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Why should I trust scientific consensus?

someloser
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3/29/2016 4:14:25 AM
Posted: 8 months ago
None. Scientistry is unreliable, particularly where politically-sensitive topics are concerned.
Ego sum qui sum. Deus lo vult.

"America is ungovernable; those who served the revolution have plowed the sea." - Simon Bolivar

"A healthy nation is as unconscious of its nationality as a healthy man of his bones. But if you break a nation's nationality it will think of nothing else but getting it set again." - George Bernard Shaw
Ramshutu
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3/29/2016 4:48:51 AM
Posted: 8 months ago
At 3/29/2016 4:05:35 AM, RainbowDash52 wrote:
What are the best arguments for why I should blindly trust scientific consensus?

Because it comprises hundreds of thousands of highly educated people with access to detailed data, and the education and understanding to beat understand what it means, and most scientific consensus in the modern era is built upon review, testing, reproducibility and large amounts of data that corroborate that consensus.

The alternative, is to believe fringe science, that has none of those things; is most often either bunk or pseudoscience, does not adhere to most of the principles of what it means to be scientific, and in the majority of examples what it means to be intellectually honest.

The consensus can be overturned, and is when new data comes about. While science has been very wrong about some fundamental things, mainly in the first half and before of the last century, most of the core established science is unlikely to be because of how much data has been compiled to support it with our advancements of technology.

While science has been wrong, acting as if it is wrong without having any realistic or scientific reasons why, and citing whacko fringe websites, pseudoscientific creationism and other woo and bunk is a bit like stating you don't think your bank is a good place to put your money, because people lost their deposited savings in the 1920s depression, so you've decided to invest in the exiled Nigerian prince who just emailed you a business opportunity.
RuvDraba
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3/29/2016 5:17:05 AM
Posted: 8 months ago
At 3/29/2016 4:05:35 AM, RainbowDash52 wrote:
What are the best arguments for why I should blindly trust scientific consensus?
I think that might be the wrong question, RD. So let me try and argue for what the right question should be, and then argue for what I think the best answer is.

Here's a motivating question: what is knowledge and how do you know when you have it?

There are many proposed philosophical answers to this, but science has an answer shared by all professional practitioners.

Knowledge is independently-corroborated, best-practice observation. That is, we know only observations, and even then it's only what has been independently confirmed, using best-practice methods -- that is, methods which screen out known biases and errors.

So knowledge is not what you hope or expect to observe; it's not what you interpret or are you're told to observe; and it's not what you perceive to have occurred. It's what anyone actually can observe when they bring to bear the most precise and accurate skills and technologies we have available to remove the observer's errors from the observation (this is sometimes described as mechanistic objectivity.)

So scientific theories are built on vast amounts of knowledge, but are not knowledge themselves. The best scientific theories are typically incomplete models producing accurate but not perfect predictions and undergoing constant refinement, since corroborated exceptions will defeat any theory, no matter how reliable it has been in the past.

And the way science works is that it doesn't matter who makes the observation, as long as it's done competently, to best practice, and is corroborated. So when scientists work on a problem, by definition they're putting the best, most diabolical observations they can devise in competition with the best theories they can devise -- and even friends and colleagues in the field will do this.

So scientific consensus on a theory isn't agreement to stop looking for exceptions or new knowledge. It's agreement that the theory is accurate, precise, has detailed mechanisms, makes specific, significant predictions, has found no exceptions, and that observation has eliminated every reasonable alternative (and once alternatives are eliminated, it's forever.)

That consensus is built from expert judgement trying to destroy theories, and unless you're working in the field, you won't know many specifics about how it has occurred. But you should be confident that scientists are rewarded professionally for finding the exceptions, and also for developing specific, significant, accurate theories for which no exceptions can be found. So the professional system by which science progresses rewards magnificent successes but also the ability to crack established theories.

So bearing in mind that most scientific theory does not directly affect our daily lives, the question isn't whether to blindly trust science, but how much confidence you need about the processes by which scientific results were produced.

The more confidence you need, the more you have to learn about the existing knowledge, methods and approaches, who's involved, what they've been producing and how they've been going. That's doable, but there's a lot of knowledge involved and it takes time, but also some of the methods are intellectually taxing; they require a lot of math and intricate mechanisms, so you need the tools upon tools to learn it.

But conversely, if you don't need the confidence and haven't acquired the knowledge, then you don't have the right to criticise either.

And this is especially true when you consider just how high a degree of accuracy and precision science requires, compared to the accuracy and precision we normally use in our lives.

Scientific clocks measure time to an accuracy of a billionth of a second per day. Scientific scales can measure the weight of a single atom, down to the last proton. Scientific thermometers can measure changes in temperature down to a thousandth of a degree.

Such precision isn't just for giggles, it is demanded for scientific accounting -- so that significant exceptions can be found, even in the smallest amounts. And scientists are train to keep track of 'error bars' -- known limits of accuracy and precision -- as part of their experimenting and reporting. So they always have a clear idea how much error is in their results.

Since such precision and accountability are much higher than you normally use, scientific confidence in accuracy is much higher than you normally need too. But equally, if you don't have the methods and precision tools to assess the results, objections about accuracy tend to be pretty ignorant.

So in the end, trust in science oughtn't be blind. It should be trust in the tools, methods, standards, skills, independence, transparency and accountability of the results -- and in just how extensively a model has been tested. And those qualities can be independently audited by skilled people trained to do so.

I hope that may help.
autocorrect
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3/29/2016 5:39:33 AM
Posted: 8 months ago
At 3/29/2016 5:37:03 AM, Stronn wrote:
Kudos to RuvDraba for saving me the trouble of writing a long reply.

I aslo liked Ramshutu's reply - concise, and very funny.
someloser
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3/29/2016 6:55:20 AM
Posted: 8 months ago
Question: Why are so many replies conflating the scientific consensus with the scientific process?

They are, at best, tangentially related. Don't mind my hyperbole, though - point still stands.

At 3/29/2016 4:48:51 AM, Ramshutu wrote:
most scientific consensus in the modern era is built upon review, testing, reproducibility and large amounts of data that corroborate that consensus.

Or - as evidenced by the race/intelligence debate and the replication crisis in the social "sciences" - instead built upon political pandering and fallacious interpretations.

The alternative, is to believe fringe science, that has none of those things; is most often either bunk or pseudoscience, does not adhere to most of the principles of what it means to be scientific, and in the majority of examples what it means to be intellectually honest.

False dichotomy. One can disagree with both.

You don't even need to believe in the first place. Just evaluate the claims of both. No need to put your blind faith into it.

The consensus can be overturned, and is when new data comes about.

That is if we assume the Cathedral will allow that to happen. Which we shouldn't do - they're oh so conveniently wasting time and resources to avoid resembling their political boogeymen.
Ego sum qui sum. Deus lo vult.

"America is ungovernable; those who served the revolution have plowed the sea." - Simon Bolivar

"A healthy nation is as unconscious of its nationality as a healthy man of his bones. But if you break a nation's nationality it will think of nothing else but getting it set again." - George Bernard Shaw
RuvDraba
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3/29/2016 9:10:00 AM
Posted: 8 months ago
At 3/29/2016 6:55:20 AM, someloser wrote:
Why are so many replies conflating the scientific consensus with the scientific process?

They're not conflated, SL. The two relate, via peer review, corroborated observation, best practice standards, skills and methods, and certain protocols associated with formulating a valid scientific conjecture. These nuances aren't normally covered in popular treatments of the Scientific Method, yet every postgraduate scientist quickly comes to understand the importance of the above.

If you'd like to discuss why and how, or how this affects the variation in scientific thought, please poke.

