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  • #16
    Originally posted by Mordoror View Post

    There are several issue
    One is heavy politicization of sciences as said Riderboy (BTW has he put me on ignore ?, well nevermind)

    The fact that some facts go against big corporate and business

    Further than politicization it was also used as an ideology weapon (most cases however were rather "pseudo science" than science like the racialist theories based on size and form of the skull bones back in the 1900 to 1945 era)

    Complexity of things have indeed increased and some concepts are out of grasp for a lot of people (there are 2 millions of scientific articles published each years to be compared with few thousands in the 60s-70s)

    The net gives everybody access to several discordant answers (not layered by order of importance and veracity) as well as the ability to express opinion i.e like we say here, now with the net we have 66 millions of national team soccer managers, prime ministers and M.Ds

    Overall quality of science teaching in colleges/univ have spiralled down and anyway, science careers are unattractive, badly paid and labelled with a "nerd/geek" stamp

    Last (but not least) is that scientists have set themselfs out the civil society and very few are trying to vulgarize their work to make it accessible to common people. Hence the messages have hard time to go "top down"
    Again, well said. Very well explained, and regarding the messages having a hard time to go 'top down', your explanation of it makes perfect sense, comprehension processes seem to be halting at such points before top down process is acheived.

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    • #17
      Originally posted by Penny the Penguin View Post

      Science itself is not about making moral judgements, nor has it ever been.
      Correct. It should not be but often is. Political definitions are often applied to biological questions of unquestioned science. Then we have the "science" of economics which is probably one of the most controversial of them all. In any case, it is ridiculously easy to point out failures in even hard sciences like engineering, or where political ideologies trump such basic and straightforward things like counting ballots.

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      • #18
        Originally posted by riderboy View Post

        Correct. It should not be but often is. Political definitions are often applied to biological questions of unquestioned science. Then we have the "science" of economics which is probably one of the most controversial of them all. In any case, it is ridiculously easy to point out failures in even hard sciences like engineering, or where political ideologies trump such basic and straightforward things like counting ballots.
        Of course they do. Science is what it is, humans do what they do with that knowledge for whatever purpose they chose, right or wrong, this is a known fact.

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        • #19
          I think my main concern with "science" is that sometimes people trust science WAY WAY too much. Science announces in bold headlines: A + B = C. the world rejoices, medical doctors, researchers, students and historians around the world start working on that assumption. 20 years later it is discovered that the original B, was not a B after all is considered, but rather a numeral 8 that has been mistaken for a B. So now the C is no longer a C, but maybe a letter X.

          So for 20 years we have been injecting our patients with C and now they are dying like mayflies. (agent orange, DDT, Thalidomide, eugenics policy 1907 etc)

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eugeni..._United_States

          an example of "science" gone bad, resulting in liberty removed from people.....in USA....

          In 1907, Indiana passed the first eugenics-based compulsory sterilization law in the world. Thirty U.S. states would soon follow their lead.[53][54] Although the law was overturned by the Indiana Supreme Court in 1921,[55] the U.S. Supreme Court, in Buck v. Bell, upheld the constitutionality of the Virginia Sterilization Act of 1924, allowing for the compulsory sterilization of patients of state mental institutions in 1927.[56]
          Some states sterilized "imbeciles" for much of the 20th century. Although compulsory sterilization is now considered an abuse of human rights, Buck v. Bell was never overturned, and Virginia did not repeal its sterilization law until 1974.[57] The most significant era of eugenic sterilization was between 1907 and 1963, when over 64,000 individuals were forcibly sterilized under eugenic legislation in the United States.[58] Beginning around 1930, there was a steady increase in the percentage of women sterilized, and in a few states only young women were sterilized. From 1930 to the 1960s, sterilizations were performed on many more institutionalized women than men.[31] By 1961, 61 percent of the 62,162 total eugenic sterilizations in the United States were performed on women.[31] A favorable report on the results of sterilization in California, the state with the most sterilizations by far, was published in book form by the biologist Paul Popenoe and was widely cited by the Nazi government as evidence that wide-reaching sterilization programs were feasible and humane.[59][60]
          Men and women were compulsorily sterilized for different reasons. Men were sterilized to treat their aggression and to eliminate their criminal behavior, while women were sterilized to control the results of their sexuality.[31] Since women bore children, eugenicists held women more accountable than men for the reproduction of the less "desirable" members of society.[31] Eugenicists therefore predominantly targeted women in their efforts to regulate the birth rate, to "protect" white racial health, and weed out the "defectives" of society.[31]
          A 1937 Fortune magazine poll found that 2/3 of respondents supported eugenic sterilization of "mental defectives", 63% supported sterilization of criminals, and only 15% opposed both.

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          • #20
            If you want to be pedantic and/or autistic then yes, you can never really prove anything beyond a shadow of a doubt. Thankfully that’s not how the real world functions though. I have no interest in typing more words right now though expect to say see mordorors posts re: science/the scientific method.

