Why many scientists are so ignorant

Discussion in 'General Philosophy' started by Magical Realist, Mar 10, 2016.

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  1. Russ_Watters Not a Trump supporter... Valued Senior Member

    While that's is true, for laypeople it is best to accept the scientific consensus, since by definition they are unequipped to m as key such judgements themselves.
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  3. Schmelzer Valued Senior Member

    No reason. I see I was slightly inaccurate in my response. Of course, a sphere is also an infinite set of points. It has a finite volume, but the point was not about the volume. The point was that this is not "nothing", or, say, a single point (the singularity), which would be something one reasonably could name, metaphorically, "nothing".
    This is what the GR solution for the homogeneous universe tells me. In your beloved case of positive curvature, of course. We have nothing but classical GR, given that quantum gravity we do not have yet. Inhomogeneities I have already mentioned. Wild speculations about topological foam in quantum gravity are irrelevant in the context.

    And, anyway, such an even more complex topological foam would be remember "nothing" even less.
    Because we have nothing better. This is what follows from the - according to the mainstream - best available theory, which is classical GR, combined with QFT on curved background. What I have criticized - a "universe from nothing" - is claimed to be based on established science, not? If you, instead, want to discuss a "universe from nothing" based on string theory, astrology or intelligent design, do it, but this would be irrelevant here.
    Of course. As long as they do not claim that their thinking is based on established scientific theories.
    I don't understand what you mean. The evolution equations of GR as well as of QFT on curved background tell me that if the start is homogeneous, it remains homogeneous. Once the result, the world today, is not homogeneous, the early cut cannot be homogeneous too.

    About the Holocaust denier defamation:
    Not exactly. What I state is that that I have not studied this, so that I cannot make reliable claims about this. I state that I see strong political pressure on those who doubt the standard history, up to imprisonment of revisionists. Strong political pressure on scientists is for me, in general, sufficient reason not to accept the mainstream position in this science without further detailed investigations.

    I doubt the reliability of mainstream science in this particular question, because of the obvious political pressure on revisionists, but not their specific claims about the facts.
    No. We have different standards about what is reliable. You may accept some sources as reliable which I do not accept as reliable. Evaluation of reliability is quite difficult, and a personal decision. If one evaluates scientific papers written under political pressure, the job to evaluate the reliability is an extremely difficult one.
    No. Casting doubt means questioning the content of the claim. Considering a particular source as unreliable means questioning the quality of the source of the claim. If the claim is correct or not remains unquestioned.

    It may be possible that everyday English is sloppy about this difference. So that sometimes it means this, sometimes that. But there is an important difference between these two things. "Casting doubts" obviously suggests that I do something what I do not, namely to express explicit doubt about particular statements of fact, like that the Holocaust has happened.
    You may not like my criteria for reliability of sources. Feel free to name them silly. Your choice. Assessment of reliability is a difficult personal decision. Moreover, you have not described my criteria correctly. As I have explained, imprisonment is only an extremal case of political pressure. Much less rigorous political pressure is sufficient to distort scientific freedom in such a way that it would be stupid to accept the mainstream without studying the details.

    Examples of sciences with much less political pressure, where I nonetheless do not accept the mainstream position without checking it, we have already had: climate change and child labor economics.
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  5. paddoboy Valued Senior Member

    I'm certainly not going through your rather lengthy tiresome, boring post of yours, that essentially is nothing more than one big cop out.
    The fact of the holocaust is undeniable. To question that is to unreasonably and stupidly question reality as detailed and recorded less than a century ago, driven by your unrealistic and extreme general political views.
    Do you "question" that Apollo took men to the Moon?
    Do you "question" that 9/11 may have not taken place and is just propaganda?
    I may as well "question" the scenario that at this moment I am debating a point of fact that someone from the other side of the world is doing his hardest to having to admit it did happen and is currently dancing and jigging his way all around the truth with excuses, pedant, semantics, philosophical nonsense, and whatever other means he can fabricate to avoid admitting to such facts.
    No wonder people are losing respect for you....well at least one person!
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  7. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    But it's not at the singularity - it's a substantial time and distance away, as you specified.
    But it doesn't apply to the arbitrarily chosen "initial" state - you haven't derived them, but assumed them, at that point. You chose the cut based on whether or not you could extend GR to it. So the question is about the basis for that assumption.
    But it doesn't follow - you have specified that GR theory does not apply past a certain cut.
    That's no handicap: In investigating the unknown, the establishment of a scientific theory is the last step.
    - - -
    But you don't, unless you for some reason go to the extra trouble of looking only at Germany and carefully excluding all the other Western cultures from your field of vision.
    There is no such level of political pressure on "scientists" (you mean historians) in the English speaking world. So as long as the position is described in English, no such "reason" obtains. So you would of course accept the mainstream history of the Holocaust in English. Right?