(I'm answering in part because in replying to Ramshutu's post, you hit 'reply' on my post. :D)
RuvDraba
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3/29/2016 9:10:48 AM
Posted: 8 months ago
At 3/29/2016 4:14:25 AM, someloser wrote:
None. Scientistry is unreliable, particularly where politically-sensitive topics are concerned.

Or say rather that political positions are unreliable where independent evidence is concerned.
Fkkize
Posts: 2,149
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3/29/2016 10:56:53 AM
Posted: 8 months ago
At 3/29/2016 4:14:25 AM, someloser wrote:
None. Scientistry is unreliable, particularly where politically-sensitive topics are concerned.

Damn libtards pushing their quantum field theory on everyone...
: At 7/2/2016 3:05:07 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
:
: space contradicts logic
RainbowDash52
Posts: 294
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3/29/2016 2:27:40 PM
Posted: 8 months ago
At 3/29/2016 4:48:51 AM, Ramshutu wrote:
At 3/29/2016 4:05:35 AM, RainbowDash52 wrote:
What are the best arguments for why I should blindly trust scientific consensus?

Because it comprises hundreds of thousands of highly educated people with access to detailed data, and the education and understanding to beat understand what it means, and most scientific consensus in the modern era is built upon review, testing, reproducibility and large amounts of data that corroborate that consensus.

So I read that paragraph and extracted out the main reasons for why you think scientific consensus should be trusted, and will address each one.

1. "hundreds of thousands of people"

The downside to more people who all have the same education who work with others with the same education is that you get more groupthink, which can undermine the increased accuracy of having more people.

2. "highly educated people with access to detailed data, and the education and understanding to be[s]t understand what it means"

How do you know that what they are being educated on is correct?

3. "review, testing, reproducibility"

I'm not that sure science follows those things as well as it claims. Papers often pass peer review when they shouldn't have and get retracted. Science often gets accepted before being reproduced, such as that one experiment that proved gravity waves exist.


The alternative, is to believe fringe science, that has none of those things; is most often either bunk or pseudoscience, does not adhere to most of the principles of what it means to be scientific, and in the majority of examples what it means to be intellectually honest.


The consensus can be overturned, and is when new data comes about. While science has been very wrong about some fundamental things, mainly in the first half and before of the last century, most of the core established science is unlikely to be because of how much data has been compiled to support it with our advancements of technology.

While science has been wrong, acting as if it is wrong without having any realistic or scientific reasons why, and citing whacko fringe websites, pseudoscientific creationism and other woo and bunk is a bit like stating you don't think your bank is a good place to put your money, because people lost their deposited savings in the 1920s depression, so you've decided to invest in the exiled Nigerian prince who just emailed you a business opportunity.

The difference between being skeptical of scientists and being skeptical of banks is that if a bank loses your money, it will destroy that banks credibility since other people will be afraid their money might also get lost, and bank will lose business. Meanwhile if scientists lie to you about sharing a common ancestor with chimps 8 million years ago, you could go the rest of your life not knowing they lied to you, so scientists have a chance to get away with it. The fact that banks have more accountability than scientists is why I trust banks more than scientists.
autocorrect
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3/29/2016 3:42:53 PM
Posted: 8 months ago
At 3/29/2016 2:27:40 PM, RainbowDash52 wrote:
At 3/29/2016 4:48:51 AM, Ramshutu wrote:
At 3/29/2016 4:05:35 AM, RainbowDash52 wrote:
What are the best arguments for why I should blindly trust scientific consensus?

Because it comprises hundreds of thousands of highly educated people with access to detailed data, and the education and understanding to beat understand what it means, and most scientific consensus in the modern era is built upon review, testing, reproducibility and large amounts of data that corroborate that consensus.

So I read that paragraph and extracted out the main reasons for why you think scientific consensus should be trusted, and will address each one.

1. "hundreds of thousands of people"

The downside to more people who all have the same education who work with others with the same education is that you get more groupthink, which can undermine the increased accuracy of having more people.

2. "highly educated people with access to detailed data, and the education and understanding to be[s]t understand what it means"

How do you know that what they are being educated on is correct?

3. "review, testing, reproducibility"

I'm not that sure science follows those things as well as it claims. Papers often pass peer review when they shouldn't have and get retracted. Science often gets accepted before being reproduced, such as that one experiment that proved gravity waves exist.


The alternative, is to believe fringe science, that has none of those things; is most often either bunk or pseudoscience, does not adhere to most of the principles of what it means to be scientific, and in the majority of examples what it means to be intellectually honest.


The consensus can be overturned, and is when new data comes about. While science has been very wrong about some fundamental things, mainly in the first half and before of the last century, most of the core established science is unlikely to be because of how much data has been compiled to support it with our advancements of technology.

While science has been wrong, acting as if it is wrong without having any realistic or scientific reasons why, and citing whacko fringe websites, pseudoscientific creationism and other woo and bunk is a bit like stating you don't think your bank is a good place to put your money, because people lost their deposited savings in the 1920s depression, so you've decided to invest in the exiled Nigerian prince who just emailed you a business opportunity.

The difference between being skeptical of scientists and being skeptical of banks is that if a bank loses your money, it will destroy that banks credibility since other people will be afraid their money might also get lost, and bank will lose business. Meanwhile if scientists lie to you about sharing a common ancestor with chimps 8 million years ago, you could go the rest of your life not knowing they lied to you, so scientists have a chance to get away with it. The fact that banks have more accountability than scientists is why I trust banks more than scientists.

Oh right, so the question 'why should I trust the scientific consensus?' wasn't an honest inquiry into what makes science dependable. It was more of a statement, like 'I don't trust science and you can't make me!' But do you honestly believe that all the scientists in the world have entered into a common conspiracy to deceive people? Given all the scientific and technological miracles you are surrounded with, not least - the computer you are using right now, do you not view that hypothesis as proven false?
Burzmali
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3/29/2016 4:23:32 PM
Posted: 8 months ago
At 3/29/2016 2:27:40 PM, RainbowDash52 wrote:
At 3/29/2016 4:48:51 AM, Ramshutu wrote:
At 3/29/2016 4:05:35 AM, RainbowDash52 wrote:
What are the best arguments for why I should blindly trust scientific consensus?

Because it comprises hundreds of thousands of highly educated people with access to detailed data, and the education and understanding to beat understand what it means, and most scientific consensus in the modern era is built upon review, testing, reproducibility and large amounts of data that corroborate that consensus.

So I read that paragraph and extracted out the main reasons for why you think scientific consensus should be trusted, and will address each one.

1. "hundreds of thousands of people"

The downside to more people who all have the same education who work with others with the same education is that you get more groupthink, which can undermine the increased accuracy of having more people.

2. "highly educated people with access to detailed data, and the education and understanding to be[s]t understand what it means"

How do you know that what they are being educated on is correct?

3. "review, testing, reproducibility"

I'm not that sure science follows those things as well as it claims. Papers often pass peer review when they shouldn't have and get retracted. Science often gets accepted before being reproduced, such as that one experiment that proved gravity waves exist.

Define "often." How frequently does that actually happen, compared to the total number of peer-reviewed papers that legitimately pass and aren't retracted? Also, who discovers the faulty papers?

The alternative, is to believe fringe science, that has none of those things; is most often either bunk or pseudoscience, does not adhere to most of the principles of what it means to be scientific, and in the majority of examples what it means to be intellectually honest.


The consensus can be overturned, and is when new data comes about. While science has been very wrong about some fundamental things, mainly in the first half and before of the last century, most of the core established science is unlikely to be because of how much data has been compiled to support it with our advancements of technology.

