Truth
Posted: 25 April 2017 03:08 PM   [ Ignore ]
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This could be a science question or politics or general. Anyway. I have had two facebook discussions this week. One with a libertarian,  who I eventually blocked. The other with a guy who ran an environmental education org all his life. One was about truth in general, then slid into global warming, the other about aspartame causing dementia, then slid into GMOs. Both of these people, polar opposites in intelligence and politics, claimed I didn’t know what science was. Both accused me of cherry picking data. I never even presented data, they just assumed that because I disagreed with them, I must be selecting my sources based on my own bias.

Anyone else get this?

Is there any hope for a world that doesn’t trust it’s smartest people? (Not me, the scientists)

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Posted: 25 April 2017 06:36 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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I think the best policy is not to engage in serious discussion on social media.

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Posted: 25 April 2017 08:09 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Someone else said that, but I said this is not new. Not trusting science began in the 70’s. It’s just easier to track now. Demon Haunted World was full of stuff like this.

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Posted: 27 April 2017 12:34 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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‘Science’ is a bit of an overall concept. It can mean anything from ‘established science’ to ‘everything a scientist says’. ‘Science’ can also mean anything ‘science’ has ever thought. And as you gave this thread the title ‘Truth’: grosso modo, one can say that established science presents truths. But everything a scientist says certainly doesn’t. And under pressure of the need of publishing, boost scientist’s egos, and a not quite justified belief that technology progressing will make everything better, science itself contributes to getting a bad name. It is also not easy for everyone to find meaning in life, where science demolishes all beliefs in a general, given meaning of life. This is more than many people can cope with, and they might prefer to believe things that cannot be scientifically proven, or even contradict science.

The problem as I see it is that established science gets snowed under for the public. Many see science as just another belief, promoted by certain interests (and partially they are right!), and then deny everything science has to say. So people can believe in homeopathy (“Science only sees what it can measure”), in the young earth, or that global warming is not happening: all examples of contradicting established science.

People who do not see the difference between established science, ongoing research, scientific speculations,  and unjustified beliefs can always say that you are cherry picking data.

Yes, I am very worried too. A society that does not know the difference between facts, probabilities, beliefs and lies, cannot cope for its real problems.

[ Edited: 27 April 2017 08:33 AM by GdB ]
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GdB

The light is on, but there is nobody at home.

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Posted: 27 April 2017 12:37 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Wow, I wanted to correct a typo in my previous post, but the software considers my posting suddenly as spam, I cannot edit it anymore at all. It hasn’t even a link in it! It’s getting worse and worse…

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Posted: 27 April 2017 04:34 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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GdB - 27 April 2017 12:37 AM

Wow, I wanted to correct a typo in my previous post, but the software considers my posting suddenly as spam, I cannot edit it anymore at all. It hasn’t even a link in it! It’s getting worse and worse…

I’ve found I can do that sometimes, but not always. Not sure if it’s a timing thing.

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Posted: 27 April 2017 06:15 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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Good point on the “many see science as just another belief”. Once you toss evidence, collected in a meticulous way, using cross checks, double blinds, repeated, statistical analysis to eliminate variables, etc. into the same bucket as “my mother said”, it’s hard to get it back out. Arguments about some science that was wrong 200 years ago become relevant.

If that was it, I wouldn’t be so worried. Someone who completely misunderstands what science is can be educated. The ones that worry me are the ones who recognize the use and power of science in one field, usually the one they like, like clean air or global warming, but can’t see they aren’t applying the same standards to something they don’t like, like chemicals in food or pesticides. John Loftus coined the term “Outsiders Test for Faith”, and I think there is a general name for it, other than its application to religion.

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Posted: 27 April 2017 08:34 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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Lausten - 27 April 2017 04:34 AM

I’ve found I can do that sometimes, but not always. Not sure if it’s a timing thing.

Yeah, right. From home I could edit it now…

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Posted: 27 April 2017 08:36 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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Lausten - 27 April 2017 06:15 AM

Someone who completely misunderstands what science is can be educated.

The problem is most people don’t want to be educated. They want to stick to their belief.

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Posted: 27 April 2017 09:41 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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GdB - 27 April 2017 08:36 AM
Lausten - 27 April 2017 06:15 AM

Someone who completely misunderstands what science is can be educated.

The problem is most people don’t want to be educated. They want to stick to their belief.

That’s a big problem, but I can identify it and deal with it.

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Posted: 27 April 2017 10:23 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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Lausten - 27 April 2017 09:41 AM
GdB - 27 April 2017 08:36 AM
Lausten - 27 April 2017 06:15 AM

Someone who completely misunderstands what science is can be educated.

The problem is most people don’t want to be educated. They want to stick to their belief.

That’s a big problem, but I can identify it and deal with it.

A bit of a tangent, but I think some of that is by design. Certain groups thrive from chaos and uncertainty. The more they can create, the more they know most people will just give up and turn on the TV. I have to admit too that I’m starting to get in that group as I get older.

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