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Be careful, your love of science looks a lot like religion

Discussion in 'Other Health News and Research' started by natasa778, Aug 13, 2015.

  1. natasa778

    natasa778 Senior Member

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    ... a small group of contemporary psychologists have published a series of provocative experiments showing that faith in science can serve the same mentally-stabilizing function as religious beliefs.

    In 2013, a study published in The Journal of Experimental Social Psychology found that when subjects were stressed, they were more likely to agree to statements typifying scientism such as, “the scientific method is the only reliable path to knowledge.” When people felt anxious, they esteemed science more highly than calmer subjects did, just as previous experiments have shown to be the case with religious ideals.
    ...
    http://qz.com/476722/be-careful-your-love-of-science-looks-a-lot-like-religion/
     
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  2. Snowdrop

    Snowdrop Rebel without a biscuit

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    And sometimes underlying both is the faith people show in money.

    Critical judgment -- it's not just for the few.
     
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  3. *GG*

    *GG* Senior Member

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    Some people say this about Global Warming, if you don't believe it, you are a "denier" LOL

    So what are they calling it now? Climate Change? We'll yeah, we have 4 seasons where I live and I love it!

    GG

    PS Don't go looking for that story where scientists say we are going to have global cooling in a decade or so. So if all the CO2 we are pumping into the atmosphere is helping to increase temps, perhaps we should continue?!
     
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  4. whodathunkit

    whodathunkit Senior Member

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    I think this just shows the basic human need for a little more surety than we can see in ourselves. We don't trust ourselves that much so we prefer to trust in something outside our locus of control. Be it God or lab values or whatever.

    I don't agree with any anthropogenic means to artificially control climate (so, no CO2 to warm and no reflectors to help cool, etc.), mainly because we don't know what the truly long haul effect of them might be plus IMO it's terribly arrogant to believe that we as a species actually have the kind of power to effectively and reliably alter the weather of a whole planet, but the overall decrease they're seeing in sunspots is definitely very scary. I've read somewhere that over the next decade or so they're predicting the same level of sunspots or below as the Maunder Minimum, which gave Earth the Little Ice Age. :nervous:

    Very interesting topic. Thanks, @natasa778!
     
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  5. Research 1st

    Research 1st Severe ME, POTS & MCAS.

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    Science is a religion as it's a belief system followed by believers in the scientific process, but it's a religion based on demonstrable fact rather than blind faith something 'is', because it was once written by a prophet connected to God 1000's of years ago.

    It is true, however, a scientific researchers can (and are often) selective and publish papers be removing or not including factors that critique their own claims (beliefs), thus almost designing their own prophecy, and thus, that isn't science...but still technically is in terms of how it's delivered, received and potentially manipulated by various parties in society. This then has overtones of the misuse of organised religion again, under the label 'Science'.

    So complex!
     
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  6. deleder2k

    deleder2k Senior Member

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    @whodathunkit, is it terribly arrogant to believe that the human race have the power to alter the weather for a whole planet? You do know that humans have a few thousands nuke that can destroy the planet?

    It would be arrogant to not believe that our behaviour on this planet could influence the climate.
     
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  7. whodathunkit

    whodathunkit Senior Member

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    @deleder2k, your comment misses my point on a couple counts.

    First, what my comments were actually about was human kind as a primary driver of weather on the Earth via incidental climate change due to the way we live, or deliberate climate change to try to counteract that.. And nope, sorry, I'm not on board with a human-centric version of climate AT ALL. Based on everything I've read about our solar system, I just can't get on board with it. Anyone who thinks the SUN Isn't the primary driver of climate on our planet is the arrogant one.

    Second, I wasn't speaking OR thinking short term. There isn't really any evidence that the Earth wouldn't ultimately recover even from a nuclear holocaust. Of course we'd wipe ourselves out, and a few million other species along with us, but would the great big huge PLANET EARTH itself go on, and eventually recover our climate, given that it orbits in what's generally acknowledged to be the temperate zone around our Sun and given that it's probably gone through a few ELE's via meteor impacts with at least the power of a nuclear holocaust already?

    Probably.

    Although I do admit there is no way of really knowing. But given what we know about the history and resiliency of our planet, I'd bet on recovery.

    That's not an argument for nukes, BTW. Or for limitless spewing of CO2 into the atmosphere, etc. Those those impact current human existence in more ways that just the weather, and for that reason are serious concerns. But if we're speaking about humans as a primary driver of climate, I'm just sayin'.
     