While science has been wrong, acting as if it is wrong without having any realistic or scientific reasons why, and citing whacko fringe websites, pseudoscientific creationism and other woo and bunk is a bit like stating you don't think your bank is a good place to put your money, because people lost their deposited savings in the 1920s depression, so you've decided to invest in the exiled Nigerian prince who just emailed you a business opportunity.

The difference between being skeptical of scientists and being skeptical of banks is that if a bank loses your money, it will destroy that banks credibility since other people will be afraid their money might also get lost, and bank will lose business. Meanwhile if scientists lie to you about sharing a common ancestor with chimps 8 million years ago, you could go the rest of your life not knowing they lied to you, so scientists have a chance to get away with it. The fact that banks have more accountability than scientists is why I trust banks more than scientists.

Except that a scientist publishes his or her work for all to see. And despite what a lot of unreasonable skeptics seem to think, there is a ton of incentive for other scientists to upset the work of individuals as well as established science. That incentive exists in terms of both finance and reputation. So while a scientist might be able to lie to the average person and remain confident in that person's inability to discover the lie, they can't lie to everyone.
Ramshutu
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3/30/2016 12:24:10 AM
Posted: 8 months ago
At 3/29/2016 2:27:40 PM, RainbowDash52 wrote:

Why don't we just skip this absurd pretense you seem to have built up; this rhetorical device to try and appear more reasonable is pretty transparent to everyone.

You're not asking why we should trust Science when it says that you shouldn't drink the water you poop in. Nor are you questioning the science that tells us electrons act as both waves and particles. Nor are you questioning Newtonian Gravity, even though out of ALL science that is currently accepted by the consensus that is probably the most contentious.

Nor are you likely to be questioning the scientific consensus on Chemistry, Atomic Theory, Relativity, and pretty much every single piece of science that has reached generalized modern scientific consensus with the exception of possibly 3 items.

1.) Evolution.
2.) Vaccinations.
3.) Climate Change.

It is obviously both incoherent and plain idiotic for anyone to claim, as a lay person with likely limited scientific experience and training to make the claim "I have looked into the evidence concerning the particular theory I don't like and have concluded that the overwhelming majority of formally trained, highly educated, and experienced scientists who have spent years researching the topic are ALL unanimously and completely wrong, for reasons that any untrained quack can see and easily comprehend, and yet these scientists haven't noticed."

People like you are unable to come right out and say that, obviously, because you know full well how stupid it sounds; and you are thus forced to hide behind banal generalizations and more sanitized arguments such as "how reliable is the scientific consensus" as you have done in this thread.

Lets not beat around the bush; picking one of those examples, Evolution; you believe that the collective biological sciences, including the tens if not hundreds of thousands of well educated and trained scientists who have researched the particular topic at hand over the last 150 years and are collectively convinced that it is correct and valid beyond any reasonable doubt; are all collectively mistaken, whereas you, and the fringe religious groups of various flavors who are the only ones who really vocally oppose that consensus are the only ones who can actually see the evidence for what it is.

This post is a thinly veiled attempt to try and make people like me to try and justify why the tens of thousands of loosely affiliated, international, cross-religious, competing scientists educated at thousands of different institutions, researching in different labs across the world, who are rewarded for insightful and diligent work that reveals new and previously unknown truths and have been doing so for the last 100 years on the topic of evolution should probably be trusted; whereas the fringe religious groups, most (if not all) of whom proudly proclaim that it doesn't matter what the evidence actually is, they are religiously compelled not to believe in Evolution anyway, just so happen to be right.

When you put it like the above, the question should answer itself.

The problem with the fringe religious lunatics that peddle their anti-evolution nonsense, is that they are brazenly and flagrantly dishonest. Those that follow them, are mostly just ignorant of the actual facts and, like so many others, are not interested in diligently looking at the facts from any other source.

The problem with most, if not all, Anti-Evolution nutters when it comes to the facts, is pretty simple and exemplified here; you can make deductive arguments, and you can make inductive arguments; but you couldn't make an abductive argument to save your life. In some cases, because of ignorance, and sometimes because an abductive argument is where it becomes clear just how farcical your position is.

So to that end, lets use an abductive argument to answer the question: Is the "scientific consensus" trustworthy. Or to rephrase, if scientists massively and broadly agree on something, is it probably true?

The question you need to follow with is this: Lets say 99% of scientists in a given field agree a particular theory; in what circumstances could they be wrong, and how likely are those circumstances to be the reality.

In the case of evolution, lets look at this. There are two groups of answers:

The scientists are broadly honest in that they want to find out the truth BUT:

1.) There isn't really any evidence, or anything more than tentative or superficial support, and they just believe out of habit.
2.) They all just so happen not to see the evidence for what it actually is.
3.) They are all mislead to believe in evidence that doesn't exist.
4.) Don't realize how poor the assumptions they make are.

The scientists are broadly DIShonest in that they are just interested in evolution AND:

1.) Systematically suppress evidence to the contrary.
2.) Brainwash each new generation of scientist to believe and to uphold the conspiracy as they do through education and training.
3.) Are so biased they are unwilling to countenance or accept the possibility of error.

Feel free to come up with a reasonable, rational reason why all those scientists could be wrong, that is believable and fits the evidence. I don't think you can.

It's not any of the "honest" reasons; they are way too unlikely given that it only takes a small handful of smart scientists who can propose an experiment, or perform a test to show the consensus is wrong, which wins more support and overturns that consensus; indeed science has been replete with instances of that that. Given how big evolutionary biology is as a topic, and how long it's been present for, any how many times it's been tested, it can't realistically or rationally be any of these examples.

The latter, as well, is massively unlikely; such a conspiracy would have to be much larger, much longer, with much better control over the individuals than ANY other conspiracy in humanity with no exceptions; and thus far, there are no whistle blowers for any of the key conspiracy elements that indicate such systematic suppression.

This is obviously not to say that there isn't some bias or reluctance against alternatives, but for science to be wrong on the topic of evolution it goes Waaaaayyyyy beyond that; into the realms of nut-job-tin-foil-hattery.

Now, on the other hand; you have a collection of ubiquitously religious groups, who can be shown to lie, misrepresent, distort and withhold evidence to make their point; they almost all outright state that they will NEVER be convinced of any alternative, most of their arguments can easily be taken apart or shown to be false on the grounds of basic fact, and knowledge; if they were right about their claims, basic systematic support would be obtainable across-the-board for everything they say, rather than the smattering of evidences they research that just so happen to all be the type of thing that could well be true if evolution was true too.

EVERY one of the points I mentioned are close to impossible to be true for the scientists, and it's trivial to demonstrate that those who are opposed to evolution are guilty of almost every single one

This is why you are forced to hide behind veiled questions and pretense as you have done here. So lets turn the question on it's head.

Why on Gods green earth could you possibly consider siding with a collective group, whose bias, dishonesty, misrepresentation and deceit is so easy to demonstrate; and then sit there with a straight face, and implicitly make those exact same claims of those that disagree with them, even though it is both clearly, and obviously so unbelievably unlikely to be the case for science that it can be discounted.

This, sir, seems to be projection at it's worst.
RainbowDash52
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3/30/2016 4:08:30 AM
Posted: 8 months ago
At 3/29/2016 5:17:05 AM, RuvDraba wrote:
At 3/29/2016 4:05:35 AM, RainbowDash52 wrote:
What are the best arguments for why I should blindly trust scientific consensus?
I think that might be the wrong question, RD. So let me try and argue for what the right question should be, and then argue for what I think the best answer is.

Here's a motivating question: what is knowledge and how do you know when you have it?