            The politicisation of science is a separate issue. It’s not just the Christian Right trying to kill science these days. The loony left seems to be trying to drive science off a cliff in some strange suicide pact.

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            • #21
              Originally posted by Mordoror View Post
              Hollis

              I quite disagree with few of your statements
              There is first a semantic issue with the word theory
              Theories are initial hypotheses of work/research that are validated or invalidated by datas analyses and experiments. Some theories are still true (Gravity, electromagnetism, evolution, continental drift). Just that they are still labelled theories due to history while they are accepted as facts by the scientific community. You have of course other theories that were invalidated (Lamarckisme for example) but those are forgotten in the pits of history

              Reducing a complex discussion to a few. This is from the internet: "Acceptance of a theory does not require that all of its major predictions be tested, if it is already supported by sufficiently strong evidence. For example, certain tests may be unfeasible or technically difficult. As a result, theories may make predictions that have not yet been confirmed or proven incorrect; in this case, the predicted results may be described informally with the term "theoretical." These predictions can be tested at a later time, and if they are incorrect, this may lead to revision or rejection of the theory"

              Theories are more than guesses and are treated as fact in the
              absence of something better, the complete knowledge of the event. The next term, practical, for all practical purpose it is a true. Not all theories are the same, you mentioned a few that are better established. There have been others that have faded in the past because as we learned more, they were demonstrated to be incomplete or just invalidated. IMHO, they biggest problems with theories is not the theory, but people assuming more than what they are. Theories say we need to know more but at this time we are unable to determine what else is involved. The door is still open to the search for more knowledge (for the Cowboy daughter's comment).

              People hate uncertainties, IMHO why we have belief systems, to fill in the blanks. Theories still have blanks in them, else they would be a known fact. At this time, they are the best we have in answering some of our question.

              In the middle of my first year of ionic equations, things changed. Because we learned more about what was happening to ionic compounds in the aqueous solution. The original theory, for all practical purpose, worked, The change was to represent a better understanding of what was actually happening. We are still learning about gravity, electromagnetism, evolution, etc. The theory on those topics represent our best knowledge of them. What we find out in the future may validate or invalidate those theories.

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              • #22
                The only scientific 'breakthrough' I want to see is one that gets rid of all religion

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                • #23
                  Originally posted by blackcatnursery View Post
                  The only scientific 'breakthrough' I want to see is one that gets rid of all religion
                  Why? Then we’ll just argue over things like, is 2/3 0.7, 0.67, 0.6666666667, or 0.666666666666666666...

                  You have entirely too much faith in humanity.

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                  • #24
                    Originally posted by blackcatnursery View Post
                    The only scientific 'breakthrough' I want to see is one that gets rid of all religion


                    When I took Philosophy 101, the prof manage to get most students excited. He asked the question, "What is the difference between philosophy and religion?"

                    His answer got the religious and philosophy people upset. He said there was none.

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                    • #25
                      Originally posted by Hollis View Post


                      Reducing a complex discussion to a few. This is from the internet: "Acceptance of a theory does not require that all of its major predictions be tested, if it is already supported by sufficiently strong evidence. For example, certain tests may be unfeasible or technically difficult. As a result, theories may make predictions that have not yet been confirmed or proven incorrect; in this case, the predicted results may be described informally with the term "theoretical." These predictions can be tested at a later time, and if they are incorrect, this may lead to revision or rejection of the theory"

                      Theories are more than guesses and are treated as fact in the
                      absence of something better, the complete knowledge of the event. The next term, practical, for all practical purpose it is a true. Not all theories are the same, you mentioned a few that are better established. There have been others that have faded in the past because as we learned more, they were demonstrated to be incomplete or just invalidated. IMHO, they biggest problems with theories is not the theory, but people assuming more than what they are. Theories say we need to know more but at this time we are unable to determine what else is involved. The door is still open to the search for more knowledge (for the Cowboy daughter's comment).

                      People hate uncertainties, IMHO why we have belief systems, to fill in the blanks. Theories still have blanks in them, else they would be a known fact. At this time, they are the best we have in answering some of our question.