  8. natasa778

    natasa778 Senior Member

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    Great (opinion :) article on the subject here
    https://jonrappoport.wordpress.com/2014/09/04/the-biochemical-dream-of-utopia/

     
  9. alex3619

    alex3619 Senior Member

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    Science is in my opinion a process and philosophy of knowledge.

    Science as religion is indeed alive and well, but its called scientism rather than science, and this is for good reasons. Since most people do not get involved in science, and even most scientists do not get involved in the philosophy of science, its easy for scientific enthusiasm to morph into zeal.

    Science is about questioning, hypothesizing, testing, and communicating. A scientist should question results, but many who claim to be scientists are more aptly described as technicians, or doctors, or similar. Consensus building is a dangerous area in science. Consensus can arise naturally over time, but driving toward consensus is more about politics than science.

    Science is the most reliable process to enhance knowledge we have. Its not perfect though. Its also subject to severe bias and distortion, especially when it clashes with vested interests. The latest global distortion has been labelled Zombie Science, and involves vested interests pushing limited or biased studies, in large numbers, thereby distorting the science base. Given the cost its entire industries and global pseudo-monopolies that do this, because even successful companies usually do not have the resources. Sometimes governments get enlisted too.

    Support of think tanks and PR (public relations, not this forum) and lobby groups serve a similar function, and can distort how evidence is perceived.

    Global warming is neither a proven fact nor disproved. Its an hypothesis with a lot of supporting data, but its very hard to properly test. Dealing with it is, in my view, inappropriate if dealt with from a basis of either zeal or denial. Its about risk management. People who want to make sweeping changes have to consider other factors. People who want to do nothing are gambling with the future of the world. There is no sure or proven path here.
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2015
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  10. WillowJ

    WillowJ คภภเє ɠรค๓թєl

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    I agree with Alex. Science doesn't necessarily have to be in a similar category as religion, but can be used that way.

    But some things we may think of as science or which are presented as science, might not be strictly science, but would fit into more of a philosophy category, or are more like scientism, or simply need to be treated with more care.

    It takes work and patience to sort things out.
     
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  11. Lou

    Lou Senior Member

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  12. alex3619

    alex3619 Senior Member

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    @Lou, the problem with zeal is not the motivation it gives people for change, but the issue that it can blind people into uncritical support. It allows for fads to rise. It allows for wrong things being done for right reasons.

    Deniers mostly are not ready to be convinced. so its not a thing worth wasting much time about. However many in the middle, and I think that is still the majority, need to realize that this is too important to not engage with it to some extent. Those people can still be reached.

    In time the deniers will be convinced if the majority of the climate science and forecasts are accurate. There will be no alternative. That however is not a future we want, because to get there means so much damage is already done to the planet that things will never be the same again. If some of the claims being made, such as vast methane release from the ocean floor, are properly verified then I think that, whatever the view is on the cause, it has to be considered that irreversible climate change is already here. The natural world can reverse these things, but it takes millennia or longer, even geological ages.

    One thing that people often do not realize is that the world used to be much much hotter than it is now. Some degree of warming is tolerable to the ecosphere, but not without extinctions and evolutionary changes. For humanity that means dire times.

    Solar activity has been closely measured. Claims that solar activity might be causing it seem unfounded. There are not many viable alternatives to human action.

    Yet even the most ardent scientific reports put the likelihood of human induced global warming as only about 85%, though that figure is probably out of date as I have been following medical science not climate science. Given the magnitude of the potential disaster, and long term or permanent decline in economic growth and wealth, an 85% risk strongly indicates we need an insurance policy. Indeed, no insurer would accept this degree of risk, its calamitous. We have to find ways to mitigate possible downsides.

    If some of the claims are to be believed, and I want to again cite large scale methane release, then irreversible change is here. We cannot reverse it. We might be able to slow it some. This is making some scientists very unhappy.

    Personally I want to see more and better science. We are spending a lot on research, but the potential magnitude of the issue means we should be spending even more. I think we should abandon fossil fuels anyway, as soon as we can. Large carbon sources are far too valuable to the world to go up in flame. Future industry may need them for other uses.

    I do not want to get into other possible global disasters heading our way, but I do want to make one final comment on global warming. If such a thing is occurring (and not natural climate change) then we need to be aware that temperature is not the greatest indicator of heat at all times. Heat and temperature are related but not the same. Many frozen substances, from clathrate to sub zero ice, can absorb a lot of heat without a phase change, and indeed these form a buffer that prevents increased atmospheric temperature. Should the ice all melt, the clathrates all warm, then that buffer will be gone and along with other issues like decreased albedo and increased greenhouse gases (including methane) this will rapidly accelerate temperature change. It would not be a steady increase. Should that happen all the statistical predictions being made would be inappropriate. So, in other words, heat might be a steady increase, but temperature isn't.
     