There are many proposed philosophical answers to this, but science has an answer shared by all professional practitioners.

Knowledge is independently-corroborated, best-practice observation. That is, we know only observations, and even then it's only what has been independently confirmed, using best-practice methods -- that is, methods which screen out known biases and errors.

So knowledge is not what you hope or expect to observe; it's not what you interpret or are you're told to observe; and it's not what you perceive to have occurred. It's what anyone actually can observe when they bring to bear the most precise and accurate skills and technologies we have available to remove the observer's errors from the observation (this is sometimes described as mechanistic objectivity.)

So scientific theories are built on vast amounts of knowledge, but are not knowledge themselves. The best scientific theories are typically incomplete models producing accurate but not perfect predictions and undergoing constant refinement, since corroborated exceptions will defeat any theory, no matter how reliable it has been in the past.

And the way science works is that it doesn't matter who makes the observation, as long as it's done competently, to best practice, and is corroborated. So when scientists work on a problem, by definition they're putting the best, most diabolical observations they can devise in competition with the best theories they can devise -- and even friends and colleagues in the field will do this.

So scientific consensus on a theory isn't agreement to stop looking for exceptions or new knowledge. It's agreement that the theory is accurate, precise, has detailed mechanisms, makes specific, significant predictions, has found no exceptions, and that observation has eliminated every reasonable alternative (and once alternatives are eliminated, it's forever.)

That consensus is built from expert judgement trying to destroy theories, and unless you're working in the field, you won't know many specifics about how it has occurred. But you should be confident that scientists are rewarded professionally for finding the exceptions, and also for developing specific, significant, accurate theories for which no exceptions can be found. So the professional system by which science progresses rewards magnificent successes but also the ability to crack established theories.

So bearing in mind that most scientific theory does not directly affect our daily lives, the question isn't whether to blindly trust science, but how much confidence you need about the processes by which scientific results were produced.

The more confidence you need, the more you have to learn about the existing knowledge, methods and approaches, who's involved, what they've been producing and how they've been going. That's doable, but there's a lot of knowledge involved and it takes time, but also some of the methods are intellectually taxing; they require a lot of math and intricate mechanisms, so you need the tools upon tools to learn it.

But conversely, if you don't need the confidence and haven't acquired the knowledge, then you don't have the right to criticise either.

And this is especially true when you consider just how high a degree of accuracy and precision science requires, compared to the accuracy and precision we normally use in our lives.

Scientific clocks measure time to an accuracy of a billionth of a second per day. Scientific scales can measure the weight of a single atom, down to the last proton. Scientific thermometers can measure changes in temperature down to a thousandth of a degree.

Such precision isn't just for giggles, it is demanded for scientific accounting -- so that significant exceptions can be found, even in the smallest amounts. And scientists are train to keep track of 'error bars' -- known limits of accuracy and precision -- as part of their experimenting and reporting. So they always have a clear idea how much error is in their results.

Since such precision and accountability are much higher than you normally use, scientific confidence in accuracy is much higher than you normally need too. But equally, if you don't have the methods and precision tools to assess the results, objections about accuracy tend to be pretty ignorant.

So in the end, trust in science oughtn't be blind. It should be trust in the tools, methods, standards, skills, independence, transparency and accountability of the results -- and in just how extensively a model has been tested. And those qualities can be independently audited by skilled people trained to do so.

I hope that may help.

All you are doing is abusing semantics to redefine knowledge to make your side right by definition so you don't have to actually make an argument to address my question.

Sorry, but I did not find this helpful.
RuvDraba
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3/30/2016 4:20:28 AM
Posted: 8 months ago
At 3/29/2016 2:27:40 PM, RainbowDash52 wrote:
At 3/29/2016 4:48:51 AM, Ramshutu wrote:
At 3/29/2016 4:05:35 AM, RainbowDash52 wrote:
What are the best arguments for why I should blindly trust scientific consensus?
Because it comprises hundreds of thousands of highly educated people with access to detailed data, and the education and understanding to beat understand what it means, and most scientific consensus in the modern era is built upon review, testing, reproducibility and large amounts of data that corroborate that consensus.
The downside to more people who all have the same education who work with others with the same education is that you get more groupthink, which can undermine the increased accuracy of having more people.
Really? Have you ever tried to build consensus from ten intellectuals who all work in the same department, and all speak the same language? Now, according to OECD figures, there are tens of thousands of biologists working today, hundreds of thousands if you count naturalists since the mid 19th century, and they speak multiple languages and come from different cultures, faiths and creeds, and work in different institutions, many competing with one another on similar projects.

The only way you can get them to agree is through evidence so strong that it won't let them disagree without looking silly.

2. "highly educated people with access to detailed data, and the education and understanding to be[s]t understand what it means"
How do you know that what they are being educated on is correct?
They're rewarded professionally for detecting one anothers' errors.

3. "review, testing, reproducibility"
I'm not that sure science follows those things as well as it claims. Papers often pass peer review when they shouldn't have and get retracted.
Citation please, of the proportion of papers retracted from respected journals, compared to papers that aren't?

And moreover, there's no 'statute of limitations' on scientific errors, so the longer a paper remains in citation, the more chances there are to detect any errors. So the peer review process begins prior to publication, but occurs continuously as long as a paper is being used.

If scientists lie to you about sharing a common ancestor with chimps 8 million years ago, you could go the rest of your life not knowing they lied to you

If clergy lie to you about the authenticity of your sacred texts, you're unlikely to know any better, because:
a) clergy are generally better educated than you on religious history;
b) they require your faith to stay in employment;
c) you can be kicked out of your church for heresy; and therefore
d) there is very little incentive for clergy to expose ignorance, error or disagreement to the public, and little incentive for adherents to embarrass their church.

However:
a) scientists don't get promoted by how much ordinary people believe their results. They get promoted by how often other scientists cite their results;
b) scientists are in constant competition to one-up one another; and
c) if a scientist doesn't challenge a dubious result, then some other scientist will, so they have strong incentive to publish disagreements, and frequently do; and
d) science thrives on heresies, as long as they're evidenced, predictive and falsifiable. That's how revolutionary science emerges.

So your trust in science should not be less than your trust in clergy.

The fact that banks have more accountability than scientists is why I trust banks more than scientists.
No, that's you making a bare assertion, and turning it into a circular inference. in fact, the transparency of banks only occurs because it's regulated (often poorly, as shown by the Global Financial Crisis), while the transparency of science is by design: if scientists can't make their results so transparent and reliable that other scientists can reproduce them at will, they're criticised heavily, early and often by scientists themselves (E.g. see the example of Pons and Fleischmann on Cold Fusion, which wrecked two careers. [https://en.wikipedia.org...])

You may trust banks more than scientists if you wish, but science has a history of self-correcting its errors, while banks have a history of hide their dealings from the government and the public on a global scale, and consequently need bail-outs a couple of times every century, despite government regulation.
RuvDraba
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3/30/2016 4:39:34 AM
Posted: 8 months ago
At 3/30/2016 4:08:30 AM, RainbowDash52 wrote:
At 3/29/2016 5:17:05 AM, RuvDraba wrote:
So in the end, trust in science oughtn't be blind. It should be trust in the tools, methods, standards, skills, independence, transparency and accountability of the results -- and in just how extensively a model has been tested. And those qualities can be independently audited by skilled people trained to do so.

I hope that may help.

All you are doing is abusing semantics to redefine knowledge to make your side right by definition so you don't have to actually make an argument to address my question.
If you think that, then you didn't understand my post.

