mardi 17 janvier 2017

Science vs Pseudo-Science?

Perhaps you have at some time seen a schematic list of contrasts between real science and pseudo-science?


Well, here is my list of remarks on the list:

Real vs Pseudo

"Real Science"
Willingness to change with new evidence.

"Pseudo Science"
Fixed ideas.

My comment
For a religious dogma, there can be no change with new evidence while maintaining the dogma.

Either the dogma is kept and the evidence is explained according to it, or the dogma is abandoned - which is more of an individual than a mass level occurrence.

This does not mean there is a conflict between religious dogma and science, this means religious dogma is one perk higher in the level of any man's certitudes than science is.

The ones who don't really get this while repeating the distinction as one between true and pseudo science are those who make science their actual religion, not just a changeable human pursuit below their religion.

"Real Science"
Ruthless peer review.

"Pseudo Science"
No peer review.

My comment
So, is Evolutionism or Creationism science, is Evolutionism or Creationism pseudo?

I say that individual papers on both sides meet both descriptions, as the individual cases may be.

But overall, Creationists are more debate willing, therefore more willing to post-publishing review.

As to pre-publishing, it only serves to enforce the editorial line of a paper. Including the case that a paper were to have an editorial line of trusting the editorial line of pre-publishing reviewers hired by the paper.

When this pre-publishing peer review is taken as indication that Evolutionism fulfils the "ruthless peer review" criterium of real science, this is simply an alibi for being less debate friendly and for being less open to post-publishing review.

Of course, some people who have science as their religion rather than as a human pursuit below their religion will in fact also have actual pieces of science as human pursuits below their religion, and be able to ruthlessly criticise them. As obviously a creationist will equally ruthlessly criticise a piece of creation science he doesn't agree on.

"Real Science"
Takes account of all discoveries.

"Pseudo Science"
Selects only favourable discoveries.

My comment
Everyone has his impression as to what side is doing this. Selecting only favourable discoveries.

If you are honest, you will probably find Evolutionists are doing this.

I discovered a technical problem in the proposed karyotype evolution process called chromosome fission years ago.

It was sent in, three links full of text, giving the links in a much shorter letter to Nature Genetics, so that the discovery could get some post-publishing review, since Nature Genetics has more readers than my blog and could attract critical and therefore peer reviewing ones to it. My letter did not pass the pre-publishing review.

I discovered a technical solution for rise of carbon 14 level in atmosphere. I wrote the relevant essays in October / November, perhaps a last one in December 2015.

I will still find people repeating that Creationist takes on Radioactive dating involves amounts of radiation which would kill off all life on the planet.

No, not quite so with Carbon dating at least. My discovery has been ignored.

If you are honest, even as a Creationist, you will find your own side occasionally selecting only favourable discoveries.

My discovery on carbon dating contradicts some long standing themes in diverse factions of creationist community, like "carbon 14 level is still rising", "carbon 14 dating isn't science at all," "you need to know when the fossil is from in order to date it in order to find out where it is from" and probably also "King James Version has a better Chronology than the LXX".

For a chronology of 6000 rather than 7000 years, of a Flood 4400 as opposed to 4974 years ago, either reaching stable level of carbon 14 would take longer time, and so some more recent history, well dated by narratives as well as by carbon dated relics would need a more drastic redating, or, the initial rise would have had to be even faster, and therefore the radiation levels higher, and therefore these radiation levels coming closer to levels which would indeed be mortal.

"Real Science"
Invites criticism.

"Pseudo Science"
Sees criticism as conspiracy.

My comment
Most people tend to "invite criticism" pro forma.

Fewer are willing to take the criticism, detail per detail. When dismissing it, a certain culture tends to dismiss it as "this remark comes from a conspiracy" and that dismissal is not typical of the public words from evolution community.

More often the evolution community has another stock dismissal, namely "you don't understand science" or even "you don't understand logic".

In nastier conflicts, they even go as far as to play the insanity card "you only say that because you are insane".

"Real Science"
Verifiable results.

"Pseudo Science"
Non-repeatable results.

My comment
That is more like a contrast between operational science and its real contrasts.

These real contrasts involve historic questions, but also "science from a distance" (a k a astronomy of outer space) or "science of the ultra-small". It also concerns questions about ultimate understanding of reality.

The one, rather rare and quaint context, in which the contrast actually is one between real and pseudo science is when one scientist has made results and one other scientist claims to repeat the experiment but not get same results at all.

Has cold fusion been observed? I don't know. Someone has claimed that he has observed it, others have claimed they could not repeat the experiment. I don't know if they did same things as the one claiming it or not.

"Real Science"
Limits claims of usefulness.

"Pseudo Science"
Claims of widespread usefulness.

My comment
This meme is usually about medicine.

A panacaea is often considered to be the mark of a charlatan.

However, there are plants (and I am not growing and selling any) which have less specialised and more general good properties.

An antibiotic has no effect on pluricellular parasites. Most antiparasitics can't be used against bacteria. Tea tree oil can be used on both.

Blue cheese can be used simply as food, or for the fact that it literally contains the classic antibiotic penecilline.

Of course, it would be inefficient on bacteria which are resistent to penecilline. But if the bacteria in your throat or your teeth are not resistent to penecilline, try blue cheese, if you can't or won't go to a doctor for a prescription. Penecilline = excretion of bread mold. Blue mold of blue cheese = bread mold. Therefore, blue cheese contains penecilline. Only, not synthetically extracted from the rest of what the bread mold involves.

On a more general level, when it comes to religions, all claim to be panacaeas. If you analyse Buddhism carefully, even Buddhism does - only in that case it is not about Buddhism as a confession of religious adherence, but about its content, which it acknowledges can in some cases be accessed by non-Buddhists.

For goodness on a general social level, not salvific, or, according to some, even salvific truth, Catholic Christianity can make similar allowances.

Now, the fun thing is that evolution is also in the religious competition of panacaeas. When evolutionists use this meme to bash creationism (=Christianity) as a pseudoscientific panacaea, next time, you remind them on how they often claim "scientific method" is the one panacaea for logic, decent society, peace in the world, "progress" and so on.

Now I think I shall have to notify Alan Whistler I reused his meme ... before perhaps commenting on his text. I was actually looking for him in another context too.

Hans Georg Lundahl
Nanterre UL
St Anthony the Great*

* In Thebaide sancti Antonii Abbatis, qui, multorum Monachorum Pater, vita et miraculis praeclarissimus vixit; cujus gesta sanctus Athanasius insigni volumine prosecutus est. Ejus autem sacrum corpus, sub Justiniano Imperatore, divina revelatione repertum et Alexandriam delatum, in Ecclesia sancti Joannis Baptistae humatum fuit.

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