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2015
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  13. lansbergen

    lansbergen Senior Member

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    I will do my part by installing sunpanels and a windmill. Then after 8 years my energy costs will be close to zero.
     
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  14. snowathlete

    snowathlete

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    Alex sometimes you seem to take a half dozen of my scattered fragmentary thoughts, then organise and articulate them for me. Brilliant, thank you.
     
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  15. Gijs

    Gijs Senior Member

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    Global warming is a fact. About the cause we can only speculate. What does it matter when humans will be destroyed by nature? In the end it will be happening. Life isn't eternal for humans and animals. One day we go back to nothing. The universe doesn't care about life. It is all evolution. Survival of the fittest! We will lose.
     
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  16. Wayne

    Wayne Senior Member

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    Hi @alex3619,

    What you articulated is what I see going on in the $68 billion dollar a year vaccination industry.
     
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  17. alex3619

    alex3619 Senior Member

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    I see vaccination as more an issue of Zombie Science, or McScience as it was called recently. The extremes of debate are too one sided. Vaccines are both helpful and dangerous. Its about how and when and why to use them appropriately. The vaccine makers definitely promote their product with too much vigour. That is marketing, greed, etc., not zeal. There are however zealots pushing it. There are also zealots fighting it.

    Vaccines are dangerous. So are the diseases we vaccinate against. Where the balance lies, for any particular vaccine technology, is a matter for independent empirical investigation. I cannot stress independent enough. Vaccine makers, sellers, or promoters should not be involved in that.

    A problem exists with flu vaccines though ... they are developed and changed so very fast that there is no time for proper evaluation. We would always be evaluating the effects of obsolete vaccines.

    Another problem exists with controls. For vaccines that are almost universally given, where do you find appropriate controls? I actually see vaccine abstainers as useful for this, provided they are not doing so due to existing health issues. Or in other words, in a properly run vaccination program you need people who refuse vaccines.

    Just as you need sceptics, cynics and conspiracy theorists. I think of these people as social insurance policies. Who else is going to sound the alarm? In many cases they will be misquided, but without them society could go down some very bad paths. Whistleblowers are even more important, and need strong protection under law.
     
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  18. barbc56

    barbc56 Senior Member

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    I have to disagree with you @alex3619

    Zombie science is a bit harsh as far as I am concerned.

    Science overwhelming shows the safety of vaccines Any reaction is a tragedy but the chances of that happening are very very low. The benefits far outweigh the risks. There is enough independent research that also backs this.

    Promotion of the vaccine by pharmaceutical companies may indeed be money/politically driven. But that fact doesn't address the issue of vaccine safety. While it's necessary to be skeptical about any corporation making hugh profits, it's not a sufficient fact, by itself, to jump to the conclusion that what is said is patently false.

    In this specific instance that vaccinations are dangerous which is an issue by itself.

    Nor does it mean the opposite is true.

    There are many many corporations as well as medically related companies that make a hugh profit such as the supplemental industry. Unfortunately, IMHO, the level of scrutiny I am referring, is often lacking when it comes to not only supplements but to other forms of alternative medicine.

    It boils down to the old addage of "What's good for the goose is good for the gander."

    As far as science being a religion, I don't see the similarities. Religion is based on faith where you don't question information whereas science is all about questioning.

    This is not saying one is okay and the other not. You can believe both but you have to shift gears when going from one to another.

    This is also not saying science is perfect, that there are never politics and money motives behind science, but they are two different paradigms. Just because one believes in science, even if overzealous, does not mean it's faith. Overzealous is overzealous. Faith is faith. They are not comparable.

    A very good book to read is Jerry Coyne's book Faith vs.Fact

    Lest you have any doubt about his credibility, Jerry Coyne believes psychiartry to be medical pseudoscience but that in itself may be a strawman fallacy.:D

    These are my take of the matter. Whether others agree, disagree, or somwhere in the middle, take from it what you want.

    Barb
     
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2015
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  19. Snowdrop

    Snowdrop Rebel without a biscuit

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    I think the word for the similarity between the two is Dogma.
     
  20. barbc56

    barbc56 Senior Member

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    Dogma implies things can't be changed.

    Science, theoretically implies questioning a hypothesis and that the hypothesis may lead to change.

    Barb
     

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