Science proceeds by systematic falsification, until every reasonable model but one is eliminated. So the scope and accuracy of the resulting model depends on the quality of the tools and methods used to make the observations, how long scientists have been working to falsify models, and how many of them are trying to do it.

Science offers the commitment to detect and correct its own errors, however few occur, and to continuously improve its methods in scope and accuracy of prediction. Over time, scientific models see more precise, systematic testing than just about any idea on the planet, to a higher level of accuracy than the testing normally used even in engineering.

Meanwhile, how does religion proceed? It offers ideas it can't prove, demands faith of you, and then discourages you from pursuing alternative arguments, on pain of being ejected from the congregation (or in some jurisdictions, on pain of death.) It has a long history of evading accountability for its own ignorance and error, and frequently shifts interpretation without ever admitting its methods are unreliable, and abandoning them.

To the extent that trustworthy knowledge should entail specific, accurate, significant and falsifiable prediction, much of the material offered by religion cannot even be called knowledge. You can only call it conjecture, and some of it is utterly untestable... meaning you'll never know if it's true.

Sorry, but I did not find this helpful.
Having read your later posts, I'm not really surprised. Do you even want to be helped?

All I've seen are bare assertions, vague generalistions and appeal to prejudices unsupported by evidence.

I agree with Ramshutu. You have asked your questions in bad faith, made no effort to be accountable for your beliefs, and have neither acknowledged nor sought to avoid the double standards underlying your prejudices.
RainbowDash52
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3/30/2016 4:50:16 AM
Posted: 8 months ago
At 3/30/2016 12:24:10 AM, Ramshutu wrote:
At 3/29/2016 2:27:40 PM, RainbowDash52 wrote:

Why don't we just skip this absurd pretense you seem to have built up; this rhetorical device to try and appear more reasonable is pretty transparent to everyone.

You're not asking why we should trust Science when it says that you shouldn't drink the water you poop in. Nor are you questioning the science that tells us electrons act as both waves and particles. Nor are you questioning Newtonian Gravity, even though out of ALL science that is currently accepted by the consensus that is probably the most contentious.

You don't need science to know to not drink the water you poop in. You can believe in things science says for reasons other than because science says so. Agreeing with some aspects of science but not others doesn't make you contradictory or hypocritical, it means you think for yourself.


Nor are you likely to be questioning the scientific consensus on Chemistry, Atomic Theory, Relativity, and pretty much every single piece of science that has reached generalized modern scientific consensus with the exception of possibly 3 items.

I actually do question relativity.


1.) Evolution.
2.) Vaccinations.
3.) Climate Change.

It is obviously both incoherent and plain idiotic for anyone to claim, as a lay person with likely limited scientific experience and training to make the claim "I have looked into the evidence concerning the particular theory I don't like and have concluded that the overwhelming majority of formally trained, highly educated, and experienced scientists who have spent years researching the topic are ALL unanimously and completely wrong, for reasons that any untrained quack can see and easily comprehend, and yet these scientists haven't noticed."

It has happened before in the past where scientific consensus was wrong and the conspiracy theorist was right, so I don't see why it would be so unthinkable for it to happen again.
RuvDraba
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3/30/2016 5:16:12 AM
Posted: 8 months ago
At 3/30/2016 4:50:16 AM, RainbowDash52 wrote:
You don't need science to know to not drink the water you poop in.
Actually, you do. Note that virtually no ancient religious scriptures from any culture have prohibitions against allowing human or animal dung or decomposing matter to contaminate drinking water, and there were few secular laws against it either prior to a germ theory of disease. Religions have many other bizarre proscriptions against what you can eat and drink when, but conspicuously lack mention of the need to keep water free from dung and decomposing materials.

This should tell you something about the quality of knowledge you get from different methods of acquiring information.

There are many other examples like this.

It has happened before in the past where scientific consensus was wrong and the conspiracy theorist was right,
It has happened before where the science either overlooked an observation, or simply didn't have the tools or methods to observe information that would have changed a model.

That's not a conspiracy theory. So, sometimes science can be wrong, but that doesn't make conspiracy theorists right.
RainbowDash52
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3/30/2016 1:31:57 PM
Posted: 8 months ago
At 3/30/2016 12:24:10 AM, Ramshutu wrote:
In the case of evolution, lets look at this. There are two groups of answers:

The scientists are broadly honest in that they want to find out the truth BUT:

1.) There isn't really any evidence, or anything more than tentative or superficial support, and they just believe out of habit.
2.) They all just so happen not to see the evidence for what it actually is.
3.) They are all mislead to believe in evidence that doesn't exist.
4.) Don't realize how poor the assumptions they make are.

The scientists are broadly DIShonest in that they are just interested in evolution AND:

1.) Systematically suppress evidence to the contrary.
2.) Brainwash each new generation of scientist to believe and to uphold the conspiracy as they do through education and training.
3.) Are so biased they are unwilling to countenance or accept the possibility of error.

Feel free to come up with a reasonable, rational reason why all those scientists could be wrong, that is believable and fits the evidence. I don't think you can.

I will give a short answer to this now, and will elaborate in more detail when I have the time. I believe that of the scientists that are wrong, a majority fit more closely into the honest group while the minority fit more closely into the dishonest group. People have cognitive biases and aren't the rational truth seekers as some believe they are. Scientists aren't a special group of people who are immune to this.

It's not any of the "honest" reasons; they are way too unlikely given that it only takes a small handful of smart scientists who can propose an experiment, or perform a test to show the consensus is wrong, which wins more support and overturns that consensus; indeed science has been replete with instances of that that. Given how big evolutionary biology is as a topic, and how long it's been present for, any how many times it's been tested, it can't realistically or rationally be any of these examples.

If these handful of smart scientists don't get the funding to conduct those experiments, then it doesn't matter. Also in the example of evolution, it is not always just a matter of needing to perform a new experiment to show it wrong, but to fix an incorrect interpretation of preexisting experiments.

The latter, as well, is massively unlikely; such a conspiracy would have to be much larger, much longer, with much better control over the individuals than ANY other conspiracy in humanity with no exceptions; and thus far, there are no whistle blowers for any of the key conspiracy elements that indicate such systematic suppression.

The conspiracy wouldn't have to reach as big as you might think. Since often times in science new scientific research is built upon preexisting scientific studies, which often results in large branches of science relying on the same assumptions, and if a small conspiracy was used to prove one of those assumptions, then it could invalidate the entire branch of science that relied on it.

This is obviously not to say that there isn't some bias or reluctance against alternatives, but for science to be wrong on the topic of evolution it goes Waaaaayyyyy beyond that; into the realms of nut-job-tin-foil-hattery.

Now, on the other hand; you have a collection of ubiquitously religious groups, who can be shown to lie, misrepresent, distort and withhold evidence to make their point; they almost all outright state that they will NEVER be convinced of any alternative, most of their arguments can easily be taken apart or shown to be false on the grounds of basic fact, and knowledge; if they were right about their claims, basic systematic support would be obtainable across-the-board for everything they say, rather than the smattering of evidences they research that just so happen to all be the type of thing that could well be true if evolution was true too.


Not all people who disagree with evolution are religious. You have to do more than discredit religious groups to discredit disagreement with evolution. And for the record, I'm not religious.

EVERY one of the points I mentioned are close to impossible to be true for the scientists, and it's trivial to demonstrate that those who are opposed to evolution are guilty of almost every single one

Again, I will address the how the points you listed apply to scientists too when I have the time.


This is why you are forced to hide behind veiled questions and pretense as you have done here. So lets turn the question on it's head.