                      In the middle of my first year of ionic equations, things changed. Because we learned more about what was happening to ionic compounds in the aqueous solution. The original theory, for all practical purpose, worked, The change was to represent a better understanding of what was actually happening. We are still learning about gravity, electromagnetism, evolution, etc. The theory on those topics represent our best knowledge of them. What we find out in the future may validate or invalidate those theories.
                      All what you wrote is very very true. Still i think there is a misleading semantic about the word theory especially because level of shades of the word are different in several language (for example french vs american english vs UK english) as well as different shades of acceptance and truthfullness in several theories
                      i.e continenal plates drift is no more a theory (it has ceased to be one 170 years ago), gravitation theory is not anymore a theory in the Euclidian Space and classifical (not quantic) physical space Electromagnetic theory cannot be wrong in our environment either
                      Those ones are so well established that they are the end of their own theorization. i.e they can't be wrong in our known referential because if they were wrong, physics laws wouldn't work. They are the silk in the loom of our universe
                      Now could they stop to work in another universe ? Sure. But it would change completely the paradigm of our own universe
                      And yet they are still labelled Theories so that's where the use of the word is misleading

                      The theory of evolution is a bit different because if true from phenotypic pov, at genetic level it seems a bit more complex. But Darwin couldn't knew about genetic and his theory is still not false, just refined with new datas

                      So far for all the aforementioned theories, the retrospective datas, be it empirical or experimental are conclusive. The way we call them Theories is just a resurgence of the past when they were emitted, confronted to other theories, challenged or even mocked (Theory being, in the mind of a lot of people back then and up to today a synonym for some pompous, unsubstantiated, largely uncertain, void of practice and a purely intelectual construct biased by the philosophical building of its author)

                      I am sorry if i am hardly clear so i'll use wiki sources to try to clear it out

                      Theory in the overall meaning : A theory is a contemplative and rational type of abstract or generalizing thinking, or the results of such thinking.
                      Theory in science : A scientific theory is an explanation of an aspect of the natural world that can be repeatedly tested, in accordance with the scientific method, using a predefined protocol of observation and experiment.[1][2] Established scientific theories have withstood rigorous scrutiny and embody scientific knowledge.[3]
                      The definition of a scientific theory (often contracted to "theory" for the sake of brevity) as used in the disciplines of science is significantly different from the common vernacular usage of the word "theory".[4][Note 1] In everyday speech, "theory" can imply that something is an unsubstantiated and speculative guess,[4] the opposite of its meaning in science. These different usages are comparable to the opposing usages of "prediction" in science versus everyday speech, where it denotes a mere hope.

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                      • #26
                        Originally posted by blackcatnursery View Post
                        The only scientific 'breakthrough' I want to see is one that gets rid of all religion
                        There is a difference between spirituality and religion. Religion divides people, spirituality unites them. Religion (for the most. part) is man made, spirituality is God given. People believe in all sorts of Gods and religions. The God they believe in the most is the one staring back at them in the mirror. Most people don't make the slightest effort to explore the spiritual world (going to Church really doesn't count for most people), the Spiritual Exercises of St Ignatius for example. Personally, I don't find science and the presence of a Higher Power mutually exclusive.

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                        • #27
                          Originally posted by blackcatnursery View Post
                          The only scientific 'breakthrough' I want to see is one that gets rid of all religion


                          good luck with that, and forget about coming to USA

                          Comment


                          • #28
                            Mordoror, We live in a world where about everything is weaponized for political reasons. Even definitions.

                            Science is about having 1st: a open mind. A bias or bigoted way of thinking will blind a person to finding the answer. We have all these little wars going on, like Religion VS non-religion. To quote Sara Palin, "Yeah, sure ya betcha" Subjective thinking is very subjective. How does one quantify or qualify human subjectivity?

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                            • #29
                              Originally posted by Hollis View Post
                              Mordoror, We live in a world where about everything is weaponized for political reasons. Even definitions.

                              Science is about having 1st: a open mind. A bias or bigoted way of thinking will blind a person to finding the answer. We have all these little wars going on, like Religion VS non-religion. To quote Sara Palin, "Yeah, sure ya betcha" Subjective thinking is very subjective. How does one quantify or qualify human subjectivity?
                              Once again, agreed on the weaponization for political (or religious or corporate interests etc) reasons
                              I agree too that science should be about being open minded
                              But as i stated elsewhere, scientists are human and you'll find shortsighted, inflated ego, biased or bigoted ones in this community too
                              On your last question, i bet it is a rethorical one because there is no easy answer, subjectivity being formed by our culture, teaching, familial environment, life experiences and expectations so different for any individual
                              Some tried in social sciences and yet it was "achievable" on given and limited number of subjects
                              For examples they assessed the subjectivity of dresses fits or hair cuts or similar physical details. It works (with a certain margin of error) and yet it is limited on very limited and precise scopes
                              No way to put the complexity of a human mind on paper so far.

                              Comment


                              • #30
                                Originally posted by Hollis View Post
                                Mordoror, We live in a world where about everything is weaponized for political reasons. Even definitions.

                                Science is about having 1st: a open mind. A bias or bigoted way of thinking will blind a person to finding the answer. We have all these little wars going on, like Religion VS non-religion. To quote Sara Palin, "Yeah, sure ya betcha" Subjective thinking is very subjective. How does one quantify or qualify human subjectivity?
                                An open mind. That is an absolute essential, but I find most people who think they are open minded are amongst the most rigidly opinionated and close minded folks out there, irrespective of political ideology.

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