    Btw: your reasoning is screwed up anyway - strong political pressure on scientists is not a reliable counterweight to actual and easily visible physical evidence. If all the evidence overwhelmingly indicates something, and the scientists including the unpressured ones agree, allowing one's observations of the whims of local political pressure to determine one's level of uncertainty would be a mistake. Right?

    No, we don't.

    You claimed substantial doubt of the correctness of the claims, based on your evaluation of the reliability of certain sources.
    It's your reasoning and conclusions I labeled silly, not your criteria for reliability of source.
    1) Those arenas feature a great deal of political pressure - not that far from the Holocaust denial stuff, in their own arenas of discord.
    2) Your reasoning from political pressure to reliability in the child labor case was in the opposite direction - faced with the circumstance of great political pressure to deny the existence of institutionalized and stable child labor market economies, and a world replete with Austrian and Chicago School and other mainstream economists aligning their findings with that political pressure (and even joining it), you signed on with the politics against the evidence and arguments of dissident scientists doing research in the field.
    3) Actually, you refused to accept the findings of having checked those positions. You refused to acknowledge both the theoretical establishment of stable suboptimal equilibria in market economies involving child labor, and the physical documentation of such equilibria existing, for example. Similarly with climate change.
    4) You also refused to accept correction of your mistaken descriptions of the "mainstream positions" and political pressures involved - your errors there obviated your entire position on climate change, as you somehow got the political pressure in the US backwards.

    After three such public blunders, or four counting GMOs (another example of opposite reasoning from your claims - 2 of 4) , the conventional wisdom has it that a scientifically inclined person would re-evaluate their approach. But many don't, as we see.
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2016
  8. paddoboy Valued Senior Member


    As a lay person, I do the best I can to look at the evidence for any scientific claim.
    Other than that, yes, I take some mainstream claims on face value, as I know in time if errors have been made, that science via the scientific method, being self correcting, will make any necessary corrections/modifications.
    I also look at alternatives [surprise!!

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    ] and see how they, imho stack up to incumbent theories.
    But logic tells me that as I often harp on, no new scientific idea is going to be born on forums such as this.
    Logic tells me that if any scientist [even a maverick] had anything of substance, they would not be pushing it for all they are worth on a forum such as this.
    Logic also tells me that forums such as this are the hunting grounds of all sorts of cranks that fervently conduct their religious or other forms of evangelistic type of missions to somehow invalidate or diss current accepted cosmology, particularly SR/GR since they are essentially the basis of what we know cosmologically today.

    I have my view on "pure philosophy" which happily I have seen supported by other more professional experts than I.
    Perhaps at times I may go over the top in relation to my derision of philosophy, but that rightly or wrongly is generally in reply to provocative headlines such as this thread, and threads by the same initiator in the past.
    Yes, philosophy has its place...yes philosophy is part of the foundation of science....but science is the practical application of that philosophy.

    There are in fact two things, science and opinion; the former begets knowledge, the latter ignorance.
    And of course we all have the latter.

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  9. Schmelzer Valued Senior Member

    Yes. And that's why it is much more than a single point, and even metaphorically cannot be named "nothing".
    The cut is part of the GR solution. At a place where it is yet reasonable to assume that GR makes sense. Because of this last condition we cannot use the whole solution - on the way toward the singularity the assumption that GR remains valid becomes more and more obscure. And that it remains valid all the way toward the singularity is simply unreasonable. That's why if you want to make a claim about something what follows from established scientific theories, you have to make somewhere a cut.