Why on Gods green earth could you possibly consider siding with a collective group, whose bias, dishonesty, misrepresentation and deceit is so easy to demonstrate; and then sit there with a straight face, and implicitly make those exact same claims of those that disagree with them, even though it is both clearly, and obviously so unbelievably unlikely to be the case for science that it can be discounted.

This, sir, seems to be projection at it's worst.

That last part is an Ad Hominem.
FaustianJustice
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3/30/2016 1:52:19 PM
Posted: 8 months ago
At 3/30/2016 1:31:57 PM, RainbowDash52 wrote:
At 3/30/2016 12:24:10 AM, Ramshutu wrote:
In the case of evolution, lets look at this. There are two groups of answers:

The scientists are broadly honest in that they want to find out the truth BUT:

1.) There isn't really any evidence, or anything more than tentative or superficial support, and they just believe out of habit.
2.) They all just so happen not to see the evidence for what it actually is.
3.) They are all mislead to believe in evidence that doesn't exist.
4.) Don't realize how poor the assumptions they make are.

The scientists are broadly DIShonest in that they are just interested in evolution AND:

1.) Systematically suppress evidence to the contrary.
2.) Brainwash each new generation of scientist to believe and to uphold the conspiracy as they do through education and training.
3.) Are so biased they are unwilling to countenance or accept the possibility of error.

Feel free to come up with a reasonable, rational reason why all those scientists could be wrong, that is believable and fits the evidence. I don't think you can.

I will give a short answer to this now, and will elaborate in more detail when I have the time. I believe that of the scientists that are wrong, a majority fit more closely into the honest group while the minority fit more closely into the dishonest group. People have cognitive biases and aren't the rational truth seekers as some believe they are. Scientists aren't a special group of people who are immune to this.

It's not any of the "honest" reasons; they are way too unlikely given that it only takes a small handful of smart scientists who can propose an experiment, or perform a test to show the consensus is wrong, which wins more support and overturns that consensus; indeed science has been replete with instances of that that. Given how big evolutionary biology is as a topic, and how long it's been present for, any how many times it's been tested, it can't realistically or rationally be any of these examples.

If these handful of smart scientists don't get the funding to conduct those experiments, then it doesn't matter. Also in the example of evolution, it is not always just a matter of needing to perform a new experiment to show it wrong, but to fix an incorrect interpretation of preexisting experiments.

The latter, as well, is massively unlikely; such a conspiracy would have to be much larger, much longer, with much better control over the individuals than ANY other conspiracy in humanity with no exceptions; and thus far, there are no whistle blowers for any of the key conspiracy elements that indicate such systematic suppression.

The conspiracy wouldn't have to reach as big as you might think. Since often times in science new scientific research is built upon preexisting scientific studies, which often results in large branches of science relying on the same assumptions, and if a small conspiracy was used to prove one of those assumptions, then it could invalidate the entire branch of science that relied on it.

This is obviously not to say that there isn't some bias or reluctance against alternatives, but for science to be wrong on the topic of evolution it goes Waaaaayyyyy beyond that; into the realms of nut-job-tin-foil-hattery.

Now, on the other hand; you have a collection of ubiquitously religious groups, who can be shown to lie, misrepresent, distort and withhold evidence to make their point; they almost all outright state that they will NEVER be convinced of any alternative, most of their arguments can easily be taken apart or shown to be false on the grounds of basic fact, and knowledge; if they were right about their claims, basic systematic support would be obtainable across-the-board for everything they say, rather than the smattering of evidences they research that just so happen to all be the type of thing that could well be true if evolution was true too.


Not all people who disagree with evolution are religious. You have to do more than discredit religious groups to discredit disagreement with evolution. And for the record, I'm not religious.

EVERY one of the points I mentioned are close to impossible to be true for the scientists, and it's trivial to demonstrate that those who are opposed to evolution are guilty of almost every single one

Again, I will address the how the points you listed apply to scientists too when I have the time.


This is why you are forced to hide behind veiled questions and pretense as you have done here. So lets turn the question on it's head.

Why on Gods green earth could you possibly consider siding with a collective group, whose bias, dishonesty, misrepresentation and deceit is so easy to demonstrate; and then sit there with a straight face, and implicitly make those exact same claims of those that disagree with them, even though it is both clearly, and obviously so unbelievably unlikely to be the case for science that it can be discounted.

This, sir, seems to be projection at it's worst.

That last part is an Ad Hominem.

No, its a specious argument, not an ad hominem.

Secondly, its only an ad hominem if you considered the position of your argumentative opponents to be an insult to intelligence.
Here we have an advocate for Islamic arranged marriages demonstrating that children can consent to sex.
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DanneJeRusse
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3/30/2016 3:05:29 PM
Posted: 8 months ago
At 3/30/2016 4:50:16 AM, RainbowDash52 wrote:
At 3/30/2016 12:24:10 AM, Ramshutu wrote:
At 3/29/2016 2:27:40 PM, RainbowDash52 wrote:

Why don't we just skip this absurd pretense you seem to have built up; this rhetorical device to try and appear more reasonable is pretty transparent to everyone.

You're not asking why we should trust Science when it says that you shouldn't drink the water you poop in. Nor are you questioning the science that tells us electrons act as both waves and particles. Nor are you questioning Newtonian Gravity, even though out of ALL science that is currently accepted by the consensus that is probably the most contentious.

You don't need science to know to not drink the water you poop in. You can believe in things science says for reasons other than because science says so. Agreeing with some aspects of science but not others doesn't make you contradictory or hypocritical, it means you think for yourself.


Nor are you likely to be questioning the scientific consensus on Chemistry, Atomic Theory, Relativity, and pretty much every single piece of science that has reached generalized modern scientific consensus with the exception of possibly 3 items.

I actually do question relativity.

And, what exactly do you question about relativity?


1.) Evolution.
2.) Vaccinations.
3.) Climate Change.

It is obviously both incoherent and plain idiotic for anyone to claim, as a lay person with likely limited scientific experience and training to make the claim "I have looked into the evidence concerning the particular theory I don't like and have concluded that the overwhelming majority of formally trained, highly educated, and experienced scientists who have spent years researching the topic are ALL unanimously and completely wrong, for reasons that any untrained quack can see and easily comprehend, and yet these scientists haven't noticed."

It has happened before in the past where scientific consensus was wrong and the conspiracy theorist was right, so I don't see why it would be so unthinkable for it to happen again.
Marrying a 6 year old and waiting until she reaches puberty and maturity before having consensual sex is better than walking up to
a stranger in a bar and proceeding to have relations with no valid proof of the intent of the person. Muhammad wins. ~ Fatihah
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Burzmali
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3/30/2016 6:25:53 PM
Posted: 8 months ago
At 3/30/2016 5:16:12 AM, RuvDraba wrote:
At 3/30/2016 4:50:16 AM, RainbowDash52 wrote:
You don't need science to know to not drink the water you poop in.
Actually, you do. Note that virtually no ancient religious scriptures from any culture have prohibitions against allowing human or animal dung or decomposing matter to contaminate drinking water, and there were few secular laws against it either prior to a germ theory of disease. Religions have many other bizarre proscriptions against what you can eat and drink when, but conspicuously lack mention of the need to keep water free from dung and decomposing materials.

This should tell you something about the quality of knowledge you get from different methods of acquiring information.

There are many other examples like this.

It has happened before in the past where scientific consensus was wrong and the conspiracy theorist was right,
It has happened before where the science either overlooked an observation, or simply didn't have the tools or methods to observe information that would have changed a model.

That's not a conspiracy theory. So, sometimes science can be wrong, but that doesn't make conspiracy theorists right.

