Whatever happened to real science?

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Whatever happened to real science?

Unread postby davesmith_au » Fri May 16, 2008 6:48 pm

13 May 2008 ~ Wallace Thornhill

Just as much of modern science has become self-serving in striving for status and funding, the theory of how science should be done is similarly afflicted. An assessment of a theory based on ‘degrees of belief’ might be useful if scientists didn't routinely ignore, minimize or dismiss falsifying evidence and twiddle the countless knobs on their models to fit new data. The most glaring modern example of such behavior is the rejection of stark evidence of intrinsic redshift of quasars. Big bang cosmology is already lifeless by this assessment but ‘belief’ keeps the corpse warm. While we allow the few scientists who judge the data according to their beliefs to control publication, funding and press releases, real science is dead. ... [more...]
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Re: Whatever happened to real science?

Unread postby runaro » Mon May 19, 2008 10:43 am

An excellent article by Wallace Thornhill. What indeed has happened to real science? Well, as it turns out, Karl Popper happened, among other things. While it would appear on the surface that Popper is a proponent of the scientific method, one will find that his ideas are largely responsible for the popularization of the notion that science is a process of "peer review", rather than a process of induction validated by deduction.

It is in fact the jettisoning of induction that allows modern "scientists" to continue to propose outlandish theories with no basis in reality. The essential is not that the theories aren't falsifiable. The essential is that there is no positive evidence for holding those hypotheses in the first place. It's immaterial whether such hypotheses are true or false. They are arbitrary, and can therefore be rejected out of hand. While it may have been Popper's intent to save us from pseudoscience, he has been one of the enablers of the attack on science. The modern "scientists" join Popper in rejecting induction, but simply take a step further and reject falsifiability as well.

Please see the following paper for an epistemological analysis of Popper's ideas:
http://www.libertarian.co.uk/lapubs/philn/philn065.htm

Also here:
http://www.aynrandbookstore2.com/prodin ... mber=CD01M
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Re: Whatever happened to real science?

Unread postby Solar » Mon May 19, 2008 7:25 pm

Probabilities aren’t prices by which you can compare the apples and oranges of different initial beliefs. Probabilities incorporate the very initial beliefs that scientists should be discovering and questioning. The theory that is based on familiar assumptions will always calculate out as more probable than the ones with unfamiliar assumptions. Bayesian probabilities are little more than digitized familiarities. “Secure knowledge” is the enemy of scientific discovery.

Now I understand why astrophysics presents itself with "scenarios" to account for 'anomalous' findings. Those "scenarios" perform the unscientific function of haphazardly incorporating contrary observation and data into the comfortable realm of "Secure Knowledge" and simultaneously attempts to deny “the probability of getting observed results on the basis of ... rival theories” by "selectively fitting the evidence" into an established paradigm.

That's precisely how you can get nonexistent "dark matter filaments" to coexist with actual, observed, plasma filaments.

Excellent article.
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Re: Whatever happened to real science?

Unread postby Muser » Tue Jun 17, 2008 7:21 am

I will admit straight up that I am not a scientist in the normal sense. Far too many good scientists are now persuaded by the official systems in use to follow their views even when the scientific method doesn't support it.

Far too many scientists are reliant these days on businesses to give them funding, and the only thing business is interested in is how to make more money. If any scientific research comes up with negative views after a lot of money has been spent then the businesses are very unhappy. They expect good results and practically bully some people into giving the results they desire - or so it seems at times!

One thing I am very good at is spotting anomolies. I may not be as good as carrying out the usual data recording but I am very good at spotting where errors have occurred, or where something doesn't fit within a pre-expected theory. I am also prepared to accept all theories and results, making it possible for me to determine different types of structures and possible consequences.

For years I said that the Doppler Effect should not be used to determine distances of far away space planets/stars. I considered this based on the idea that certain rules of physics only have effect over limited distances and that after those limits have been reached, other rules come into play. I had no official scientific data to confirm it, but I "felt" it was right, and I had seen patterns in other situations, often on a smaller scale.

In recent times it has been found that light is not the constant Einstein thought it was, and that it not only can be bent it can be slowed down, even stopped. Therefore, it is now impossible to be sure that any calculation deducing how far away a distant space body is situated is accurate. The Doppler Effect has limitations. Fact!

Yet again, people assumed that the rules used to determine close to objects and distance would apply when objects are said to be light years away.

Science can never give a precise prediction, only a possible prediction, and then only after a lot of recording of data over a long period of time. When dealing with astronomical data we cannot be sure of anything as mankind, in modern terms, has not been looking at the sky with its instruments for very long. Of course, it is possible that in ancient times there were humans who had collated a lot of data, and who had deduced theories which may yet become fact, but as modern man does not like to think the ancients ever were capable of thinking better than modern man I don't think the old information will be even considered. Only modern observations and data will be considered. Pity. There is a lot of information from the past which would prove extremely valuable, if only we could get past this childish attitude and admit we still have a great deal to learn from our own past, never mind the future.

So often scientists give only a positive scenario as to what a new invention, or idea, will bring. I never see them consider the downsides, at least not until the effects have been made obvious.

Science cannot answer the panacea of all ills, nor can it produce the answers to every question. It can go some way towards providing evidence, but not all the conclusions are set or sure.
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Re: Whatever happened to real science?

Unread postby Plasmatic » Fri Jun 20, 2008 12:55 pm

runaro wrote:An excellent article by Wallace Thornhill. What indeed has happened to real science? Well, as it turns out, Karl Popper happened, among other things. While it would appear on the surface that Popper is a proponent of the scientific method, one will find that his ideas are largely responsible for the popularization of the notion that science is a process of "peer review", rather than a process of induction validated by deduction.

It is in fact the jettisoning of induction that allows modern "scientists" to continue to propose outlandish theories with no basis in reality. The essential is not that the theories aren't falsifiable. The essential is that there is no positive evidence for holding those hypotheses in the first place. It's immaterial whether such hypotheses are true or false. They are arbitrary, and can therefore be rejected out of hand. While it may have been Popper's intent to save us from pseudoscience, he has been one of the enablers of the attack on science. The modern "scientists" join Popper in rejecting induction, but simply take a step further and reject falsifiability as well.

Please see the following paper for an epistemological analysis of Popper's ideas:
http://www.libertarian.co.uk/lapubs/philn/philn065.htm

Also here:
http://www.aynrandbookstore2.com/prodin ... mber=CD01M



Welcom runaro,you may be interested in this thread:

viewtopic.php?f=8&t=554&st=0&sk=t&sd=a

I have Daghsdahls lecture , and i have to say he has a very unenthusiastic tone. Of course thats not the point though is it ;)
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