    At which place you make the cut depends on how much trust you have into existing theories. One can make the cut at Planck time, a quite popular choice. IMHO unreasonably small, but so what. My point remains anyway. Everywhere where established theory tells us something in a more or less reliable way we have a large, inhomogeneous, nontrivial universe changing in time in a nontrivial way. No creation of a universe out of nothing is part of science.
    So where is a critical time so that established theory tells us nothing about what happened before. And at this critical time the universe was infinite and inhomogeneous. No "universe out of nothing" visible.

    And again about the defamations. Paddoboy has now clearly discredited himself, because he continues his defamation, despite my explanations that I do not question any claims about the Holocaust.

    I state that I see strong political pressure on those who doubt the standard history, up to imprisonment of revisionists.
    You think there is absolutely no pressure on revisionists in the US and other Western cultures, simply because they are not imprisoned? Sorry, I disagree. Look at what all you are doing here with me, even if I have explicitly not denied the Holocaust, we have now already a long thread of continuing defamation. A real revisionist would have to expect a much harsher response - I would expect he would be simply banned.
    No. There is less pressure than on historians in Germany, yes. But yet enough. And much more than on climate change deniers or those who disagree about child labor economy. And, that means, enough pressure to classify this as science under political pressure, even in the Anglo-Saxon variant. With the resulting consequences.
    If. As I have explained, if science is under political pressure, it does not follow that the mainstream is wrong. It follows that one has to check this "If" oneself. So, I have to look at enough evidence to find out if it overwhelmingly indicates something. Then, I have to see what the "unpressured ones" agree about. Hm. Who are the unpressured ones? No scientist under pressure openly admits that this pressure has had some influence on what he says. All these are solvable problems, if one has some basic knowledge of "reading between the lines" you can find out a lot even without reading the revisionists side of the argument. But this is a serious job, nonetheless, one needs a lot of time.

    LOL. But it is funny that you now present as a dissident position what you have sold at that time as the overwhelmingly established position with a long list of references.

    The pressure I see in the child labor economics is the moral pressure from the media where child labor is a horrible evil. What you have presented was what I expected from scientists under this particular direction of pressure, with the guy acknowledging my main points deep inside the paper, but nor in the title, nor in the abstract.

    What remains is joepistole mode:
  10. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

    Which basically begs the question why anyone would spend so much time in forums like these pushing so hard for the mainstream conventions if they are in fact so solid and unquestionable.
  11. Daecon Kiwi fruit Valued Senior Member

    Because of cranks and crackpots trying to push their pseudoscience and woo and trying to con people into thinking their delusions have any legitimate value.
  12. Daecon Kiwi fruit Valued Senior Member

  13. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

    People will decide what they want to believe when the evidence provided and the logic displayed are sufficient. They don't need shouting science cheerleaders to sway them towards the home team.
  14. paddoboy Valued Senior Member

  15. paddoboy Valued Senior Member

    Not at all: GR is adequate right up to the Planck/quantum level.
    The Singularity need not be infinite: It can though lead to infinite quantities.
    Most scientists do not accept any physical singularity.
    Far better and wiser to put one's trust in mainstream theories that have some credibility, rather than the adhoc alternative nonsense we sometimes see on forums such as this. You need to check out our four TOE claimants since I've been here Schmelzer.
    Unless one wants to invoke an all omnipotent deity, a Universe out of nothing is rather logical.
    It's you that has discredited yourself Schmelzer by the round about way, and pedant, semantical nonsense you have manufactured to avoid admitting that it was a certainty to have happened as is overwhelmingly supported by the evidence, and as accepted by any reasonable logical person.
    We are speaking of events that happened less than 100 years ago: Not something that may have happened 2000 years ago.
    Extremism in any form, leads eventually to rash decisions and beliefs.
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2016
  16. Russ_Watters Not a Trump supporter... Valued Senior Member

    Bad typo, re-do:
  17. paddoboy Valued Senior Member

    You mean as you shout and scream and whinge and whine about your paranormal/supernatural nonsensical beliefs?
    Science stands alone on logic and the scientific method. That alone has put your beliefs to bed.
    I do my bit from a remote science forum, and just like our alternative hypothesis pushers, I make no difference to scientific academia.
    In essence they don't need me or any other science advocate on forums such as this.
    Difference of course being that I'm big enough and ugly enough to be able to admit that without any regret or loss of credibility.
    Science stands alone on its own two feet and always will.
  18. Russ_Watters Not a Trump supporter... Valued Senior Member

    What they need is people who understand the science to teach them. Some people actually enjoy teaching others (go figure?).