Just to add on to the poop water thing, you don't just need science to tell you not to drink it and why, you need science to tell you when you actually are drinking water that has fecal matter in it. If you didn't need science for these things there wouldn't still be people dealing with fecal-borne illnesses and parasites like the guinea worm.

The sentiment RD is expressing is a fantastic example of how science and scientific consensus is so effective that people's lives depend on it when they don't even realize it. They take the fruits of science for granted and then have the gall to question it when they run into something they don't understand or that conflicts with some irrationally held position.
RoderickSpode
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3/30/2016 6:38:03 PM
Posted: 8 months ago
At 3/29/2016 5:17:05 AM, RuvDraba wrote:
At 3/29/2016 4:05:35 AM, RainbowDash52 wrote:
What are the best arguments for why I should blindly trust scientific consensus?
I think that might be the wrong question, RD. So let me try and argue for what the right question should be, and then argue for what I think the best answer is.

Here's a motivating question: what is knowledge and how do you know when you have it?

There are many proposed philosophical answers to this, but science has an answer shared by all professional practitioners.

Knowledge is independently-corroborated, best-practice observation. That is, we know only observations, and even then it's only what has been independently confirmed, using best-practice methods -- that is, methods which screen out known biases and errors.

So knowledge is not what you hope or expect to observe; it's not what you interpret or are you're told to observe; and it's not what you perceive to have occurred. It's what anyone actually can observe when they bring to bear the most precise and accurate skills and technologies we have available to remove the observer's errors from the observation (this is sometimes described as mechanistic objectivity.)

So scientific theories are built on vast amounts of knowledge, but are not knowledge themselves. The best scientific theories are typically incomplete models producing accurate but not perfect predictions and undergoing constant refinement, since corroborated exceptions will defeat any theory, no matter how reliable it has been in the past.

And the way science works is that it doesn't matter who makes the observation, as long as it's done competently, to best practice, and is corroborated. So when scientists work on a problem, by definition they're putting the best, most diabolical observations they can devise in competition with the best theories they can devise -- and even friends and colleagues in the field will do this.

So scientific consensus on a theory isn't agreement to stop looking for exceptions or new knowledge. It's agreement that the theory is accurate, precise, has detailed mechanisms, makes specific, significant predictions, has found no exceptions, and that observation has eliminated every reasonable alternative (and once alternatives are eliminated, it's forever.)

That consensus is built from expert judgement trying to destroy theories, and unless you're working in the field, you won't know many specifics about how it has occurred. But you should be confident that scientists are rewarded professionally for finding the exceptions, and also for developing specific, significant, accurate theories for which no exceptions can be found. So the professional system by which science progresses rewards magnificent successes but also the ability to crack established theories.

So bearing in mind that most scientific theory does not directly affect our daily lives, the question isn't whether to blindly trust science, but how much confidence you need about the processes by which scientific results were produced.

The more confidence you need, the more you have to learn about the existing knowledge, methods and approaches, who's involved, what they've been producing and how they've been going. That's doable, but there's a lot of knowledge involved and it takes time, but also some of the methods are intellectually taxing; they require a lot of math and intricate mechanisms, so you need the tools upon tools to learn it.

But conversely, if you don't need the confidence and haven't acquired the knowledge, then you don't have the right to criticise either.

And this is especially true when you consider just how high a degree of accuracy and precision science requires, compared to the accuracy and precision we normally use in our lives.

Scientific clocks measure time to an accuracy of a billionth of a second per day. Scientific scales can measure the weight of a single atom, down to the last proton. Scientific thermometers can measure changes in temperature down to a thousandth of a degree.

Such precision isn't just for giggles, it is demanded for scientific accounting -- so that significant exceptions can be found, even in the smallest amounts. And scientists are train to keep track of 'error bars' -- known limits of accuracy and precision -- as part of their experimenting and reporting. So they always have a clear idea how much error is in their results.

Since such precision and accountability are much higher than you normally use, scientific confidence in accuracy is much higher than you normally need too. But equally, if you don't have the methods and precision tools to assess the results, objections about accuracy tend to be pretty ignorant.

So in the end, trust in science oughtn't be blind. It should be trust in the tools, methods, standards, skills, independence, transparency and accountability of the results -- and in just how extensively a model has been tested. And those qualities can be independently audited by skilled people trained to do so.

I hope that may help.
I would be mildly curious, if the majority of scientists discarded evolution altogether within the decade, embraced intelligent design, gave the very same reasons proponents of ID give today, how would you respond to scientific consensus?
RuvDraba
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3/30/2016 7:17:42 PM
Posted: 8 months ago
At 3/30/2016 6:38:03 PM, RoderickSpode wrote:
At 3/29/2016 5:17:05 AM, RuvDraba wrote:
Knowledge is independently-corroborated, best-practice observation. That is, we know only observations, and even then it's only what has been independently confirmed, using best-practice methods -- that is, methods which screen out known biases and errors.

So knowledge is not what you hope or expect to observe; it's not what you interpret or are you're told to observe; and it's not what you perceive to have occurred. It's what anyone actually can observe when they bring to bear the most precise and accurate skills and technologies we have available to remove the observer's errors from the observation (this is sometimes described as mechanistic objectivity.)

So scientific theories are built on vast amounts of knowledge, but are not knowledge themselves. The best scientific theories are typically incomplete models producing accurate but not perfect predictions and undergoing constant refinement, since corroborated exceptions will defeat any theory, no matter how reliable it has been in the past.
I would be mildly curious, if the majority of scientists discarded evolution altogether within the decade, embraced intelligent design, gave the very same reasons proponents of ID give today, how would you respond to scientific consensus?

That's not an hypothetical but a counterfactual, Roderick. ID isn't science I disagree with; it's pseudoscience. You can believe its science because you're not fully aware of (or don't value) how much ground-work a scientist has to do to make a conjecture scientific, and probably don't fully appreciate why that groundwork was put in place. But ID fails that test: it's not a theory, nor an hypothesis nor even a scientific conjecture, and if you'd like to know why, I'm happy to explain that to you in another thread, with historical and current citations.

So if scientists embraced ID as it's presently framed, they wouldn't be scientists. They'd be pseudoscientists; their consensus would be a pseudoscientific consensus, and in the inconceivable event that a majority of professionals who'd dedicated their lives to honesty, transparency, accountability, diligence, precision, accuracy and best-practice independent observation suddenly abandoned that, I'd join my empiricist peers in criticising their sloppy methods and poor professional ethics -- as I already do the likes of biochemist Michael Behe. [https://en.wikipedia.org...]

Now, please note that this is not a symmetrical argument, Roderick. Behe is not arguing for a tightening of scientific standards -- he very much needs them relaxed to admit ideas that presently cannot be published under peer review. And that in itself should ring warning bells for anyone who understands science history.

Science loves a good heresy, and contentious scientific conjectures are fine to publish under peer-review if they're scientific, and you clearly explain that they're conjectures and why they're needed. However, pseudoscience is not. To get a sense of just how much pseudoscience is in Behe's thinking, I invite you to compare what he blogs and publishes in monograph, with what he's actually published in peer reviewed biological journals. [http://behe.uncommondescent.com...][https://scholar.google.com.au...=]
someloser
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3/30/2016 8:36:31 PM
Posted: 8 months ago
At 3/29/2016 9:10:00 AM, RuvDraba wrote:
They're not conflated, SL. The two relate, via peer review, corroborated observation, best practice standards, skills and methods, and certain protocols associated with formulating a valid scientific conjecture. These nuances aren't normally covered in popular treatments of the Scientific Method, yet every postgraduate scientist quickly comes to understand the importance of the above.
I don't dispute a relation - what I contest is the attitude that criticism of one is necessarily criticism of the other. Not to say everyone responding to OP is acting that way, but it's pretty blatant on certain corners of the net

At 3/29/2016 9:10:48 AM, RuvDraba wrote:
At 3/29/2016 4:14:25 AM, someloser wrote:
None. Scientistry is unreliable, particularly where politically-sensitive topics are concerned.

