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"Cargo Cult Science" by Richard Feynman

Man-is-good
Posts: 6,871
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7/1/2011 9:00:26 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
Even in the past, there was a resurgence of lots of psuedoscience. I remember, at one occasion, I happened to be reading a selection of a book called "Fads and Fallacies in the Name of Science" on Google Books [I will try to borrow it from the library], and discovered an amusing chapter that detailed the types of pseudosciences, ranging from "dianetic reveries"--which the author, perhaps sardonically, described as being characterized with moving back the time track, strange beliefs in dianetics include as well the fact that the embryo could record a mother's conversations/hear it, all the hype about UFOs and their phenomena and alleged incidents, the old belief (that persisted with the Flat Earth society of the nineteenth century) that the Earth was flat, stories about people on Mars. There's just too much to describe or even list about pseudosciences.

However, it should be of note that these psuedosciences only reinforce the reason why the current procedure of scientific research and speculation should be carried.
It also happens to serve a great read, as we explore some of the wildest scientific "theories" postulated in the last few decades...
"Homo sum, humani nihil a me alienum puto." --Terence

"I believe that the mind can be permanently profaned by the habit of attending to trivial things, so that all our thoughts shall be tinged with triviality."--Thoreau
Cliff.Stamp
Posts: 2,169
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7/1/2011 9:23:29 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
One of the interesting things in this is where Feynman argues that science is separated by pseudo-science because of its integrity. If you read anything from him this is clear but here he states it explicitly. It was was he never understood the issue with the demarcation problem and one of the reasons why he had no use for philosophy of science, or a lot for philosophy in general.
tkubok
Posts: 5,044
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7/1/2011 9:28:12 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
Reminds me of an opening to one of Kent Hovinds videos, where he is wearing a lab coat and bubbly chemicals in test tubes.
Cliff.Stamp
Posts: 2,169
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7/1/2011 9:41:47 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
Yes the good Doctor is an inspiration and his loyal followers eagerly await his release from prison, though his son still champions the cause.
SuperRobotWars
Posts: 3,906
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7/1/2011 9:57:33 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 7/1/2011 8:45:59 PM, Cliff.Stamp wrote:
As there has been a lot of pseudo-science lately :



Cliff, this is why you are one of my best friends, you always know what to post. This is chicken soup to the SRW soul.
Minister Of Trolling
: At 12/6/2011 2:21:41 PM, badger wrote:
: ugly people should beat beautiful people ugly. simple! you'd be killing two birds with the one stone... women like violent men and you're making yourself more attractive, relatively. i met a blonde dude who was prettier than me not so long ago. he's not so pretty now! ha!
:
: ...and well, he wasn't really prettier than me. he just had nice hair.
Tiel
Posts: 1,500
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7/2/2011 3:20:23 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
Opinion: I feel that Pseudoscience. while being sometimes radical and seemingly irrational, should not be excluded all together. It is a practice that tries to scientifically bridge the gap between the the known and the seemingly unknown. The problem seems to be that it deals mostly with theories/beliefs whose physical results that cannot be reproduced efficiently enough to gain official scientific support. In my opinion, this is because matters of the unwilling conscious spirit cannot be accurately reproduced in strict scientific experiments, unless the will of the spirit can and does decide to adhere to the strict physical measurement of the scientific experiment. If spirit phenomena is indeed just as real as the physical world we see with our 5 senses, then science must understand that it is dealing with conscious spirits of a dimension or realm of energy that we cannot properly measure as of yet, with our current scientific tools. Even if we could, the spirits would have to be capable of reproducing he results themselves, and then they would have to agree to the terms of the experiment. All of this makes it extremely difficult to reproduce accurate physical measurements of such phenomena, and prove such beliefs/theories correct by current scientific methods.
"Only the inner force of curiosity and wonder about the unknown, or an outer force upon your free will, can brake the shackles of your current perception."
Cliff.Stamp
Posts: 2,169
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7/2/2011 6:00:50 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 7/2/2011 3:20:23 PM, Tiel wrote:
Opinion: I feel that Pseudoscience. while being sometimes radical and seemingly irrational, should not be excluded all together.

Tiel, the main problem that people have with pseudo-science is the attitude that those individuals have which is anti-science. Say for example that you sit down with a palm reader and you are knowledgeable about cold hand reading. In this case you can identify exactly what the individual is doing a are aware there is no knowledge being given, it is just deception pure and simple.

That is what Feynman was talking about in the video. Scientists, or science, is built upon integrity. Its purpose is to provide knowledge, to lift people out of ignorance. The pseudo-sciences of mysticism are the exact opposite, they are snake-oil, they are their to deceive and in fact they run from the truth. What happens if you talk about the placebo effect and lack of double blind studies to aura manipulation healers? Will they be open, will they utilize double blind studies - no.

It is a practice that tries to scientifically bridge the gap between the the known and the seemingly unknown. The problem seems to be that it deals mostly with theories/beliefs whose physical results that cannot be reproduced efficiently enough to gain official scientific support.

Care needs to be taken here in something being not well founded and something which avoids being tested. For example we currently do not have the means to detect the high pass particles to confirm string theory -but- the string theorists are eagerly awaiting the collider that will do this as they want to know the truth. This again is the essential difference, a scientist wants to know if they are wrong. Now we are speaking here in ideals, as was Feynman, but the point remains.

In my opinion, this is because matters of the unwilling conscious spirit cannot be accurately reproduced in strict scientific experiments, unless the will of the spirit can and does decide to adhere to the strict physical measurement of the scientific experiment. If spirit phenomena is indeed just as real as the physical world we see with our 5 senses, then science must understand that it is dealing with conscious spirits of a dimension or realm of energy that we cannot properly measure as of yet, with our current scientific tools. Even if we could, the spirits would have to be capable of reproducing he results themselves, and then they would have to agree to the terms of the experiment. All of this makes it extremely difficult to reproduce accurate physical measurements of such phenomena, and prove such beliefs/theories correct by current scientific methods.

Lets assume that all of this is true, that there is something which is not reducible to the physical though it can act in the physical and further still is actually intelligent and could avoid manifesting in order to avoid detection. The question here is how can you know such a thing exists. Just think about how to characterize such a thing, it nature, now change its nature at random and see if there is anyway you could tell which one is true, your first characterization or the random one. If you can figure out a way to know then guess what, you just reduced it to science, if you can not figure out a way to know then what does that mean? It means that you can not know anything about the thing you claim exists and thus how useful is it to claim it exists?

This is the philosophical construct of the invisible teapot, which purpose is to show you can create an infinite amount of untestable things, all of which may be true or false and there is no way to know either. The argument then is that no knowledge can come from such constructs.
headphonegut
Posts: 4,122
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7/10/2011 4:20:37 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
omg not this guy he's and egotistical maniac
crying to soldiers coming home to their dogs why do I torment myself with these videos?
headphonegut
Posts: 4,122
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7/10/2011 4:22:09 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
he should've stuck with quantum mech
crying to soldiers coming home to their dogs why do I torment myself with these videos?