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Thread: Science under attack?

  1. #1 Science under attack? 
    Forum Masters Degree Golkarian's Avatar
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    Are movements such as postmodernism (at least the brands that say E=mc^2 is sexist) and creationism serious threats to science or do you think they will die out quickly, and don't really require much attention?


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    Forum Ph.D. Darius's Avatar
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    Science is always under attack. True science, that which brings true objective results, is under attack from even scientists. The true weapon that brings science to its knee's is ignorance and dogma, which scientists themselves are hardly exempt from.

    Consider a scientific study I once read on circumcision. It gathered statistics from people that were circumcized and asked, basically, whether or not they felt they were "missing out" on some pleasure or feeling. The majority of respondants said "No", and then the scientists went on to give this as proof that circumcision does not desensitize the penis.

    I should hope that everyone on this forum see's what is wrong with this. I can assure you, this study is quite wrong in its methodology and its conclusion. Lets see if someone can step foreward and point them out.


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    They would not know better. :wink:

    But do you have a link to this study so we all can see the exact wording and methodology employed?

    As to the OP:

    I certainly hope not, but am pretty sure not as well. Creationism (religious interpretations) has always existed and were in fact enforced as the only permissable source of knowledge in many areas. Nowadays it is pretty different, so I'd rather say that things are slowly getting better.
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    Double post..
    Disclaimer: I do not declare myself to be an expert on ANY subject. If I state something as fact that is obviously wrong, please don't hesitate to correct me. I welcome such corrections in an attempt to be as truthful and accurate as possible.

    "Gullibility kills" - Carl Sagan
    "All people know the same truth. Our lives consist of how we chose to distort it." - Harry Block
    "It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." - Aristotle
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  6. #5  
    Forum Ph.D. Darius's Avatar
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    I do not have the original link, but you can be sure my wording is accurate enough. I don't have photographic memory to hang pictures.
    Om mani padme hum

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  7. #6 Re: Science under attack? 
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    Quote Originally Posted by Golkarian
    Are movements such as postmodernism (at least the brands that say E=mc^2 is sexist) and creationism serious threats to science or do you think they will die out quickly, and don't really require much attention?
    I never heard of anyone saying E=mc^2 is sexist, so I doubt if that movement is much of a threat. Before Darwin's time, just about everybody was a creationist, and we have come from there to where we are now. I don't see any trend in the opposite direction.
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    Today we call it science but in the 17/18/19th century it was called natural philosophy, any civilisation which turns it's back on science will quickly revert to a life style pre natural philosophy. There have been some, Cambodia perhaps the most infamous. Although the destruction of science was not the Khmr rouge's primary objective (the total destruction of capitalism) it nevertheless was a result of the attempted extermination of cambodia's educated sector of society, and the forcing of the population into a primitive agricultural existence.

    The taliban were all for rejecting much of modern science (except oddly enough, it's weapon systems...) preventing the education of half the population. The transistor radios however, soon reappeared after they were 'toppled' from overall power.

    Somehow I can't see most 'modern' teenagers giving up their ipods or mobile phones, western society has learnt to keep it's kids under control by constantly providing them with 'goodies' so there's no chance of any revolt.
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  9. #8 Re: Science under attack? 
    Forum Professor sunshinewarrior's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370
    Quote Originally Posted by Golkarian
    Are movements such as postmodernism (at least the brands that say E=mc^2 is sexist) and creationism serious threats to science or do you think they will die out quickly, and don't really require much attention?
    I never heard of anyone saying E=mc^2 is sexist, so I doubt if that movement is much of a threat. Before Darwin's time, just about everybody was a creationist, and we have come from there to where we are now. I don't see any trend in the opposite direction.
    Actually, a post-modernist psychoanalyst (I believe he is styled), and very well regarded in the PoMo world, Lacan, not only wrote an essay about the "privileging" of the speed of light in the equation, but then went on to compare (the square root of -1) to the erect male phallus and provided 'equations' of his own devising to move the matter on from there!

    The best introduction to the (scientifically speaking) silliness of some PoMo is called Fashionable Nonsense (in the States), but more euphoniously Intellectual Impostures in the UK, by Bricmont and Sokal. It quotes from a number of the PoMo-ists, including other such 'luminaries' as Julia Kristeva (on second thoughts perhaps it was she who spoke about the privileging of the speed of light?).

    In any case, with Marxist-Intellectual roots, and some good things to say about social endeavours and epistemology, post-modernism has, alas, I believe over-reached itself in many areas, particularly its pronouncements on science. Again, one of the key texts referred to (but probably rarely if ever read) is Kuhn's The Structure of Scientific Revolutions because they all picked up the phrase "paradigm shift" from there, and somehow assume that Kuhn must have been undercutting the 'privileging' of science by doing so.

    In its place, post-modernism has provided us with, IMO, fascinating insights into the ways in which we take things for granted, and has helped us appreciate and understand issues like feminism and other aspects of social justice. When it stretches towards claims that science is no better a way of 'knowing' than shamanism, it appears (again IMO) to be foolish, and is rightly condemned by those who see these very post-modernists climbing onto aeroplanes, and using mobile phones and yet straight-facedly claiming that shamanism 'works' just as well...

    I suspect it is a movement whose time has now gone, and it will leave us with some good legacies, some awful, some fond memories, and some bitter. Certainly the after-taste will linger.
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  10. #9  
    Forum Masters Degree Golkarian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Megabrain
    The taliban were all for rejecting much of modern science (except oddly enough, it's weapon systems...) preventing the education of half the population. The transistor radios however, soon reappeared after they were 'toppled' from overall power.

    Somehow I can't see most 'modern' teenagers giving up their ipods or mobile phones, western society has learnt to keep it's kids under control by constantly providing them with 'goodies' so there's no chance of any revolt.
    Um...I don't know. In the first paragraph you show that the the taliban kept the weapons systems w/o keeping the science. In the second you assert that teenagers will keep science in order to keep iPods. That seems kind of contradictory or am I misreading?

    I think often people like creationists do not understand what science is, so they keep the iPods and reject evolution. Not sure about (certain brands of) postmodernists though.
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  12. #11  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Darius
    Science is always under attack. True science, that which brings true objective results, is under attack from even scientists. The true weapon that brings science to its knee's is ignorance and dogma, which scientists themselves are hardly exempt from.

    Consider a scientific study I once read on circumcision. It gathered statistics from people that were circumcized and asked, basically, whether or not they felt they were "missing out" on some pleasure or feeling. The majority of respondants said "No", and then the scientists went on to give this as proof that circumcision does not desensitize the penis.

    I should hope that everyone on this forum see's what is wrong with this. I can assure you, this study is quite wrong in its methodology and its conclusion. Lets see if someone can step foreward and point them out.
    I have thought about this and have determined that the source of this idea came whe the Rabbis that do the butchering of the bulls, have noticed that the bulls foot long red hot rod did NOT have any forskin. So they decided that that was not natural.

    My conclusion? Ours is because it is not retractible. Maybe from self abuse?

    So use only a woman for this relief. This should then eliminate the moral reform preachers. Ha ha.

    Cosmo
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