) But yes, if your God concept is a metaphysically insupportable God of the gaps then an infinitesimally small celestial teapot analogy should worry you. The analogy merely indicates that both are equally silly and insupportable. If your God doesn't retreat to the gaps then there may well be plenty to worry about, but teapots and invisible pink unicorns aren't among it.

  • ersi
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Re: "Scientists Say" blather
Reply #195
Don't confuse rhetoric with analysis.
Ah, now I get it. This is simply the point for atheists where they completely drop analysis and adopt rhetoric, so they cannot be guilty of faulty analysis. Neat. Win-win!

  • Frenzie
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Re: "Scientists Say" blather
Reply #196
Hardly. It's still a valid analogy with a gappy God. But the form is rhetoric.

  • ersi
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Re: "Scientists Say" blather
Reply #197
Maybe with a gappy God. And you would never consider un-gappy God.

  • Frenzie
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Re: "Scientists Say" blather
Reply #198
Perhaps. There is so much pseudo-philosophy in the field that one cannot take much of it very seriously. But that doesn't mean it's not a fun mental exercise to work with counter-factual thought experiments.

This blog post from a few years back kind of says it all:
I found the [philosophical] arguments [in aid of religion] so execrably awful and pointless that they bored and disgusted me. [...] I now regard "the case for theism" as a fraud and I can no longer take it seriously enough to present it to a class as a respectable philosophical position -- no more than I could present intelligent design as a legitimate biological theory. BTW, I do not mean to charge that the people making that case are frauds who aim to fool us with claims they know to be empty. No, theistic philosophers and apologists are almost painfully earnest and honest. I just cannot take their arguments seriously any more, and if you cannot take something seriously, you should not try to devote serious academic attention to it. I've turned the philosophy of religion courses over to a colleague.

Mind you, the same can be said about plenty of secular so-called philosophy. Consider, for example, this comment on the same post:

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In no particular order, here are a dozen good books that provide excellent arguments in support of atheism:

1) Wallace Matson: The Existence of God

2) Michael Martin: Atheism: A Philosophical Justification

3) Graham Oppy: Arguing About Gods

4) Jordan Howard Sobel: Logic and Theism

5)Richard Gale: On the Nature and Existence of God

5) Nicholas Everitt: The Nonexistence of God

6) J.L. Mackie: The Miracle of Theism

7) Theodore M. Drange: Nonbelief and Evil

8) J.L. Schellennberg: Divine Hiddenness and Human Reason

9) Nick Trakakis: The God Beyond Belief

10) Robin Le Poidevin: Arguing for Atheism

11) Richard Robinson: An Atheist's Values

12) Erik Wielenberg: Value and Virtue in a Godless Universe

These books provide a far better justification for atheism than can be found in the recently popular Dawkins/Hitchens/Harris style books.

  • ersi
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Re: "Scientists Say" blather
Reply #199
From the same post.
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As I say there is also a sense of urgency. I just turned 58...
Did you just turn 58?

Anyway, almost four years after this post, two years ago, Keith Parsons had another theological debate. It was with a representative of un-gappy God, so you may want to take a closer look.

There is so much pseudo-philosophy in the field that one cannot take much of it very seriously.
True, which is why I have done my own autonomous thinking from ground up. I did it by weighing all the known counter-arguments, because I naturally want the result to be unimpeachable.

The teapot/unicorn types of arguments were always ridiculous nonsense from the very start, because the few believers I encountered (and where I live, you encounter precious few believers) did not believe in what the teapot/unicorn arguments targeted. Of course, it was an effort to figure out what the believers actually believe, but it was an effort well worth it eventually.

Russell's teapot is an atrocious misrepresentation, probably deliberate ridicule. It's sad because Russell was otherwise a fine dude, but his teapot anecdote is dishonest in at least two major ways. First, I don't know of any theological work, contemporary to him, that would represent God so as to enable his particular manner of ridicule. (Maybe a kids' book though, I've overlooked those.) Second, his theory of universals prohibits the teapot argument. If he knew that God is like universals, not like objects (and being a smart dude, he must have known), he was having a very bad day when he told the anecdote.