Pyramid Comment

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Friday, November 24, 2006

The Paradoxical Scientist

Based on the original posting, October 2006

How much science 'fact' can be relied upon?

A disturbing question.

Those who ridicule conspiracy theorists (hold a quite different and possibly radical viewpoint to mainstream thinking) are essentially closed-minded and rather naïve. Oddly, these people in many cases describe themselves as scientists and this is quite the opposite, in fact, to what a scientist should be: questioning, challenging and exploring new ideas. Not accepting dogma and mantra, but properly examining claims and by quality argument demonstrating claims (which can be neither proved nor disproved) to be unfounded if that’s what they truly believe. It takes courage.

To learn about the world around him, a scientist must ask, observe, suppose, experiment, and analyze:

  • In asking - the right question must be posed
  • In observing - the significant must be distinguished from the unimportant
  • In supposing - a workable answer (or hypothesis) may be predicted, but a scientist must be ready to abandon it
  • In experimenting - the right instrument must be chosen or borrowed from the tool kit of some other branch of science
  • In analyzing - the scientist must, with his mind and his imagination, draw conclusions from the data his research has revealed.
Science Building, Seattle World's Fair (1962)

A current example of this in progress is the entire issue of climate change and the associated global warming arguments. The politics and the real science are completely mixed up and any Truth is subverted into lies. The ethos of politics.

Power and control games

The consequences are dreadful. They have been and continue to be. The science needs to be considered by itself, otherwise the politics simply creates the illogical lie. This will inevitably (never) terminate, but just result in a very costly non-solution.

But it's so much quicker and requires less intellectual input to simply refute or ignore any (reasonable) argument as there is no time wasted in countering any 'ridiculous' alternative. Just because it is an idea not accepted by mainstream thinking it is confined to the box that contains stale ideas that are deemed to be going nowhere. Fresh ideas finish up forgotten simply because they don't fit in with dogma and mantra. Well established (long serving) ideas that could be wrong become so entrenched that the answer leading away from the errors is not examined.

Presumably, Newton, Galileo, Copernicus, Keplar, Einstein... were independent thinkers not influenced by political thinking and imagine how climate change 'might' be viewed if politics were not corrupting a 'fact'.

Comments like: "Sceptics have responded by insisting such findings... do not conform to known science", denies any results that don't fit 'inside the box' and that is an example of monumental arrogant thinking. Science has no place for bloated egos that display arrogance. Truth and accuracy will never be found that way. 'Facts' can easily be distorted (not necessarily deliberately) to fit 'inside the box'. An objective (and wide-open) mind is essential for good science to happen. In the first instance to consider everything and reject nothing. Like a good detective: believe nothing and question everything. Then to remove the impossible and the least likely. Least likely does not imply impossible. Something may be inconceivable, yet that does not make it impossible. It is only an assessment using currently accepted concepts, which in themselves could be mistaken viewpoints. Accepted, but incorrect, ideas of today can tomorrow be overturned when they are recognised as being wrong.

  • And, of course, ideas have been deemed wrong, but only based on the current thinking of the time, can be resurrected later when new thinking deems them correct. Any idea that is correct today was still correct yesterday. The consensus of opinion may change, but the 'facts' remain the same.
Nonconformism gets more threatening.

Kuhnian Paradigm Shift

Consider ideas that are 'outside the box'. No constraints to dogma. If observation doesn't fit, possibly the hypothesis is wrong. Death threats are actually just pathetic. The mentality of the bully or the scientific idiot. This should not happen anywhere in a civilised society and such types have no right to consider themselves scientists.

What if Einstein or Newton got it all wrong? Maybe they did. Not all right or all wrong. Mankind relies on these 'facts' being right. Everything is built on this single 'fact'. Some observations in various experiments don't fit. This doesn't make any single observation wrong. Only expressed in terms of dogma can it be wrong. Like the Church in the days of Galileo and the penalty for even daring to criticise religion.

The mental courage of such men as Keplar, Galileo and Copernicus cannot be imagined. The physical courage of women too: Joan of Arc or Boudicca (Boudica or Boadicea). Mental or physical makes little difference.

Standing up for your principles against tyranny

Be mindful of Geronimo. Regroup and obtain eventual success. To change outcomes you have to survive.

The concept of the single theory stands to reason. There probably is one since we all exist. The universe we imagine exists, but only in terms we think we understand. Maybe it doesn't exist at all, though it remains a complete mystery. In a local environment the physical laws may exist in the appearance of conformity, but outside that environment, physical reality may change. That cannot be tested. Yet. Science 'fact' must be discussed with extreme caution. Arrogance as a product of the ego is to state that the theory is still right even when nothing fits. It's pathetic and ridiculous. Ludicrous. Really bizarre illogical and twisted thinking.

But thinking in opposition to dogma receives death threats. Religion has always been the defining limit to thinking. It is the boundary to the limited-size box. One hand clapping is not only very inefficient, but it cannot work. Anything that objects to only belief is regarded as heresy. Confining to the inside of the box can never examine that which may be outside. Those ideas may be wrong or not exist at all, but at least they are rationally and properly considered. The confines of biased belief will deny anything logically argued. It is easier to refute out of hand without a rebuttal than construct the defense of an argument. It's a ludicrous scenario, but it happens all the time when dogma is accepted (though never examined) for what it isn't. Fixed, tunnel vision demonstrates a terribly biased selectivity. Dangerously biased. How scientists actually believe they can find an answer with this kind of thinking is completely beyond me. It's tantamount to intellectual fraud. This conditioning attitude in itself suggests manipulation and the price that must be paid by risking the professional reputation. If a claim cannot stand up to critical argument, then that’s that.

But be mindful that when politics becomes entangled in science it corrupts thinking to degrade to the level of the convenient lie. Money and the motives with financial implications must be considered. These are 'facts' of life. The bed of vipers is a dangerous place for the unwary.

If any counter argument to accepted theory cannot be easily overturned, then the viewpoint must be allowed to stand until it can be shown to be wrong or, perhaps, proven to be right! "We know that on the other side of the universe..." is a typical approach. We DO NOT know. We CANNOT know. "At the Big Bang 13.7bn years ago...". The concept of no beginning does not compute to the human psyche. It's not comfortable. Similar to past, present and the requirement of a future. The limitations of some constrained thinking processes simply cannot imagine anything other than the inside of their box. There is no outside to the box. The concept of The Big Bang is all a theory and essentially describes a time when no life is assumed to have been in existence anywhere. No witnesses. Nobody can know. This is 'fact'. What could it be like to be inside an exploding supernova? What might come out of that? A 'universe'? The environment may appear to be a 'universe', but what is... a 'universe'? It can only be what is understood to be as 'local'.


  • And only from the perspective of prison Earth
  • And from which we cannot escape (everyone returns home. Or dies)
Everybody who lives will die. This is 'fact', yet even this is unknown. That nobody has been in our understanding of existence to be asked the question after death doesn't rule out the concept of life and a continued, but different, 'life' at 'death'. Logic can produce many scenarios however unlikely any of them may be. Everything is speculative. The existence of a creator (God-figure) cannot be disproved so in the meantime it is accepted (by some) as a default condition. The absurd illogicality of some 'believers' is that they are prepared to kill (or allow to die) those who do not conform to their single-track ideas and concepts.

By definition, any belief is unproven

The Inconvenient Truth or The Convenient Lie? Both are opposite sides of the same coin.

Proof can only be based on well-tested theory that exists inside AND outside the box. Even then, a consistent approach without conflict does not necessarily provide proof for anything.