Or say rather that political positions are unreliable where independent evidence is concerned.

Both are correct
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Mhykiel
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3/31/2016 10:36:04 PM
Posted: 8 months ago
At 3/29/2016 4:05:35 AM, RainbowDash52 wrote:
What are the best arguments for why I should blindly trust scientific consensus?

I'll sum it up.

Knowledge is what science tell you. If you aren't a Scientist there's no way you can understand how that knowledge was discovered. So you have no choice but just have to accept scientific consensus.

Besides look at all the great things it has given you. Like Nuclear bombs, pollution, dependency on petroleum products, increase in cancer, death by opiates and car crashes, .. oh and the iPhone
Ramshutu
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4/1/2016 3:07:25 AM
Posted: 8 months ago
At 3/30/2016 1:31:57 PM, RainbowDash52 wrote:

1.) Your hiding behind pretense, and your actual position is fairly ridiculous when you factor in what you believe; you are hiding behind a reasonable sounding question in order to try and defend your actual position; somewhat like a reverse straw man. Pointing this out, and pointing out that the actual position you hold is incoherent doesn't count as an Ad hominem attack; I am attacking you and the question because the question is inherently loaded for rhetorical purposes.

2.) Implicitly Questioning my conduct INSTEAD of dealing with the argument I am making; IS an Ad-Hominem attack.

3.) Yes, it took science to work out you get sick from drinking water with large amounts of poop in it. Jon Snow may know nothing, but John Snow among other systematically demonstrated this, and lead to the widespread adoption of detailed sanitation in London, and then the rest of the world.

4.) While I'm sure that there are non-religious opponents to evolution; I have not seen or heard any. The vocal, and politically active organizations opposing evolution are unanimously religious; including the discovery institute, who like you are doing with this post, hide behind a secular pretense to make them sound non religious; this is one of the explicit conspiracies ad misrepresentation that anti-evolution organizations engage in at every turn. If religious groups, their biased arguments and misrepresentation are discredited as accurate and valid; then there is no other set of organizations or arguments that exist.

5.) "It has happened before in the past where scientific consensus was wrong and the conspiracy theorist was right".

Name a theory that has had broad observational support, past a number of predictions, survived the inventions of 3 individual branches of science and technological innovations, and turned out to be wrong. The theory of evolution, it's supporting evidence, it's specific predictive power is not the same as, say, "spontaneous generation" which was a wildly held hypothesis that had not past any significant predictive tests.

6.) You mention "blind trust" in the OP, and referenced it again. This is a straw man. In most respect you don't have to "blindly trust" science; merely give a significant level of "benefit of the doubt".

7.) Science isn't immune to bias; but is set up to try and remove it through peer review and testing of assumptions; unlike those that oppose evolution who predominantly announce their bias, and proclaim it a key tenet of their position.

8.) Evolution experiments and studies to directly test evolution have been almost ubiquitously successful, until now where the field is now beyond reasonable doubt. Thus funding has been shifted not to show evolution happened, but to describe how; which are themselves very successful.

9.) You claim the majority of scientists are honest, and a minority are dishonest; however the lunatic fringe groups and I'm sure all arguments you can make against evolution, are almost all based on data obtained from scientific studies and using the interpretation of it to show evolution is wrong; regardless of how you wish to sanitize your point, if you are right, it means that all scientists who are convinced by evolution are either mistaken; because they are all drawing the wrong conclusion, or dishonest; in that they know it's wrong, and are arguing opposite otherwise.

If the assumptions are invalid, one would expect the honest scientists to question them at some point in, say, the last 150 years. If there are no honest scientists, then there is some global conspiracy; either explicit (everyone working together), or implicit (everyone just so happening to work to the same goal). Both of which are impossibly unlikely.

Add to this, that scientists HAVE overturned many assumptions of evolution, including gradualism, Darwins concept of heredity; the discovery of concepts such as Lateral Gene transfer and other processes that change the nature of how evolution works, whilst retaining the core principle of evolution; and there are many difficult to explain, unexpected results and weird behavior that has been discovered, published and subsequently explained.

In this case your argument makes no sense whatsoever to the point of incoherence; You argue that scientists are honest, but are somehow tricked into believing the assumptions, which don't get tested; even though you believe those assumptions are easy to show are wrong; and except in the cases where the scientists in the last 150 years have overturned the assumptions through testing. You also believe that scientists tend to suppress conflicting data, or prevent funding for studies that could prove evolution wrong; except where they have funded studies to test evolution, evolutionary assumptions, published conflicting data, and studies that overturned commonly held opinions about specific ways evolution works.

Indeed, evolutionary science has had a rather keen habit of overturning the status quo, and has done so many times; so the concept that not a single one of these scientists who are keen to challenge assumptions just so happen to completely ignore facts or arguments that are accessible to someone with a purchased fake PhD from liberty university is, frankly, ludicrous.

The bottom line here is this; you're not interested in whether the scientific consensus can be trusted; you don't trust it, and are seeking a justification for already rejecting what that scientific consensus has to say on the matter regardless of what evidence there is to show it.

You're arguments here are related to straw men; misrepresenting your own position to make it sound more reasonable (when it isn't what you actually believe); claiming that me pointing out that hiding behind such pretenses is inherently dishonest and renders the question itself meanginless in the context of what you're actually trying to argue is an ad-hominem is too.

You've argued that a conspiracy could control or manipulate assumptions; even though it's plainly clear that this can't possibly be the case in reality.

You've also ignore the inherent bias in every group that vehemently oppose evolution by trying to argue that the opposition isn't religious; when it almost unanimously is; forgetting that I'm almost undoubtedly certain that you re-use or gain inspiration via their arguments at every turn, and cannot name a prominent, truly secular and active organization that anyone has ever heard of that opposes evolution since the 1940's when it gained widespread acceptance.

Indeed, there isn't one part of your argument that I have seen thus far, that isn't reliant upon some sort of misrepresentation, or intentionally trying to misdirect the argument so you can discount the reality. This is the problem; neither your position, nor your argument here are honest because your motivations and actual position behind a sanitized and misrepresentative pretense so you don't get challenged on what you actually believe.
distraff
Posts: 1,005
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4/1/2016 3:47:09 AM
Posted: 8 months ago
At 3/29/2016 4:05:35 AM, RainbowDash52 wrote:
What are the best arguments for why I should blindly trust scientific consensus?

Please don't blindly trust anything. However these people are very very smart and have decades of experience and accomplishments so why are you going to assume that they are wrong until you have heard their side of the story?

Scientists are just normal people like you and me and you could easily have a few scientists living in your neighborhood. For work they go into labs and do experiments and try to discover how the natural world works. They then write papers trying to prove their new discoveries.

Other scientists then critically review these papers. If these papers have convincing evidence eventually other scientists start doing the same experiments and are convinced by the evidence. Eventually there is a scientific consensus. If the evidence in the paper has flaws, other scientists will point it out and the paper will be forgotten and the author will be forced to revise the paper, do better experiments, or research something else.
Dark-one
Posts: 211
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4/1/2016 4:00:27 AM
Posted: 8 months ago
At 3/29/2016 4:05:35 AM, RainbowDash52 wrote:
What are the best arguments for why I should blindly trust scientific consensus?

People always say "this is fact". But it's more like "this hypothesis has yet to be disproved, so this is the safest to live by".