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  #11  
Old 06-25-2009, 04:50 AM
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Originally Posted by Samuel View Post
Sure. But some insist they are correct and new knowledge wont change anything. In other words.... scientific dogma.
There is no such thing as scientific dogma, there are only professors who naturally emphasize the relevance of their school of thought and perhaps, when they are bad professors, neglect to even mention other ideas. As with all things in life, just listen to several people and you get a richer picture.

So 'academic battle between different schools of thought' is more precise than 'dogma'. It is not always beautiful and in sharp contrast to the general, naive belief that science is about a bunch of wise men seeking the holy grail of truth, but such fierce competition erradicates wrong ideas and sometimes even ends in a lovely synthesis (Would it sound too Marxian if I claimed that the dialectic principle implies progress? ):

Take a look at physics, there is the Einstein school, appropriate to describe the macrocosm, there is quantum meachanics which desribes phenomena of the microcosm ... and there are some folks who try to find the graviton and unite both schools of thought.
Or take my discipline, economics. There are classical economists who basically say that the market nearly always works, unless you have a lack of competition or externalities like climate heating or diffuse property rights ... and there are so called heterodox economists who favour a wider approach and like to include e.g. psychological and sociological ideas, the end result being that the market fails more often from their perspective.

Last edited by horatio : 06-25-2009 at 04:55 AM.
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  #12  
Old 06-25-2009, 04:56 AM
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In every method there is a margin of uncertainty and error. The scientific method was agreed on to reduce error and to get rid of mere dogma. And if I find myself being sick I will trust a doctor who uses the scientific method anytime over a witch doctor or an exorcist.

So, whats the whole point of this thread? That there is allways error and the scientific method is no guarantee for being right? Guess what, there are no guarantees in life. The question is what method is more successfull over the long run.

If you find yourself accused of murder, would you want to be judged by a court applying Voodoo to find the truth?

Dogma: "I am right, allways. Period!"
Science: "I am right, untill proven wrong. Then I adopt and am right again."

Last edited by Botany Bay : 06-25-2009 at 05:03 AM.
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  #14  
Old 06-25-2009, 05:06 AM
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Originally Posted by horatio View Post
I'd take the voodoo court. They'll make a voodoo doll out of you, try to prick you via it, and if it does not work, you are innocent.
No, you got it all wrong. They chain you, put you in a bag, throw you into the river and when you drown, then you are innocent. If you survive, then you are a proven witch and you get burned.
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  #16  
Old 06-25-2009, 05:28 AM
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Perhaps the voodoo folks are a bit further evolved than we Europeans have been in the Dark Ages and already know 'in dubio pro reo'?
Anyway, I am safe as a man can be no witch. Good ol' sexism of the Dark Ages.
Men can be no witches? I could tell you stories.

Seriously though, men where burned as witches and the hight of the witch hunt was not in medieval times but in the modern era. The medieval period ends with Columbus discovering America (1492). The witch hunt was starting then and going to round about 1800 (for instance in Poland 1792). Thats long after the age of enlightenment.
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  #17  
Old 06-25-2009, 05:31 AM
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Interesting, I did not know that. But it should not be surprising, the pattern of witch hunts has more to do with primitive fear than the witch, a manifestation of that fear. Pity that there are still witch hunts today, communists, homosexuals or in the last years Muslims.
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  #18  
Old 06-25-2009, 06:40 AM
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Originally Posted by Saquist View Post
The problem is still manifested in science's method of credential bias.
It happens far too often in the areas of the unknown and we only find out when undeniable proof is revealed.
I remember reading something Hawking wrote about how he believed time travel was possible, but said no one would be likely to do the work on it because any credibility they had would be washed away (and a new student would never begin it for the same reason).
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  #19  
Old 06-25-2009, 07:04 AM
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Soha that is exactly what I'm talking about.
Science tends to put stigma on research. If this were the Hollywood I'd say they were blackballing by credential. Once something has been accepted no matter how theoretical it is, it is very hard to get anyone just to listen to another theory.

I suspect that is why our tech advancement has been so slow.
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  #20  
Old 06-25-2009, 07:16 AM
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Once something has been accepted no matter how theoretical it is, it is very hard to get anyone just to listen to another theory.
Theories need facts to back them up. Once a hypothesis has become a theory it is widely accepted and people get nobel prizes for it. If some schmock comes around and rejects the theory, then that means he rejects all the facts and proofs for that according theory. So, of course science then asks for the reasons of rejecting the accepted theory. And if the according scientist has no good reasons for his doubts, then yes, people will think he is a little strange.

In science you have to make the case. If you cant, then you are not a good scientist.

Theories are not oppinions.

PS: And regarding the "slow" progress of technology...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JAUqA...e=channel_page

Last edited by Botany Bay : 06-25-2009 at 07:19 AM.
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