    This isn't a competition. No new science is generated here, so no amount of shouting of crackpottery can alter the scientific consensus. The only things that can happen is people who don't understand the science can learn it -- or not. You occasionally make serious threads in the science forums where you show you want to learn the science, but for the most part you just want to shout/whine your anti-science and anti-scientist rants.
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2016
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  19. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    Quit looking at Germany, then, if you can't handle a little bit of political necessity in your analytical thinking.
    No, it doesn't. Not in the case of well known and long familiar issues such as Darwinian evolution, or the existence of witches, or the comparative value of miracles and vaccinations in medical practice. Or the Holocaust. All of those involve considerable political pressure in many places, notice. And all they require of an educated person is a few minutes of reflection, to marshal enough evidence and reason to set the political pressure aside and assess on the merits.
    Your assumption that it was infinite is without support, and you seem to be confused in the matter - babbling about an infinity of "points", etc, at a time long after the bang, as if the physical universe were a mathematical abstraction featuring continuity. The inhomogeneity was of course an artifact of your method of choice - you went back only as far as GR was valid, that was your criterion, and that is what guaranteed the property at your selected level. What happened before then, which is the entire matter of interest, you leave unaddressed.
    You have no idea of even the direction, let alone the amount, of the political pressure on climate change scientists. And if you are going to refuse to make a reasonable assessment of any matter that enjoys the level of pressure shown by child labor, you are going to find yourself claiming to be undecided on everything from Darwinian Evolution to lead paint on children's toys.
    Your imagination once again fills in what reality has failed to provide.
    As detailed above and in the earlier links and discussions, the political pressure on the research economists is quite otherwise. Making these assessments on the basis of the pressure scientists supposedly face is dubious enough: when you are mistaken in the terms of that pressure these little games you play with your assessments of pressure become outright comedy.

    Which was the obvious feature of your assessment of the reliability of American climate change science, which you based on the assumption that the political pressure on American scientists was to support AGW.
    Nobody is trying to call the universe that emerged from the bang "nothing".

    What are you talking about?
  20. paddoboy Valued Senior Member

    From your link......
    • If one can deny the Holocaust, then can one not equally deny other mass murder and enslavement -- including the mass killings by Communists, the decimation of native populations of the Americas, or the Atlantic Slave Trade? If one can deny the Holocaust, one of the most well-documented events in history, can one not deny practically anything in history and make history itself meaningless?
    General conspiracy theory/pseudo-history components
    Holocaust deniers might point out that many other people in history havefalsely confessed crimes after torture or other pressure (such as witchcraft). However, the Holocaust is backed by technical evidence. Also, not a single one of the thousands of guards and officers has withdrawn their confessions, or provided a dissenting confession.

    Holocaust deniers frequently repeat the cliché that victors write history. On a literal plane, this is false. Dönitz, Speer, and other high-ranked Nazis, wrote and published their memoirs. Re-telling the events of the war is a strong tradition in Germany.

    Some history books might tell that Jews were deported to concentration camps, without mentioning the gas chambers or the death toll. Some do not use the term "Holocaust." However, a book is nothing more than the words of its author. If a textbook omits the Holocaust, we should go ask the author why. The most probable answer would be "lack of space."
  21. Russ_Watters Not a Trump supporter... Valued Senior Member

    Most conspiracy theories are dumb and many have elements of mental defect associated with their belief, but for those obvious reasons, Holocaust denial is downright insane and/or has an agenda behind it. It is worth shining a spotlight on Holocaust deniers, but not worth arguing with them.
  22. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

    Yeah.,.we've seen how you "teach science" here. Bragging about being an engineer. Crying to the mods about trolls. Calling people ignorant and needing to be slapped. The only thing you teach here is how to be a prick. And nobody needs to learn that.
  23. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

    Your waving the banner of science frantically all the time while insulting and putting posters down is I'm sure a real embarrassment to the real science experts here. Frankly it's a disgrace to the nobility of the very field you use to cloak your own immaturity. But I guess they humor you, much as one might his kid brother on the basketball court. "Aww...give em a chance guys. Let'em take a shot once and a while!"
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2016
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